Margaux Rhymes with Fargo

Mirthful Musings, Ridiculous Ramblings, and Comical Codswallop

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.

In a world of instant gratification, there are a few key situations in which I very much welcome a short delay

Make no mistake, I appreciate the instant connectivity provided by my smartphone as much as anyone, and fast-forwarding through commercials with DVR is possibly the greatest thing since sliced bread, or maybe since designers made dresses with pockets*.  But sometimes, a moment of reflection between an action and its consequence can make all the difference.

For example, my bathroom both currently and at home growing up is a combination shower/tub, so once the water starts running for the tub there’s a little thingy (for lack of a better word) to pull that diverts the water to the shower head.  And the shower head water is always freezing, no matter how hot the bathtub spigot water was before I pulled the trigger.  When switching from the faucet to the shower, I seriously need that 1-2 second delay to get out of range and post up on my tippy-toes on the back wall of the shower, so that the water has time to warm up before I hop back in.  It’s a critical part of my morning routine, and if I’m too slow I get shocked.

In a similar vein, Gmail’s “undo” function has saved me from many potentially awkward situations: spelling people’s names wrong even though it’s clearly spelled out in their email address, sending to the wrong person, asking dumb questions, etc.  I tend to proofread quickly, click send, process what I saw, and frantically click “undo” to fix the mistake.  This also applies for Gmail’s “you said there was an attachment but didn’t actually attach anything, do you really want to send this (you idiot)?” feature.  Lifesaving.  Or at least, awkward-email-mitigating.

Other times I enjoy getting delayed:

  • When there’s traffic but I’m listening to a really good audiobook so I don’t care if I’m late to work
  • Also that one time I missed my highway exit because I was super into my audiobook (check out anything by Ken Follett; I particularly liked Eye of the Needle)
  • When the ski chairlift stops and you have a perfect view of the terrain park, or the ski team slalom area
  • When your friend won’t tell you the answer to a riddle but then you figure it out all by yourself and feel pretty darn accomplished**

See, it’s not always a bad thing.  Particularly the shower example.  Cold showers are the worst.


*I wore one such dress to both my high school and college graduations, and found that I could store many fun distractions in the pockets, like paper clips and silly putty.  I don’t recommend putting silly putty in a dress pocket if you ever want to wear it again.

**One of my favorites: He who makes it, has no need of it.  He who buys it, has no use for it.  He who uses it can neither see nor feel it.  What is it?

#selfie fail

Will and I had a lovely weekend at Mt. Rose just north of Lake Tahoe.  The snow wasn’t great, but it was beautiful and sunny outside and we had a wonderful time skiing, watching the ski team practice slalom racing, watching others checking out Will and his sweet ski suit, and attempting to take a few selfies (#strugglebus).

Breakroom Etiquette

The breakroom in my office at SLAC is a place fraught with spilled coffee, the CERN Courier (the magazine of our over-shadowing and vastly superior big-brother of an accelerator), and conversations with people who don’t want to go back to work and will thus trap you forever with continued chatter. It can be a dark place regardless of the full-length windows, which incidentally look right out over the parking lot so people can tell when you get to work and when you leave.  Dang it.

People will sometimes leave extra food/snacks/desserts in the breakroom that are up for grabs, and just today there was a bag of freshly picked lemons waiting for me as I went to fill up my water bottle this morning.  But alas–as I was filling the bottle and daydreaming about some fresh lemon slices in my water, another lady walked into the breakroom, saw the lemons, and proceeded to grab the entire bag and walk away.  There must have been twenty lemons in there.  What is she going to do with all those lemons?!  There has to be some universal moral rule about taking more than one free piece of food from the breakroom.  I haven’t actually seen this particular lady in my building before, but she will henceforth be known as the Lemon Thief.  I will keep you updated if she makes a reappearance.

Some other questionable behavior I’ve come across in the breakroom:

  • Microwaving your pasta for six minutes.  It really doesn’t need to be that hot.  I hope you burned your tongue.
  • Taking up a bunch of space in the fridge with a whole freakin shopping bag full of food.  You can store your lunch for the week at home and leave some space for the rest of us.
  • Letting the drain on the espresso machine get so full that it overflows.  There’s a little red float thingy that tells you when it’s time to dump the extra water, and if you wait longer it spills all over your pants when you try to drain it and of course it’s right before an important meeting and I don’t even drink coffee I was just trying to be a good person and now I have wet pants.  This sucks.

