Mighty Life List
Oct 30 2009

Packing List Answers

There were lots of questions on the packing list post, so I thought I’d supply some quick answers:

How do you fit ALL THAT STUFF into your backpack??


My backpack is like the TARDIS. It’s a Crumpler Barge, made to carry camera equipment and a laptop plus some extras. It’s big for a daypack, but I use it for work everyday as well as traveling.

I was wondering if you would share what brand of sunless tanner you use?

After much cross consultation with beauty magazines and very pale friends, I use Clarins Self Tanning Gel, which looks like this:


A tube lasts forever, and after a couple of applications, people always ask if I’ve lost weight, which is American for “you look hot.”

I am curious — do you actually follow your toiletries list separately each trip? Or do you a keep an always-packed toiletries kit (with its own toothbrush, lotion, etc) and just throw the whole thing in your bag?

The latter. Though I do double-check against the list because I am anal. Also, I find it very satisfying to refill the little toiletry containers.

Why hand sanitizer only for foreign countries? The airplane is filthy enough, no matter where you go, no?

Before I had a kid, I only traveled with sanitizer in countries where I thought it would be tough to find public sinks, places where there’s a thriving street food culture for example. Now I carry a 20-gallon container with fire hose attachment, which I use to spray down the entire interior of the plane before I let Hank touch anything. On the advice of our pediatrician.

Is there a reason that the cuticle scissors aren’t grouped with the nail kit?

I don’t use them for my cuticles, I use them as scissors. Cutting tags off clothes, cutting out things to paste in my journal, makeshift weaponry should someone try to hijack the plane or use more than his alloted half of our shared armrest. That kind of thing.

Would you ever consider a make-up post?

My main thing is that I use Clinique’s City Block tinted sunscreen instead of foundation. It looks like this:


It evens out my skin tone. Plus, I’m 1000 percent more likely to apply foundation daily than sunscreen, so it saves me from burning when I’m unexpectedly in the sun for thirty seconds or more. Or when I spend too much time in the glare of our refrigerator light.

What podcasts do you download?

This American Life. What podcasts do you download? I want to know more about good podcasts.

Oct 29 2009

Tipsy Married Banter

Me: It’s mah birfday!
Bryan: You’re mispronouncing that.
M: It’s mah?
B: No. Itsmah was the Prime Minister of Israel in 1979.
M: I don’t want to talk about this. Or things related to this.
B: But it sounds plausible right?
M: It does sound like something you would say.
B: See?
M: You do an awesome imitation of yourself.

Oct 29 2009

Chewy Words; Broad Summit Winner

Wow. As it turns out Twitter contests totally work. Plus, I liked seeing your photos next to your posts. This way, if I ever see you at the grocery store wearing a Burger King crown or holding a flower in front of your face, I will recognize you instantly.

I wanted to collect a few of my favorite #lexicon responses here. But first things first. The winner is…


Is that you? Hooray for you! I’ve DMd you, but please comment if you have no idea how to use Twitter, because it seems like you may have set up an account just for this contest. As it turns out, that was worth it, no?

Now for the rest of you. Did you follow the #lexicon thread? It was good. I went to collect my favorite responses, but after about three hours of collecting, I decided enough was enough. So if you don’t see any of your responses here, it’s because I never cared for you.

Good Words

haberdasher, moxie, @talulattdh
troglodyte @kristenekelly
balderdash @aliceRTmiller
Jejeune! @superdumb
*unguent* – more serious than ointment with a good dose of urgent, but not as calm as balm @ChiefWrangler
‘faffing about’- british slang, messing around, wasting time.usually used as ‘stop faffing about and let’s go’. fun to say too. @sunguru24 (Ed note: Faffing sounds like an unpleasant sexual encounter. And that is how I will use it henceforth.)
Besmirched @allinblack
dulcet @alfieri
penury @CaleeL
Dodgy @gwentropy
akimbo and the phrase ‘on a lark.’ @Kikkiland
whirlygig @MomOfDavidIsaac
fabulist @whoamell
comeuppance @TeenSleuth
zaftig @TeenSleuth
Gumption @deepthoughts78
peckish, onomatopoeia @ALundgren
blast! @CBJbookoflists
Jiggerypokery @jill_y
“peeved,” for its ability to make an angry situation more lighthearted. @4thmonth
leviathan, dupe, caddywhompus @SassafrasMama
sluice, whorl @mriggen
expunge @sainmyownmind
compunction, shebang @thegastronome
foist @emilyluce
taciturn @missfinncrisp
knackered @okimusso
simonize @catibasmati
nebbish @jessicaroberts
bloviate @i_scrap
aces @kristense

