Thursday, September 22, 2011

The A to Z of Magoo

(Look at me, I'm an Animorph!)

I have always had a soft spot for surveys.  In middle school, one trend that popped up for a brief amount of time was the slambook: the slambook was basically a notebook filled with questions designed by preteens (e.g. your favorite color, current crush, etc.) and, in this particular instance, it was filled out by every girl in the class.  It was an interesting phenomenon because, even though I certainly wasn't friends with all the girls in my class, we weren't adverse to sharing our secrets in the slambook.  One factoid I recall was that, at that time, my favorite boys' names were Jake and John.  Ultimately, the administration caught wind of these slambooks (presumably because other classes were not as cordial as mine) and they were swiftly banned from school premises.  Fortunately, my interest in surveys in sharing tidbits has never waned and, upon seeing this A to Z of Me survey on a variety of different blogs, I just couldn't stop myself from composing all these little anecdotes.  Surveys definitely won't be a weekly feature on Malarkey Magoo but, even now in then, it's fun to be just a bit fluffy.
A. Age: 25.  I have noticed that many of my peers in their twenties often lament about their age.  For instance, I recall that many of my friends complained about feeling "old" once they hit twenty-two, one of my friends in college hoped that her carcass would be shot out to space by twenty-seven, and I just met someone who admitted that he's cried on almost every one of his birthdays.  Fortunately, I've never been so fearful of aging (because, really, I think it's absurd to think of being "old" at any age under forty) and actually look forward to maturing with time.  Here's to years of wisdom! 
B. Bed size: Full.  Upon getting my first grown-up bed, I was so amazed by the apparent wealth of space that I actually thought I had been given a stately queen-sized bed.  I learned later that it's indeed a full and, while I may not feel so regal, I still love all that space.
C. Chore that you hate: Mopping.  Whenever I try to mop, I feel like the only thing I succeed in doing is dampening the floor while simultaneously spreading around stubborn grime.  It's just a fruitless and tedious task. 
D. Dogs: My dad thought that dogs didn't belong in the city so, unfortunately, I've never had a dog.  As a young child, I was so desperate to have a pup in my life that I apparently asked my mom "When daddy dies, can we get a dog?".  Clearly I had my priorities straight.  Unfortunately, I just haven't been in the right place to get a dog as a grownup and, now that Tim and I are planning to live abroad for several years, a dog just won't fit in to our lives right now.  Someday though we'll get a puppy, kitty, and piggy and we'll be as happy as can be. 
E. Essential start to your day: Toothpaste, deodorant, and supplements. Nothing interesting here.  
F. Favorite color: Pastels.  While I enjoy many hues both vibrant and muted, I love the airy feeling that pastels evoke and I think they also work really well with both my eye color and skin tone. The walls of my future home will definitely be adorned with pastel shades. 
G. Gold or Silver: I have always enjoyed gold more than silver.  While I don't quite know why gold appeals to me, I can only assume that it either makes my hair and skin seem more luminous or perhaps it just meshes well with the shades I wear most often.  Silver has been growing on me, though.  
H. Height: 5’4''.  
I. Instruments you play: None, however, I aspire to be competent in playing an instrument someday.  As an aspiring English language teacher, I learned about different approaches and methods for language teaching in some of my classes and one of the topics we focused on was Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences.  His theory is basically that people have strengths or abilities in different arenas and, ideally, a language class should incorporate strategies that address the strengths of all the students.  Upon taking a few tests to determine my intelligences, I consistently find that my musical intelligence is my greatest strength and, while I've always been a dunderhead when it comes to playing an instrument, a musical intelligence is definitely prominent in other ways.  For instance, I can hit notes and remember tunes quite well and, surprisingly, I'm even able to memorize songs in foreign languages.  Unfortunately, I've never been very skilled with my hands - I can type at the speed of a court reporter and can hit the moves from my favorite video games with the greatest of ease, however, I'm not very coordinated when using my hands outside of the technical realm and thus I think that my musical endeavors have suffered.  It also doesn't help that I get a bit anxious and impatient when trying new things and I often stop myself out of frustration before I have the opportunity to grow.  Ultimately, I hope that I get to the point where my neurotic eccentricities don't hinder me from learning a new skill and, if I ever do learn to play an instrument, I hope it's one that's dainty and quirky.  A ukelele, piccolo, triangle, or xylophone would be right up my alley.      
