Posts filed under Nothing to Do with Anything

There is nothing I can't do

I woke up yesterday pretty psyched about debuting the Creatives series.  I got out of bed all I CAN DO ALL THE THINGS!  I can get my child dressed and out the door without a tantrum!  I can sing Wheels on the Bus on the way to school!  I am a compotent adult and I do all the things!

It started out really, really well.

We rocked Wednesday morning in every way.  My little Jay-Z and I rapped and beat-boxed our way to pre-school.  "Ma-ma es bue-na me lle-va a la es-cue-la!"  Bum-ba-bu-chika. Put ya hands in the air!  And when we got to school instead of screaming angrily he was like "Ciao Mama". 

Oh yeaaaaah, me and Ice Cube, we had to say it was a good day.

But for all actions there is an equal an opposite reaction.

Cause somehow after that it all started to fall apart.

1) I was late to my Dr.'s appt.  Really late.

2) And then of course there was an incident at Kaiser, cause really isn't there always?  And I might have cried a little.

3) And then I was like "No, no, no turn it around!" I have 15 minutes before I'm do at work, I'll check on my blog.  Today is Triumphant Wednesday!

4) And then I realized I had crashed it by tinkering around with coding and other stuff I don't understand.

5) And then I started freaking out and messing around with more stuff.

6) And then I called my friend Emily and said "I LOST THE BLOG! I LOST THE BLOG!"

7) And she was like "Whuh?" Aren't you supposed to be at work?

8) And I was like "Yeah, work.  Right. Focus. Work.  Am adult who works."

9) And then my car battery died.

10) And then I sat down on the curb and thought "Well it was nice while it lasted."

But for all disasters there is an equal an opposite recovery.

When I got to the office there were cookies on the "Free Food Table"

And I really do love cookies... so I ate three.

The end.

Posted on September 22, 2010 and filed under Nothing to Do with Anything.

Birthday Lists

I need my birthday to last a little longer so I'm going to blog about it.  Bear with me folks. It's awesome to go to China or Austria.  However sometimes it's just as sweet to stay home and enjoy a "staycation".  If you are a nerd like me you can make yourself an all-fun "activity list".

PS I hate the word staycation, but yet I've used it.  For that I apologize profusely.

Bacon PB Jalapenos


Window Seat



Bacon Birthday

Posted on September 15, 2010 and filed under Nothing to Do with Anything.

September Birthdays!

Today is my birthday.  I'm 31 years old and taking the day off work to lounge around the house in decadence like Marie Antoinette... but with less shoes and more caramel. It will be awesome. I'm greedy though.  I want more.

So could you all do a little something for my birthday?  Pretty Please!

Can you watch the video below and consider donating?  I know we all feel pinched, really I do.  My toddler's preschool costs more than my UC Davis tuition did, but I believe we all have a little something to give.  And it feels good.  And it's my birthday!  And I the birthday queen command you!


Posted on September 13, 2010 and filed under Nothing to Do with Anything.

State of the Blog Address

Awhile back a friend of mine suggested that I might consider using spellcheck on my blog.  She said this sort-of tactfully but I was still taken aback because I DO! I do use spellcheck on my blog!  So I went back and started reading posts to prove the spellcheck correctness of them.  That's when I discovered that my posts are absolutely infested with spelling errors.


Then it all turned a bit Scooby Doo.  I had run spell check.  Why oh why were my kind, lovely, loyal blog readers subjected to this treachery?  Was it Old Man Whethers from the amusement park?

Uh, no it was my unforgivably slow DSL line that would time out before the spell-check saved.


I unknowingly had been publishing third grader posts for oh, I don't know 4 YEARS!

I'm sorry, really I am guys.

Bahd sppellingg is laim.

So now I'm gonna clean things up.  I am aggressively using every editing tool that WordPress offers. That's how I now know my posts are rife without hidden verbs, clichés and the passive voice.

I can't blame my grammar on Scooby Doo so it's time to imagine a brighter future.

In this fictional future my blog will be a pantheon to correct grammar.  It will be full of pictures that have not been blown out by too much light or ham-handed overuse of the "saturate" button in Picasa. It will be marvelous! It will change your life!  You will feel more confident after reading this blog.  Your clothes will fit better and you will no longer be afraid of public speaking.

(Please pause for trumpets and inspirational swelling of music)

I love writing this blog like peanut butter loves chocolate and I want it to be the sunshine in your day. You give me five minutes or so and I want it to be worth your while  so I'm trying my very bestest to learn and grow.  Last week I started a blogging class to try to shake things up.  I really hope that you will be able to see the differences over time.

Can you do me a favor though?