Words I Had to Look Up

transmogrify @JastasticSF
crepuscular @lisalou2
Concatenation @margism
peradventure @clayahh
taradiddle @noisyoyster
prestidigitation @talulattdh
skulduggery @betherin
doolally tap @lizzielou68

Wait, Maybe I Should Include Definitions

lucubrate — to work, write, or study laboriously, esp. at night. @JessWalker9
cromulent — fine, acceptable @slnoonanj
dogsbody — a menial worker; drudge @aek1974
eleemosynary — of or pertaining to alms, charity, or charitable donations; charitable. @editrix
mulligrubs — ill temper; colic; grumpiness @editrix
esprit d’escalier — (staircase wit) thinking of a comeback when it’s too late @editrix
malkin — untidy woman @editrix
folderol — mere nonsense; foolish talk or ideas @megastore
uxorious — doting upon, foolishly fond of, or affectionately submissive toward one’s wife. @hannahmaec (ed note: I love this.)
perspicacious — having keen mental perception and understanding; discerning: to exhibit perspicacious judgment. @mirielmargaret
etiolated — 1. to cause (a plant) to whiten or grow pale by excluding light: to etiolate celery. 2. to cause to become weakened or sickly; drain of color or vigor.@bridgejr
sylvan — of, pertaining to, or inhabiting the woods. @sarahbrown
psithurism — A whispering sound @jenkinkn
lollop — 1. British Dialect. to loll; lounge. 2. to move forward with a bounding or leaping motion @bookgeekgirl
clamjamfry — mob, rabble, crowd @bachelorgirl
foofaraw — a great fuss over something insignificant @Victoria_Etc.
clapperclaw — to fight and scratch; to abuse with the tongue, scold @Victoria_Etc.
toodle-pip — humorous British goodbye @piehands
Petrichor — the smell of rain on dry earth. @dzandone (ed: So good)
pfui — Alternate spelling of phooey @katharsisjones
farrago — which is a confused mass of objects or people. Also known as “the Internet.” @sarawr
mizzle — rain in fine drops @amy_m_eller
syzygy — 1. Astronomy. an alignment of three celestial objects 2. any two related things, either alike or opposite. @chemmefatale
whinge — whine @doobleveh

Made Up Words, and Onomatopoeia

Sweaky (when you have a fever/ are sick and feel all sweaty and icky) @soukii
Wurrow (whir-row) – (v.) to luxuriate amidst fluffy blankets in bed (burrow/wallow) @suburbanal
ignoration, whorepaint @MsYuppieScum
bazinga @laurenbrown
Toebug. Toebug. Toebug. Man, I love that word… just wish there was a way to use it in an everyday sentence. @jenniferjune
Splooie @nowsexyrobot
kerflummoxed @peprallytoday
limerence– an involuntary cognitive + emotional state of intense romantic desire for another person @lmdupont
lasterday — any time before right now @carliches
kookamarook — crazy person @jlcs621
jackety — my nephew’s made up word for off-kilter, junky, or not-quite-right. As in- “My old car is really jackety.” @katiemfree
oobleck @deodand
Ugglesome @thejiffer (ed note: a kinder derivative of ugsome?)
explorganize — what toddlers are doing when they take things out of a container, inspect them, then put them back @krotondo
nelphric, which I dreamed, but sounds like it could be real @ptrae
flouncy – as in “I hung my clothes on the line to dry today, including my flouncies.” @gillh
woobly — a wonderful made up onomatopoeia for an upset tummy @sarahjlyons

Multiple Entries

Finally, many, many of you wish we’d use the following terms more often:

thank you

Speaking of which, thank you for playing. You are smart.

Oct 27 2009

Mighty Haus: Home Decor for the Recovering Goth

Oct 27 2009

My Packing Master List

So, as many of you know, I’m into packing. Deeply into it. Maybe it’s because my well-packed suitcase is a haven of organization compared to my closet, which looks like a 75% off sale in a communal changing room at Dress Barn.