J. Job title: Unemployed Cutie.  On September 15, I quit my job as a legal secretary and, while it is kind of scary to be without a consistent source of income or any clear leads for the future, leaving my sensible job is one of the best decisions I ever made and I'm already feeling much more content and at ease.  Thankfully I have the support of my husband, family, and good friends and I plan on maximizing my penniless cuteness as much as possible. 
K. Kids: No, no, no, no, no. 
L. Live: Seattle, WA.  In the near future, my husband and I intend to move to Japan to teach English but, since we're open to living just about anywhere, we might choose to move to South Korea, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, or Indonesia next year.  We're also interested in teaching in Chile or Turkey and, if we decide to become volunteer organic farmers, we could live just about anywhere in the world.  I can hardly contain my excitement for the future! 
M. Mother’s name: Joanna.  Upon selecting the name 'Joanna' for my mom, my grandma informed one of my great-aunts of this decision and, apparently, this great-aunt insisted that this was a made up name.  My grandma, not surprisingly, was livid.  "It's in the bible!", she exclaimed.  I've heard this story on many occasions and it's only heightened my lifelong interest in names.     
N. Nicknames: Maggie, the name I go by in real life, is perhaps the most epic of my nicknames.  In addition to the expected Maggie, my M-based nicknames have also included Maggie May (and 'May' is my middle name), Magoo, Magpie, Mags, M, Margaret at the Market, and the ever-delightful Maggot.  Magoo, however, is clearly my favorite nickname. 
O. Overnight hospital stays: None! 
P. Pet peeves: One trait in particular that irks me is the notion talking at as opposed to engaging with potential friends.  In general, I seem to forge more friendships with men and, while I especially love to befriend guys that are passionate and excited by things in life, I often find that this passion manifests as obsessive, incoherent, and even inconsiderate rambling.  I actually enjoy hearing complex thoughts on politics, physics, and even occasionally Star Trek, however, it often seems that the only purpose I serve in these conversations is to be an obedient and active listener.  Seldom am I ever asked by these friends about my opinions or beliefs.  Furthermore, in those instances where the other party actually inquires about my feelings, typically I'm only able to get a sentence or two out before a random word is used as springboard to go off on a bizarre tangent.  Friendship, at the very least, should be a mutual exchange of ideas and it just baffles me that so many guys just want a warm body to talk at.  How sad that, by comparison, it would almost be a joy to have friends that would at least feign interest in what I have to say.    
Q. Quote from a movie: "Right now I'd be glad to trade some growth for happiness."  - Harvey Pekar (via American Splendor)
R. Right or left handed: Right. 
S. Siblings: I have an older brother and, in his most epic move yet, apparently he was able to humanely release a bat that somehow got stuck in his apartment.  Way to be macho, Stefan!
T. Tattoos: There have been a few instances where I considered getting a tattoo but, ultimately, it's just not meant to be.  While I like that tattoos can represent different stages in your life and it would be pretty sweet to get some obscure animals (like a proboscis monkey) inked on my arm, I just feel like it would be too challenging to coordinate my tattoos with my outfits and, as much as I enjoy aging, I don't know if I would enjoy the inevitable wrinkled tattoos of the future.  I think I'll just be sticking to those dollar store tattoos of unicorns.
U. Underwear: I have an incredible collection of holiday-themed underwear.  For Christmas, my mom likes to use underwear as stocking stuffers and, since I also tend to also receive a wealth of underwear for my birthday, I still manage to have some underwear from as far back as middle school.  TMI alert! 
V. Vegetable you hate: Bok choy. 
W. What makes you run late: Outfit indecision is often the worst offender.  As much as I would like to plan my outfits ahead of time, I often just try to make my visions a reality in the morning and, when those creations aren't quite what I expected, I frantically throw together outfits until I find something that's somewhat acceptable.  It can be quite distressing.
X. X-Rays you’ve had: I think I've only had them on the teeth but, boy, is that a laborious and uncomfortable process.  
Y. Yummy food that you make: Drunken Banana Bread, Pumpkin Pancakes with Sweetened Whipped Cream, and Orangies (aka orange brownies or creamsicle bars) are among some of my greatest hits. 
Z. Zoo animal: I have always adored obscure animals.  While I can't say for certain that I have always preferred unusual animals like the aye-aye or gibbon over the standard zoo fare, I just find the variety of life on earth to be infinitely fascinating and I have always been intrigued by those creatures that are far from the limelight.  Some of my favorite zoo animals include red pandas, toucans, and the ever-elusive maned wolf. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Best of Seasons