Will you be my cheerleaders?  La Notorious MLE is a bit needy and overcome with hidden verbs.  Can you tell me what it is that you like about the blog? There are far more readers than I have friends so I wonder who you are and how you find your way here?  Are you robots or hippos out there reading? Or is it just my Mom checking out pictures of her grandchild and hitting refresh a couple zillion times a day?

And finally, if you do like my blog and the five minutes you spend visiting brightens your day would you mind recommending it to others you know?

Thenks Youa!

Posted on September 7, 2010 and filed under Nothing to Do with Anything.

Drinking Games

Yesterday was a bit heavy, no?  To even things out I'll say that if unmet expectations are one of life's cruelties then unexpected joy is one its blessings.
I came home a few days ago and Arnold told me "Let me show you what men do" and then he played this video.  I did my best to let go of my expectation that Arnold would not give Elian our fancy glasses. ;)
[vodpod id=ExternalVideo.962937&w=425&h=350&]

Chugging Yogurt, posted with vodpod

Note: Thank you to each of you who sent me notes re: yesterday's blog.  I appreciate all of your kind words and encouragement.

Posted on August 31, 2010 and filed under Livin la Vida Loca, Nothing to Do with Anything.

ID Badges

The scene:  The disgusting Toys R' Us parking lot by Arden aka The 5th dimension of hades. Our protagonist:  A weary Wilipina office worker

The heroine faces the hulking building with resignation.  "I must enter for my child" she thinks resignedly fingering her 25% discount coupon.  She absent-mindedly picks at the pills on her schlubby sweater vest to distract herself from the unavoidable task.  Annoyed and resigned to her fate she untangles the chain on her work ID badge as she steels herself for the badly lit plastic assault and grumpily stomps towards the store.

But the spell is broken by two young men with very low standards.

"Hey baby, you got an ID badge?  You must have a good job.  Girl I bet you could even take me out to lu-nch."

She stares at them laughing in disbelief "Really?  In the Toys R Us parking lot?"

Perhaps that's where they train themselves  for the Olympics.

Posted on July 20, 2010 and filed under Nothing to Do with Anything.

Do it for the blog

Mark Twain Quote Although this is glaringly obvious to most people who know me I feel I should state it for the record: I am a wuss.  I am afraid of: heights, flying, glass elevators that move too fast, swimming in the ocean, swimming in lakes, swimming in rivers, swimming in swimming pools that are too deep, swimming pool drains, roller coasters, scary movies....  You get the idea. I slept with the lights on until my Sophomore year in college, really.  I know I can't believe that either.

Somedays it seems like I am afraid of everything and quite frankly I seem to be accumulating new fears with astonishing speed. My anxiety is a greedy baby hippo.  It eats and eats and eats.

However I do my best not to let that hippo control me.  I give my fear of flying the finger regularly  and I've been slowly chipping away at my water-based fears:  And that's how I ended up river-rafting last weekend.

Now it's time for a tragic story: last time I went rafting I was 10 years old.  I fell out of the raft in the middle of Truckee river rapids. Dum dum DUM!  That was twenty years ago so you could say I've  built up some resistance to the idea of rafting over the years.  However, I do like taking a break from the two foot tall Mussolini who rules my house so when I got the chance to go rafting with my friend's Em and Gene I was like :  I'D LOVE TO RAFT!  PLEASE TAKE ME RAFTING.

So there I am sitting on the shore of the American river as our guide details the multiple ways we could die in the river if we don't BE CAREFUL.  No worries buddy. I was ready to strap myself into a pneumonic bubble by the end of the speech.  I was really brave though.  I climbed into the boat like Marie Antoinette heading to her death and pretended not to notice that I couldn't see the BOTTOM OF THE RIVER. (See list of fears above)  But you know, what?  It was really fun.  Maybe it was the sun, or the fresh air, or the promise of ice cream at the end but I was totally into it.  I was a brave rafter!  I even followed Gene's instructions to brandish my paddle like a SandPerson for the photographer.  I was killing it!

And then came the moment of truth.

Swimming.  IN the river.

Everybody jumped in as I mentally geared myself up. I delicately put my paddle down and swung my legs over the side.  The water was freeeeezing.  I couldn't see the bottom.  It was scary.  There were probably fish in there.

I looked at Emily and Gene splashing happily in the river and I said to myself:  "Taking more risks" is on your Forty by Forty list, if you do this you could CROSS IT OFF.  I do love crossing things off my lists.

It was scary though. I mean I COULDN'T SEE THE BOTTOM.

More and more people from our trip were jumping in.  Carefree.  It was blazing hot. I knew I had a small window before my anxiety started mercilessly chomping at me.  He was grinning all fat and toothless.  Jerk.

I kicked him in the face as I jumped out of the raft.

Eff you anxiety!

And I threw myself in.

Posted on July 19, 2010 and filed under Nothing to Do with Anything.

