Margaux Rhymes with Fargo

Mirthful Musings, Ridiculous Ramblings, and Comical Codswallop



Soccer is not a photogenic sport

I play pickup soccer (almost) every day at lunchtime at the SLAC gym, and a couple of weeks ago one of our regulars left SLAC, so we took a group picture and some action shots of the game. Usually we have a bigger crew, but it was an ungodly temperature outside that day.

Turns out I look pretty silly in action. On the bright side, my socks match my shirt and I’m proud of it. Anyways, I’m just gonna leave these here for your enjoyment.

I’m looking very intense while everyone is super chill. 
Just smilin’ and squattin’
Again all smiles, but only an inch off the ground, if that. I missed the ball, in case you can’t quite tell.
One more leg in there should do the trick.
I’m not quite sure why I spend so much time bent in half, looking at the ground. It’s apparently a recurring thing.
Pretty sure I’m not supposed to be folded over so far. Weird habits indeed.

More fridge shenanigans

I just discovered in our work fridge a jar of strawberry preserves that expired in 2011 and I felt the need to share this fact with the world. SIX YEARS AGO PEOPLE. It is now in the hazardous waste bin.

This is worse than the Doritos incident, which was just weird, not gross.

My building is shared by engineers and theoretical physicists, and I know who I’m lookin at…

Slacker of the month

Or should I say SLAC-er?

Anyways, the gym here on SLAC’s campus is ARCAS, or the Arrillaga Recreation Center at SLAC, and I got interviewed as the member of the month for May 2017, so I figured I’d share it here. As a side note, acronyms-within-acronyms should not be a thing, ever.

ARCAS: What is your favorite exercise?

MARGAUX: While some people enjoy running for fun (which I’ll never understand but let’s move on before we fall deep into that rabbit hole), I need the motivation of chasing something. Or someone. Like a soccer ball. Or the guy that’s gonna score if I don’t get my butt back on defense fast enough. Having your whole team grumble at you is seriously motivating.

ARCAS: What other activities do you enjoy?

MARGAUX: When I’m not out on the SLAC soccer field shooting soccer balls over the net, or hitting the posts, or really just kicking the ball anywhere but in the goal, I enjoy missing serves on the sand volleyball court as well as lifting heavy things over and over in the weight room in an attempt to justify all the homemade chocolate zucchini bread that I bake and eat. 

ARCAS: How has being at SLAC helped you on your fitness journey?

MARGAUX: I was mostly kidding about the teammate-grumbling thing. The soccer group as well as the other people I’ve met at the SLAC gym are pretty awesome possums. They keep me accountable when I miss a few days, secretly switch out my weights for heavier ones during workouts , and never let me slow down or get complacent on the soccer field (because then I get run over or nutmegged and it’s all bad).

As yet another side note, yes, that adorable picture of Little Margaux is now hanging in the lobby at the SLAC gym. You’re welcome, everyone.

Wardrobe Fail

#ThatMomentWhen you don’t realize until you get to work that your pants are black and not navy blue as you originally thought and now your shoes don’t match, but it doesn’t matter because the engineers at work probably won’t notice anyways.

Remind me why I wake up before the sun?!

Who is this chick, anyways?

I am going to be part of a new ambassador program at work, which is a fancy way of saying that I’ll get paired with one or two newbies and help them understand the various non-work-related opportunities available on SLAC’s campus. I was asked to write a bio in order to give a prospective new hire some information about myself. So, here goes.

Born in 1994, Margaux is millennial who shamelessly orders shampoo and toothpaste (and sometimes groceries) from Amazon instead of driving all the way to the store. She started her career at SLAC in October 2015 as a mechanical engineer, fresh out of school and ready to do all the grunt work. At SLAC, she works on the LSST Camera, a 3.2 gigapixel camera being built for a telescope down in Chile. Margaux makes up a solid 20% of the Integration and Test engineering team, developing tools to assemble the delicate camera as well as verify that all high-level requirements have been met. Theoretically she’ll eventually get to go to Chile and help to actually install the camera. Fingers crossed.