My New Best Angle
One of my short-term objectives is to refine my wardrobe.  While my plans for the future are far from being settled, Tim and I intend to move out of the country within the next few months and, since such a cross-continental journey will require us to pare down our collection of stuff, I hope to use this move as an opportunity to fine-tune my closet.  I have, not surprisingly, acquired quite a heap of clothes over the years.  As much as I would love to ship every last deconstructed sweater, novelty pin, or pair of animal-print socks across the Pacific Ocean, I will most likely be living in a much smaller space once we've found our home abroad and, frankly, I doubt that I will want to spend upwards of a hundred dollars simply to ship one package of goofy socks.  It has been fun for me to think about how I might pare down pieces and create an ultimate wardrobe before we make the big move abroad.  For instance, I been thinking a lot about concepts I never really considered such as versatility, dressing for the seasons, and durability and I've had a lot of fun exploring these ideas through new-to-me outfits.  The outfit I wore last Saturday was my first attempt at dressing for autumn and, while I certainly won't be able to do this everyday, I think it was quite the success.
One Autumnal Duo
Hands Hands Hands!
I think that seasonality, especially in how it pertains to fashion, is an endlessly fascinating subject. From my casual observations of the world around me, it seems like seasonality is becoming a hop topic in both pop culture and alternative media alike - reality shows like Top Chef tout the importance of fresh and local ingredients, farmers' markets seem to have sprung up in nearly every neighborhood in Seattle, and it seems like everyone I know is salivating over those infamous pumpkin-spiced lattes. Fashion, while certainly not dependent on crops or harvests, does seem to interpret the seasons in interesting ways. Upon experiencing my first autumn in the fashion blogging world a year ago, I was amazed by how many bloggers were able to smoothly transition to a sea of burnt orange, mustard, and crimson hues from the moment September arrived. Some bloggers seemed to more subtly mix autumnal colors with items from previous seasons while others appeared to be walking pile of fallen leaves. As much as I would like to have the dedication or closet space needed to amass a seemingly-endless collection of seasonally-appropriate clothing, I think I've realized that I'm more about wearing versatile items that compliment one another than dressing for the seasons. Never do I want to feel like I can't wear my beloved pastels just because they're not traditionally worn in cooler weather At this point, I will not hesitate to pair autumnal hues if I have enough pieces to make an outfit work however, as much as I admire others that dress to match their surroundings, I'm just not that kind of girl.
Another Autumnal Duo
An Uncomfortable View of the Squirrel Pin
It is, admittedly, going to be a challenge for me to weed through my wardrobe and determine which items feel the most like me. While I likely won't spend too much time worrying over how my clothing and accessories may match the seasons, I consider selecting versatile items that can transition between multiple seasons and climates to be of the utmost importance. Layering, a concept that was once foreign to me, will certainly be essential when I move abroad. For instance, when Tim and I traveled to Japan last winter, I learned that most business will have their heat jacked up to a sweltering degree in an attempt to combat the frigid temperatures outside and, well, this led to uncomfortable meals. I hope to have enough layering pieces someday that I'll be comfortable even in the isolated and frigid region of Hokkaido. Ultimately, my wardrobe is bound to evolve with me as a I prepare to transition to a new life abroad and, much like how I can hardly contain my excitement for what the next few months will bring, I just can't wait to experiment with and redefine my style.
Smilng with my Face and my Eyes
Vintage Hat
Thrifted Vintage Sweater
Vintage Skirt
Wild Diva Shoes
BDG Belt
Vintage Squirrel Pin