A little story about family ties

Via Facebook I had the following conversation with my brother Nathan.

Nathan: Just finished watering the front yard in my underoos.  Take that common decency.

Me: Your nephew just sat down in my lap, farted into his hand and then offered it to me.  Apparently he's joined you on your campaign to affront decency.

Nathan:  The Maghanoy is strong with this one.

P.S.  Today over at Raising Colombian Kids I'm talking about boundaries.  Check it out here.

Posted on July 14, 2010 and filed under Maghanoy Madness, Nothing to Do with Anything.

It’s a jungle out there

The other day I got the following e-mail from a friend. Subject: For your entertainment

Body:  Let’s “meet” at lunch.  I have some things to share.

My office is full of fun single women who generously share their dating adventures with their married colleagues.   I have to give props to all my single ladies because it is CRAZY out there. These ladies are not only brave enough to get out there on the front-lines they are also kind enough to share the aftermath of the battle with us the next day at the office.  Here’s the latest story from the trenches:

My friend meets a guy at a mixer.  He seems a little old for her at 43 (she’s 31) but she wanted to be open-minded and give him a chance.  My friend is smart, sexy and fun.  She is by any definition a catch.  Her downfall is that she’s also very sweet.  This is how she ends up on dates with crazycakes.  So she meets this guy and he shows up wearing a tracksuit.  Not the kiss of death, but you know, not a good sign.   It's a date!  Bring your A-Game!  He starts their date by stretching his legs dramatically at the table.  “You know I Just worked out.  I’m a personal trainer”  he says.  You know the type.  Sighing while he stretches and conveniently flexing his muscles.

Foreshadowing my friends.  Foreshadowing.

My friend is polite so she ignores this and pretends it’s normal  Then she asks the obvious next question. “Oh that’s your profession?  You're a personal trainer?”.  He agrees, “Yeah, I train”.  She says, “So you have clients?”

No, he just “trains” himself.  Okay then.

Sensing BS she asks how he supports himself.  He answers that “he has investments that takes care of business”.

At this point we all start interrupting the story and yelling out the possibilities  “Drug dealer.  Money launderer.  Unemployed!  Family money but lazy and doesn’t work.  Won a huge lawsuit!”  Little did we know this detail would be besides the point.

Cutting us off my friend raises her hands dramatically “Wait!  I’ll get there”

My friend is sweet but not a shrinking violet so she presses on “But what do you do during the day?”  He says “I train” No she persists kindly “Like, what do you do for a profession?”  “I have a nice life” he replies.  “Yeah that’s not what I asked” she says getting fed up.

At this point he asks her to butter a piece of bread for him.  She gives him a WTF look and says “No.  Why would you ask me to butter your bread?”  “I just wanted to see what you’d say” he replies.  Riiiiiiiight, that’s not weird at all.

But wait!  It gets better.

Guess what he does for a “profession”?  Guess!  Guess !  Guess!

It’s so much better than what I expected!!!

He “personal trains” himself for the Olympics!  He’s planning on competing in track and field Olympics, self-trained in 2012 at the age of 45.  First time Olympian, of course.

Yeah, I know. Wow.


Posted on May 24, 2010 and filed under Nothing to Do with Anything.

Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity

I've gone on ad nauseum about how I love Elizabeth Gilbert and TED.  So obviously I love them together.  In this talk she describes creativity/inspiration in a way that many other writers that I admire have: as a gift given by God. One of my favorite books is Walking on Water by Madeline L'engle.  In the book she described writing as her vocation: her calling from God.  She felt that it was her job to write everyday and do her best. In her opinion it was God's job if he chose to speak through her.  Elizabeth Gilbert describes writing the same way on her website, saying that her commitment to be a writer was as sacred as any wedding vow.  She feels that she cannot guarantee that what she writes will touch people, she can only promise to write.  Right now I'm also reading a book from Anne Lammott that describes writing in a very similar way.

All three women are writers who I highly admire.  All three describe feeling that their calling was to write but that bursts of greatness were a blessing for which they were the conduits not the source.

Although I'm just learning to write I totally get it.  I am not an accomplished writer by any stretch of the imagination but I try to post everyday in the hopes that occasionally something worthwhile will emerge.  And like them I feel like I have little control. When I write a good post I know it is good even before people tell me.  I know it that way you do when you nail a test, or hit the high note, pirouette with perfect balance or stick the landing off the pommel horse.  It just feels right! Unfortunately for me (and you my dear readers!) I have little control over when that happens or not... sometimes I blog stuff knowing that it's not good but I'm unable to make it better.  This terribly wounds the perfectionist in me, so I have to tell myself over and over again:  Just like all of life, the commitment is to try your best everyday, the rest is up to God.