Anyway, my friend Asha worked with Microsoft Office to compile this Slideshare Parent Toolbox. A bunch of bloggers are posting templates that make their lives easier, and I contributed my Packing Master List! (I need you to imagine fireworks here.) It’s the list I use to start packing for any trip — it includes several variable lists, and even a pre-trip to do list. I seriously can’t believe I’ve never thought to post it before.

Here you go. Go somewhere good:

Oct 26 2009

Twitter Giveaway: Broad Summit Giftbag

Update: And the winner is KASalomon! Thanks for playing everyone.

So! When we were pulling together gift bags for the Broad Summit we set one aside to give away, and it is magnificent.

This is a Twitter contest, and the theme is words you wish people would use more often. To enter follow @Maggie and send me a reply tweet with the word (or words) you love. You can include #lexicon if you want other people to be able to search on your answer, but that’s optional.

Here’s what’s up for grabs:


A huge, zip-top tote from Lands End. (Yours will not say Porter.)



Two Flickr Pro accounts. If you don’t already use it, Flickr is an excellent photo sharing service. (I use it to store all my photos.) Flickr also threw in a handy lens cloth that attaches to your camera strap.


An invitation and one-year subscription to Typekit, the new service that helps you use a variety of fun fonts online without having to serve them as images. Pretty! (You may remember that my husband is one of the founders, and that he is adorable.)


Chronicle Books threw in three of our favorite titles:

Apartment Therapy Presents by Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan of ApartmentTherapy.com.

Listography Journal: Your Life in Lists by Lisa Nola of Listography.com.

And, appropriately enough, The Cheese Tasting Party Kit by Janet Fletcher

The folks at McSweeny’s provided:

Comedy by the Numbers, a compendium of 169 secrets of humor and popularity.

But wait! There’s more:

Fray Issue #1, Busted personal stories and original art compiled by Derek Powazek, creator of Fray.com.

A free six-month membership to Maghound Magazine Membership Service.

A Moment’s Peace, guided meditation CD by Elizabeth Irvine.

A three-pack of cutie notebooks courtesy of InStyle Magazine.

Bath and Body

DDF wanted to include some of their products, but they work better if they’re personalized, obviously. So if you win, I’ll send a note to DDF, and they’ll contact you with a quick skin care survey you can fill out to let them know your needs. Then they can send you a separate care package that you’ll actually use. Nice, right? I think so too.

Zicam put together a mini travel wellness kit that contains: Zicam Healty Z-ssentails with Echinacea, Zinc, and Vitamin C, a vanilla jasmine travel candle from Voluspa, green and white whole-leaf tea from Tea Forte (which is great tea, by the way), a mini Frais hand sanitizer, Birch Soaps gardenia solid perfume and cuticle balm, and Eos honeysuckle lip balm in a cute round package. Tuck it all into your dopp kit for your next trip.


Crazy good Ritual Roaster’s Helsar de Zarcero coffee beans from Costa Rica. Ritual Roasters is the coffee shop where I wrote my book (free WiFi!), and their coffee convinced me to give espresso a try. It tastes the way coffee beans smell. Purrr.

The aforementioned limited-edition Broad Summit print from 3 Fish Studios.


And of course, the epic felt earrings from Feisty Elle.

All that, plus a reusable red grocery tote from Toyota. I didn’t add it up, but I’m pretty sure this is a zillion dollar giveaway, possibly a jillion — I’m no mathematician.

For those of you scratching your heads over how to enter, here’s a more detailed how to: Go to Twitter.com. Are you there? Good. Now! Follow me, @Maggie, and send me a tweet reply with the word (or words) you wish people would use more often. It’ll look something like these:

@Maggie Bangarang! #lexicon

@Maggie Fictional, used to describe something so awesome that it doesn’t seem real. #lexicon

I’ll pick a winner randomly from the tweet replys, and send him or her a direct message on Thursday. I’ll also update the top of this post to let everyone know who won. This is my first Twitter contest, so let’s see if it works.

Fingers crossed that you win, because you are a goodie. Thanks for reading.

Oct 23 2009

Links for You


-Bill and Jane from My Parents Were Awesome

-Thoughts on thank you notes. (via Swiss Miss)

-Jason Kottke’s take on the FCC ruling for bloggers –see the footnotes for the post — are exactly what I’ve been thinking. (And congrats to True Ventures and Jen Bekman! Smashing.)

– Designer Erin Jang’s very sweet subway map made according to the interests of her three-year-old nephew. What a lovely gift. I originally thought Jason made this, but it turns out he just found it, and so.. (via Kottke)