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sweet and Dandy

Sweet Gingham (Full)
One aspect of outfit design that I have yet to master is the art of accessorizing. While I have always had a modest collection of accessories, I never used to wear much jewelery because I felt that it competed too much with the rest of my outfit - I would frequently wear loud tops with ever louder tights so, in an effort to create some balance, I seldom pulled from my collection of quirky trinkets. My approach to accessories has changed as my style continues to evolve. As of now, I am making a decisive effort to incorporate more necklaces, brooches, and cuffs into my wardrobe however, after avoiding accessories for so long, I'm unsure of where to begin. The thought of pairing necklaces with dresses or, worse yet, wearing multiple items at once is simply overwhelming. Fortunately, one benefit of incorporating fashion as a regular feature on Malarkey Magoo is that it forces me to think more consciously about what I wear and, even if an outfit isn't perfectly composed the first go around, these photographs can serve as an invaluable springboard for style-centered reflection.
Sweet Gingham Duo
Sweet Gingham (Shoes)
I wore this dress for my Grandma's birthday party and, while I know that Grandma wasn't observing my outfit with a critical eye, I still felt unsure about the styling. As I was envisioning this outfit, I was torn between two different routes of inspiration - I was drawn to the notion of pairing this dress with overtly girly accessories however, if I swapped the bows for lilac boots and a scarf tied bandana-style, I thought I could pull off some sort of power puff cowgirl look. My boots at least made it on during the 'trying on' portion of the styling process but, ultimately, I settled on the more familiar girly look. While I do love how the pink shoes and over-sized straw hat to give off an air of and exceptionally saccharine and youthful form of femininity, I am unsure if the kitty cameo necklace was the right choice for this composition. Does it blend in too much with the bodice of the dress? Would a shorter necklace have been better and, if so, should I have chosen something delicate or one that would have made more of a statement? My necklace collection doesn't even include this many options! Of all the elements that seem to trigger my obsession, I just can't stop mulling over how these details can impact the overall look of an outfit and, at this rate, I'll either never leave the house or will end up photographing outfits a dozen times over until I reach some tangible form of perfection.
Sweet Gingham Duo, with Pockets!
Sweet Gingham (Close-Up)
A more comprehensive jewelry collection will certainly make pairing a bit easier but, in the meantime, I am going to try to shake my obsession with comprising perfect outfits. Much like how one can hardly hope to devise the perfect recipe for snickerdoodles since individuals have their preferences when it comes to the flavor and texture of cookies, it is nearly impossible to create a perfect outfit since there are so many ever-changing variable. Perhaps this outfit would have fit my image of perfection if I had worn a different necklace, however, what will I do when these shoes wear out? Will I just throw out the dress because it can never worn quite as well with other shoes? Of course not! If anything, I hope that I continue to experiment with fashion and to throw combinations together that are not completely in line with my sense of style because, ultimately, I want to my style to grow. It's incredible for me to observe how my style is evolving so quickly and I want to foster this growth for as long as possible. I am, in spite of fumbles and obsessive analysis, ready to accessorize!
Sweet Gingham (Full, again)
Nooworks Dress
Jennifer Moore Straw Hat
Lodispotto Shoes
Handmade Kitty Cameo Necklace (made by my Mom)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Upside-Down Summer Fruit Cobbler