How do they get away with this stuff?

This is a real email from a supposedly real recruiter that appeared in my inbox this morning.  Keep in mind that I have an engineering degree.


A couple of notes here:

  • questionable grammar
  • double salutation?
  • faulty matching algorithm
  • pretty sure I never signed up for this service, so not sure how they got my email
  • the subject line was “URGENT!!!”, which almost always means it’s not

Anyways, this email made me simultaneously giggle and wonder how this guy puts on his pants in the morning.

A hike and a half at Heavenly

Will and I spent part of the weekend skiing at Heavenly and the other part driving, because apparently everyone and their mother and their dog had the same idea for a ski trip weekend.

I am clearly not as good at taking pictures as Carlos.  This chairlift selfie, plus the other chairlift pic, is the extent of my photography of the weekend.  At least my new goggles look awesome.

Fortunately, even though the lot was supposedly full, we found a parking spot on Saturday morning really close to the Boulder Lodge lift because someone had already left.  Unfortunately, one of the lower lifts was closed, and it happened to be the one that we needed to take in order to get off of the bunny slope next to the Boulder Lodge.

Fortunately, it was only a 10 minute hike (up a freakin’ steep hill) and we were soon on our way to the fun stuff.  Unfortunately, everyone else wanted to have fun and the lift lines were pretty terrible.

Fortunately, the powder in the trees was awesome and we had it to ourselves for the afternoon.  Unfortunately, one of the lifts got closed early (because of wind), which we needed to take in order to get back to the other side of the mountain where we parked the car.

Fortunately, there was another lift in working order that wasn’t super far from the one we needed.  Unfortunately, it didn’t take us high enough to be able to get over the ridge to the other side.  So we ended up hiking up a blue square run for about twenty five minutes to get high enough to get to the other side of the mountain and then almost got turned around by ski patrol because they were closing the mountain at that point.

Fortunately, he let us go anyways (even though he wasn’t supposed to — what a bro).  We somehow got thoroughly turned around skiing back down and went in a giant circle, but we did find the car eventually.  By this time it was 4:45 pm, after all the lifts had closed at 4. We were pretty high up. And we weren’t even the last ones on the mountain!  Some of those bunny slopers take an incredible amount of time to ski (or, more accurately, fall) down the slope.

Anyways, I drew a map of where we hiked and skied because it was just plain ridiculous.


Ski Trip via Pictures that aren’t mine

I’m rushing to post these pictures from my MLK ski trip before Will and I head off to the mountains yet again this weekend.  He was with his family this past weekend while I frolicked in the powdery snow at Mt. Rose with our other three roommates (whom I must thank for the use of their Instagram pics).  So off to Heavenly we go tomorrow morning!

In other news, Carlos brought two of his go-pros and as a group we got some sweet videos of us skiing/boarding through the trees.  It might take him a few months, but if the video ever gets edited I’ll share it.  I may or may not star in a 20-second clip of me tumbling down the mountain.  I fell twice all weekend and they were both caught on tape.  Classic.

Classic car selfie.
Carlos’s goggle game is spot-on.
The lifts closed an hour early on Saturday due to high winds and we got stuck on the wrong side of the mountain, so we had to catch a shuttle back to the other side.  Somehow I ended up under all the skis.
Just cheezin’
This photo does not do justice to the strenuousness of this hike. I was dying. The snow on the other side was not super worth it, but Carlos took some sweet group pics.
Chillin on top of ze mountain.
Panorama pic! iPhones are fancy.
We stayed at an AirBnB that included gourmet breakfast.  Not pictured is the individual-sized banana bread and the sighs of content that could be heard all around the table.
We also opted to have our host cook us dinner one night.
We stayed in just a little too long but boy, was it worth it.
On Sunday, the lifts were closed early around 11am, so Arnaud and I went exploring in the woods behind our AirBnB.
While the other guys took pictures of pretty mountain scenery, I chose to snap a photo of this abandoned outhouse that Arnaud and I found during our hike. #priorities
Also these chairs. Super useful.
And of course, a ski vacation wouldn’t be complete without a board game win from yours truly. This is a picture of Carlos (the ship) landing on my hotel and going bankrupt. Mwahahahahaaa

(Double) Rainbows

Because they’re pretty and because it doesn’t rain super often in California.  All of these were taken at SLAC: grassy field, soccer field, and office window view.


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