Description from TED:  TED Talks Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses -- and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person "being" a genius, all of us "have" a genius. It's a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.

[vodpod id=ExternalVideo.940496&w=425&h=350&]

Posted on May 17, 2010 and filed under Nothing to Do with Anything.

The Fringe Benefits of Failure

I started watching this clip because I like Harry Potter but mostly because I've been feeling like a big failure lately and I was interested in finding some fringe benefits to my current state of affairs. I have to say though this speech turned out to be so much more in every way. It's just so good. It's long, but I promise entirely worth it.

TED Talks: At her Harvard University commencement speech, "Harry Potter" author JK Rowling offers some powerful, heartening advice to dreamers and overachievers, including one hard-won lesson that she deems "worth more than any qualification I ever earned."

[vodpod id=ExternalVideo.940702&w=425&h=350&fv=]

Posted on May 11, 2010 and filed under Nothing to Do with Anything.


Julie and Julia was one of my favorite books.  I used to read it over and over again and I suppose the reason why was that I really identified with Julie's plight.  Just like her I was out of college, married young and aimlessly working at bureaucratic jobs with the somewhat egotistical gut feeling that I was born for something more.  Maybe I didn't find myself through french cooking but I identified with her struggle and her relationship with her husband.  When I turned 30 my friends cooked me the cake she makes in Julie and Julia.  I mean that's HOW MUCH I used to talk about the book.

So I was pretty psyched when she published a second book... but uh, it wasn't for me.  The second book was about her foray into butchery and her affair.  To be clear, I know that stuff happens in life.  Marriages aren't fairy-tale Taylor Swift songs and well.. stuff happens... but I just didn't get this book.  I didn't feel like it went anywhere and at the end it didn't feel like she had clear perspective on everything that happened in her life.   To be fair maybe this is because I did not identify at all with her marital problems.  If anything I found them disconcerting?

So, uh... I can't really recommend it which is a bummer because I think Julie Powell is a great writer and I wanted to cheer her on.  Seriously though, this book left me depressed and confused and not in a good way at all.

Posted on April 28, 2010 and filed under Nothing to Do with Anything.

Racial Profiling

You've all at least heard of Facebook, right?  I say that because I know some people are vehemently anti-facebook which I totally get.   I was like that for a long time.  Then I gave in to keep in contact with a friend who moved to Chile and I got hooked when I realized that you find all sorts of old friends through Facebook.   Somehow it magically suggests people you know and then all of the sudden your like "What? I know someone in Italy!"  And then you start mentally planning your vacation to Italy to visit your old friend.  It's going to be a great if  imaginary vacation! Other things Facebook knows about you are your likes and dislikes.  As you sign up for ever-more ridiculous groups like "Saying 'like' all the time is just part of my Californian accent" Facebook starts getting hip to your interests which is how I ended up clicking on a link that said "Funny Filipino T-Shirts".  Well it turns out that Facebook really does understand me because check out what it led me too...

I like to think that if my Dad was on Facebook he'd end up clicking on a link that would lead him to the following T-shirt.

Posted on April 20, 2010 and filed under Bossy Pants Recommends, Nothing to Do with Anything.


Lately I have struggled to stay positive but I'm trying my best to be grateful for my many blessings.  At different times in my life I've dreamed of having a loving husband, owning my own home, working in a professional job where I am respected and most recently having a child to love.  Each of those things I longed or hoped for at one time or another and now I have them all: an amazing husband, a beautiful home, a professional job and a wonderful son.

Enough blessings for several lifetimes.

Posted on April 14, 2010 and filed under Nothing to Do with Anything.

Lessons Learned

Colombians are really into bread.  Like  A LOT of bread.  There are bakeries on every corner so it's easy to buy fresh, delicious bread everyday.  For Carmen the situation was even sweeter, my brother-in-law Richard used to run a bakery out of the first floor of their house.  All of this is to say that there is  "bread monster" situation going on in the house.   And since I like to buy the good quality organic, high fiber crap it really adds up fast.  Yeah... I know I have expensive tastes.  They'd be happy with the 99 cent white stuff but I'm all about the health and fiber.  I'll be damned if I'm not going to be fighting chronic disease in my casa!

Whoa, the public health professional in me escaped!  Back to the bread story...

Although I don't have budget for several fancy organic bread loafs a week I do have a Goodwill so I got a brand-new-in-the-box bread maker for $20 and set to work learning how to make bread.  The first loaf was an epic fail.  It turns out you shouldn't randomly measure the ingredients while talking to your husband.  It seems the whole "measure carefully" issue really is important in baking.  So the second time I was meticulous with my measuring and it turned out great!  Fresh bread!

Watch out world here we come with colons clean as a whistle!

Posted on March 31, 2010 and filed under Nothing to Do with Anything.