One of the greatest recipes I ever found was discovered completely by accident. In the summertime, I do my best to take advantage of the bounty of produce available by making fruit desserts and I decided last year to make a grand cake for my grandma's 88th birthday. My plan was to make a glorious three-tiered Peach Melba Cake with Raspberry Cream from the book Sky High. Unfortunately, from the moment we started to bake this cake, it was a complete disaster - Tim and I intermediate bakers and, while I thought we were up to task to making something more complex, the paragraph-form instructions were quite difficult to follow and we finally gave up once our supplies were too warm to properly whip cream. I was quite discouraged because I wanted to make a cake worthy of such a milestone birthday but, nonetheless, we decided to press forward and to make use of our wealth of fruit. Fortunately, we found this cobbler recipe and it was just delightful - it's super easy to make, can be adapted to use whatever fruit you have on hand and, most importantly, it's insanely delicious. It was so delicious that I made it for my Grandma's 89th birthday this year. Best accident ever.
Upside-Down Cobbler
I have decided to call this an upside-down cobbler because, unlike traditional cobblers, the biscuit-like batter lines the bottom of the pan and the fruit is nestled on top. As it bakes, the batter occasionally peeks out from underneath the fruit and rises to the top and, just to make the experience evermore glorious, the batter almost appears to shimmer due to the generous sprinkling of raw sugar just before the cobbler enters the oven. The fruit is also extra-juicy since it's allowed to macerate while you make the batter. If you are in the mood to play around, I would recommend swapping any type of stone fruit or berries for those listed below - I imagine that nectarines and blueberries might be lovely and I'm sure that apricots, blackberries, or any of those more obscure berries could be substituted as well. It's just a luscious cobbler and I would highly recommend giving it a try on one of these last few lingering days of summer.

Upside-Down Summer Fruit Cobbler
(Adapted from Rustic Fruit Desserts)

1 tablespoon of butter for buttering the pan
Fruit Filling
1 1/2 pounds stone fruit, prepared (I usually get 2 pounds of fruit just to be safe)
1 dry pint berries, fresh or frozen
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

Special Supplies: 3 bowls (1 for the fruit, 1 for the flour mixture, and 1 big one for the mixed batter); 2-quart baking dish; and sifter.

1. Preheat the over to 375 degrees. Butter a 2-quart baking dish.
2. Peel the stone fruit (a link for peaches for how to peel peaches is here) and, of course, wash your berries!
3. Toss the stone fruit and berries with the sugar and salt in a bowl so that the juices will macerate (aka get super juicy) while you prepare the batter.
4. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl.
5. Using either a handheld mixer with beaters, a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, OR the awesome power of your bare hands, cream the butter and sugar together for about 3 to 5 minutes until it's light and fluffy.
6. Grab your milk and flour mixture. Beginning and ending with the dry flour mixture, mix about a third of the flour with the butter and, when combined, then add and mix half of the milk. You will then add in and mix another third of the flour mixture, the rest of the milk, and then the final bit of the flour mixture. Scrape the side of the bowl occasionally to ensure that you make the most of the batter-y goodness.
7. Spread the batter evenly into the pan and then distribute the fruit over the top of the batter. Be sure to scrape in as much of the remaining juice from the fruit as possible! Sprinkle turbinado sugar evenly over the top of the cobbler.
8. Bake in the bottom third of the oven for about 45 minutes and cool 20 to 30 minutes before serving. Yum!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Quantum Leap