Margaux holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology (Fleming Hovse). She purposefully chose the opposite side of the country for college and has told her parents that she’s never coming home to Delaware, unless Christmas cookies or Mom’s famous ratatouille are involved.

Before coming to SLAC, Margaux spent almost a year teaching robotics to elementary and middle school students through after-school programs and summer camps. If she’s being honest, she was mostly having fun with Legos and taking a break from the stresses of engineering while getting paid. Her continued passion for STEM education has led her to volunteer with outreach groups at SLAC that aim to encourage local youth to pursue STEM careers, including SLAC Kid’s Night and the Greene Scholar’s Program. She’s also currently pursuing a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at San Jose State part-time, in addition to full-time work at SLAC, which might or might not have been a good life decision.

When she’s not wearing a bunny suit and overseeing the assembly of camera hardware in the LSST Clean Room, Margaux can be found at the SLAC gym scoring goals on the soccer pitch, completely missing serves on the sand volleyball court, and lifting heavy things over and over in the weight room in an attempt to justify all the homemade chocolate zucchini bread that she bakes and eats. She takes frequent trips to Yosemite and Tahoe and hopes to one day convince the bigwigs at SLAC to relocate the whole lab to the mountains. A girl can dream.


Eleven Month Anniversary Present

In honor of my 11 month anniversary at SLAC, I finally got a mailbox. No mail yet, but I anticipate that the junkmail will start rolling in soon.

As long as the mailman can find me with all those extra vowels…



Who puts Doritos in the fridge?!


I will never understand my fellow engineers.

To be fair, there are also theoretical physicists in my building, so if I had to take a guess I’d say it was one of them. You’d think after going to school with so many budding scientists and engineers I’d be used to it, but there’s always something new. They never cease to amaze me.

Two spiders is two too many

No matter how many tutus they are wearing. It’s not like they can dance on those spindly legs of theirs anyways.

Today was the second time in two months that I found a ginormous spider in the shower at the SLAC gym.  And for those who are asking, yes, ginormous is in the dictionary.  Sometimes I wonder who’s in charge over there, because “twerk”, “fauxhawk”, “selfie”, and “apols” have also been officially added in.  Don’t know what “apols” means?  I’ll save you the time of looking it up–it’s short for apologies.  Seriously.  Someone decided that was a good enough reason to get it added to the bible of the American language.  Notice I said American, not English, because NO ONE in England is going to say “apols” ever.  That would be akin to skipping afternoon tea.

Now that we’re back from that slightly ridiculous but oh-so-necessary tangent, we can discuss the overabundance of spiders in the gym shower.  I was happily washing my hair and cooling down from a sweaty lunchtime soccer game* when I turned around and saw his black beady eyes staring down at me.  From a vantage point just out of reach on the wall of the shower, I just know he was taunting me, ready to strike if I so much as dared to disrupt his afternoon siesta with a spray of water.

But daring, I am not.  At least not in the face of so many black spindly legs.  I stared at him for the remainder of my shower, which involved rinsing out whatever soap was currently on me and getting the heck out of there.  I couldn’t look away, because the worst possible thing would have been for me to look back to find that he’d gone.

After the fastest shower I’ve taken since the last time I’d stumbled** upon a spider, I rushed to the lobby (with clothes on, I promise) and told the gym manager about it.  She happens to be fearless and marched right into the locker room with a broom.  A minute later she came out with the spider clinging to the broom, went outside, and proceeded to deposit the spider right into the bushes outside the door.  I mean, come on, if you’re not going to squash the little guy***, you could at least put him down across the parking lot or something.  I’m not going to be surprised if he scurries right back into the locker room, ready to pounce on any unsuspecting gym-goers.  Or suspecting ones.  I’m going to keep a watch out, that’s for sure.

*70 degree weather in February for the win.  This is why I deal with commuting in the Bay.

**It was literally on the floor by my foot.  I was traumatized, if you can’t tell.

***I’m not saying that spiders all deserve to die, because I realize that they kill mosquitoes, who are the actual scum of the earth.  There’s a tough toss-up there.

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