Squiggle Dress (Full)
There are no artificial sweeteners sweet enough to sugarcoat how awful this week has been for me. As much as I would like to have a perpetually cheery disposition, I just can't put on a sunny facade when this week has felt like a seemingly endless parade of frustration and anxiety. It was so stressful at times that my brain felt like a lukewarm bowl of mashed potatoes. Upon reflecting upon my experiences once my brain felt a little less whipped, I kept thinking about the show Quantum Leap and how the protagonist Sam kept leaping through time to write the wrongs of the past. My trials this week could hardly compare to those depicted in the show, however, it was fun to mull over what I might do if I were such a time traveler. For instance, if I were able to leap through time and go back to the Sunday before this abysmal week, would my own holographic friend Admiral Al have given me abstract guidance about what I could have done to avoid certain calamity? Would he have reminded me to always butter the pan whenever I want to make cake worthy of presentation? Could he have given me a few hints about what trivial tasks will cause such consternation at work? I have never been much of one for regret or ruminating on what I could have done differently however, given the chance, it would have at least been nice to know on Sunday what I had in store for this week. Knowing is, after all, half the battle.
Squiggle Dress (Side)
One thing that I have been trying to do is to find healthy ways of reducing my anxiety and, as strange as it may be, wearing cohesive outfits is something the soothes me. While I do not think that I can articulate why exactly fashion has such a positive impact on my well-being, I just enjoy putting together outfits that feel like me and, the more often I'm out and about in an outfit that reflects my style, the happier I am. The outfit that I'm wearing here is one of my new favorites. On our honeymoon in San Francisco, Tim and I spent a lot of our time exploring different neighborhoods and I was lucky enough to find this dress in a shop that was on the southernmost edge of the Mission District. It was from a store that appeared to only sell reconstructed vintage clothing and every item was drool-worthy. Upon spying this dress and trying it on, I think that I primarily bought it because it was a different cut from most of the one-pieces I wear and I absolutely adored the squiggle design however, as I've worn it over the last year, I've just come to love its subtle details. The peter pan collar is just darling and, much to my surprise, this is the only dress I've worn thus far that looks good with a sweater layer on top. In the summer, I like to pair this piece with somewhat zany yet complimentary accessories - I prefer to select items that tie into the colors of the showpiece of an outfit and, in this instance, I love how the over-sized straw cloche and toucan purse create just the right amount of delightful wackiness. I love how this outfit feels totally like me and that makes me feel quite happy indeed.
Squiggle Dress (Back)
I think that one reason why outfits aide in reducing my anxiety is that they help me feel more, well, like me. In the past year and a half, I have dealt with such an incredible amount of stress that I feel like I have become disconnected from the things that matter to me. Outfits, as trivial as they may be, help me to feel more motivated to explore the world. As easy as it may be for me to lay around in a fog and watch Law and Order: SVU on on-demand for sixteen hours straight, a cohesive and fun outfit can serve as just enough inspiration to get me out of the house and enjoy experiencing the wonders of the city. It may take more than an outfit to shake this nagging anxiety but I like to think that they're bringing me at least a little bit closer to happiness. Here's to conquering anxiety, one outfit at at time.
Squiggle Dress (Close-Up)
Squiggle Dress (Ants)
Taxi CDC Squiggle Dress
Stripes Cloche
Pink Duchess Shoes
Vintage Purse

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Raspberry Lemon Sorbet

A Wife Too Happy
One would not think that a city like Seattle would have such an adoration for frozen sweets. While most of our days are marked my dreariness and we often seem to be caught in a perpetual drizzle, the unpleasant weather does not seemed to have deterred Seattlelites from our love of creamy cold desserts and a wealth of gourmet ice cream shops and gelaterias have sprung up all over town over the last few years. Some customers are so devoted that they’ll withstand freezing temperatures and torrential downpours in order to get a taste of such sweetness. As a couple that have found little success with making our own frozen delectables at home, my husband and I love to visit these shops whenever we’re off about town - I adore the floral and fruity flavors that can be found at Royal Grinders in Fremont, the Snickerdoodle ice cream at Bluebird is simply divine but, as of now, we enjoy the quirky flavors of Molly Moon’s most of all. The texture of their ice cream is just lovely and, while some of their flavor combinations are a bit too exotic for me, we almost always walk out of their shop with something tasty. Whenever Tim and I visit the Capitol Hill neighborhood, it does’t take long for one of us to find an excuse for an indulgent ice cream purchase and, not surprisingly, our trip to that part of two last Sunday was no exception.
Unhappy Husband
I heard that there was going to be a food-oriented street fair last Sunday and I knew right away that Tim and I had to stop by. According to the various articles and features for the event, the 12th Avenue Street Fair is primarily a celebration of all the local restaurants around 12th Avenue and Pike Street and the festival promised to feature a plethora of cheap samples from these eateries. My imagination immediately went into silly mode upon reading about this event. While I certainly had not expected it to be a bountiful feast worthy of Greek gods, I was hoping to find a modest cornucopia of delectable edibles from around the neighborhood and I dreamed of basking gleefully in a food-induced frenzy as if I was Homer Simpson in the Land of Chocolate. A cornucopia, however, it was not. Upon arriving at the scene of the fair, we were met by only a hodgepodge of booths and, unfortunately, the festival itself was only the length of one city block and the food that was there was far from appetizing. One restaurant, for instance, was only offering watermelon soup with prawns. As oddly alluring as such a combination may have been to local foodies, the notion of serving soup as some sort of portable street food seemed absolutely ludicrous to me. Who are these people that are brave or skilled enough to walk around and eat soup on the go? Of course, we did still eat a little bit - I had some tasty lavender shortbread and Tim reluctantly gobbled up a toothsome almond biscotti - but the event was far from a feast of plenty. It was a bit of a letdown. Fortunately, we often do find a way to turn our sadness into gladness and we used our disappointing experience as leverage to indulge in some sweet treats from Molly Moon’s.
Happy Husband
Tim and I, in a break for our usual routine, split a cone of raspberry lemon sorbet. While the sorbet flavors at Molly Moon’s often dabble too much in the weird zone for me (for instance, a lemon-ginger sorbet tasted a whole lot like fresh ginger and barely a bit like lemon) the raspberry lemon sorbet was utterly delicious. We ate it in Cal Anderson Park and enjoyed every moment. It was just delightful.
Happy Wife

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Beginning of the End

Fish Lips
 I have never been much of one for introductory posts.  As epic as I may want to appear, I often get bogged down by the details - for instance, in the mere drafting stages of this post, I became so utterly consumed by the notion of perfection that I revised my first paragraph nearly a dozen times before I abandoned it entirely.  My intention was to introduce myself, my history of nicknames, and link it all back to my rationale for starting this blog.  While I am sure that such an anecdote would have been a delightful little post, I am beginning to realize that I need to not worry so much about creating such impeccable entries because, frankly, I will never be able to finish a thought if I continue to hold myself to such exacting standards.  Malarkey Magoo is my new home for all my musings and, as imperfect as it may be, I just need to roll with it.
Joker Face
My name is Maggie but, in this realm, I just go by Magoo.  For my sixteenth birthday, my Mom bought me a ticket to see Whose Line is it Anyway? live at the Paramount Theater in downtown Seattle and I was seated right alongside the aisle on the main floor.  Participants at this show were routinely pulled from the audience by Drew Carey so that they could participate in improv games.  As an awkward and reserved teenager, I had absolutely no interest in being pulled up on stage since I have never been much of one to want to be in the spotlight and, of course, the thought of interacting with C-list celebrities in such a public setting was absolutely terrifying.  I remember thinking that, as long as I avoided making eye contact with Mr. Carey, I would be just fine.  Not surprisingly, my instincts betrayed me - the show had almost reached its conclusion and, on the last go around down my aisle, I had my eyes glued to the floor when I heard a booming voice say "I'm going to choose the person that looks the least interested..." That least interested person was, of course, me.  While being swiftly whisked onstage, Drew asked me if I had any hobbies or if there were any other activities I enjoyed (presumably to find a theme for their improv game) but, since I was too shocked to think of anything, I answered all of their questions with 'no'.  Surely this was quite the conundrum for the Whose Line is it Anyway? crew.  Nonetheless, they had to roll with it and two cast members ended up singing a dueling love opera about me with lyrics suggesting that I might seem boring, however, that there was definitely something interesting about me.  It was quite the hoot.  Upon reflecting on this event nearly a decade later, I have come to realize that some of these traits of my adolescence still hold true - I may not have one activity or thing that moves me, however, I am constantly inspired by the world around me and enjoy reflecting on it most of all.  Drew Carey and his crew may have been more intuitive than they ever could have realized.  
There are countless passions in my life and Malarkey Magoo will serve as an honest reflection of all my pursuits. While there may not be one subject or hobby that moves me most of all, I intend to form concrete thoughts about all things that inspire me here on this blog and I hope that, in embarking on this endeavor, I can loosen up just a bit and celebrate the wonders of life. It's quite easy for me to become paralyzed by anxiety and, frankly, I don't want to be that twitchy hot mess anymore. As trying as it may be for me to just decompress and relax, I hope that this blog will inspire me to take note of the whimsical and wonderful absurdities around me and, in the process, I hope that I become a bit more balanced. Here we go!