CrossFit: Unicorn Warrior Amazon Pull-Ups

by Megan M. on May 5, 2009 · Comments (Blog) |

I recorded this yesterday, but wanted to give Athena a little more airtime—so I held the video post for today.

After an exhaustive search, I found the series in question: The Secret of the Unicorn Queen. I can’t find a really good primary link for it, but here’s the search in Amazon, and a fan listing of all the books in the series. Apparently the books were out of print, but they’re coming back (with all new, nearly-unrecognizable covers).

I wish I knew where mine were; they may all be in a box in Ohio, for all I know. But after making this video, I’d probably read them again happily, kids books or not! They were fantastic, at least from what I remember.

My CrossFit class today—my first real class ever—was amazing, incidentally. And I got through the whole thing.

Day-After Update: Marty listened to this video and walked wordlessly out of the room in the middle of it—I didn’t even notice. He came back five minutes later with this book, absolutely coated in dust, the pages yellowed, but otherwise in reasonable condition. I asked aghast where he had found it, and he said it was just in a pile with some other books he’d noticed the other day. It’s the only one we know of that I have with me in Austin, it’s the first book in the series, and I had no idea it had moved with me from Ohio.

It’s going on the shelf with the rest of my Really Good books—the motivating ones, the inspirational ones, the ones that really mean something to me. Well-deserved, I’d say, if accidental. ;}


Sexy Media Monday (or, “Tips, huh?”)

by Megan M. on May 4, 2009 · Comments (Blog) |

It’s been awhile since we last had a Sexy Media Monday. LONG overdue, I’d say!

When Athena sent me her latest article—an entry in Open Salon about 16th birthday vibrators for one’s daughters that I think is positively awesome—I thought to myself, meh, do I want to sign up for Open Salon just to leave a comment? Another network? For real?

I did sign up; you know, what the hell… and when I scrolled down to leave my comment, I noticed something fascinating.

Open Salon blogs allow registered readers to tip bloggers.

There’s an amazing little widget right at the bottom of the post that lets you tip the author a buck, or however much, and although I assume I’d have to sign up for an additional function in order to make it work—attach my credit card, or some such thing—I had to pause a minute and think about the whole idea. My determination of viability is really based on one thing, most of the time: Do I feel the urge to actually do it?

And I really did.

In fact, if I’d had any money in my bank account at that particular moment, I would have tipped the woman ten bucks. (You should read her stuff. It’s fabulous.) I wonder if tips show up on the post? Surely there are pros and cons. But what a concept! I’m sure someone’s done it before now, but I’ve never seen it implemented, especially in a way that made me actually want to participate.

In the same way that I typically show my gratitude for a great experience at a restaurant, I can also show my gratitude for a great experience reading a wonderful article… and this makes perfect sense to me.

Wow. I love it.

And oh! Geeze! I almost forgot…

Not too long ago, I got my grubby paws on Athena Bradford’s ebook, The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Vibrators. I’m a fan of intelligent, informative sex literature (ask anybody) and I freaking loved this book. I was so pleased by the hour or so I spent reading it that I wrote her an off-the-cuff review to vent my excitement. I’ve been looking for an excuse to post it somewhere ever since I emailed it to her, and I figure, hey, here’s my chance, right?

So, Athena Bradford has obviously found the ultimate way to make a living: Reviewing vibrators. (Crap, why didn’t I think of that?) What’s more, she’s a genius at it. She’s very honest and straightforward (even if you happen disagree with her on one or two items) and she lets you make your own decisions about the information at hand. She’s also FUNNY —the book made me laugh out loud constantly, which made the hour I spent reading all 40-or-so pages of it (and browsing links!) absolutely enjoyable.

The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Vibrators is witty and super informative, with adorably cheesy puns and lots of understanding and encouragement. This is exactly what many women are looking for (and this review is my way of chipping in and helping them find it). Not everyone wants to discuss their sex lives at length the way I tend to do, and if you’re not used to the off-putting barrage of sex and porn advertisements that can await anyone searching for sex information on the internet, looking for what you need can be downright scary. Athena has put together a fabulous primer for women who like their private lives to stay private. She links you straight to the good stuff (and she picks GREAT good stuff).

She reviews lots of items, from the pocketbook-friendly to the top-of-the-line (and we both have been impressed by a few top-of-the-line models that are definitely worth the additional expense). Her categories are sensible and the information she provides is quite helpful. Plus, there are pictures of the toys in question (so you know what you’re going to look at when you click).

My final word: This is a DAMN good book. I’m pretty well-versed when it comes to toys, but I’ll probably make my next few purchases based on this guide. You can slog through the internets to find vibe information, and probably find a few good vibrator guides while you’re at it—but this one is brilliant and funny, right here in front of you, and more than worth its $17 price tag. If you’re at all apprehensive about finding solid, easy-to-parse information about sex stuff you don’t really want to discuss at length or deal with ads to find, this is going to make your day.

Did you read all that? I have a Twitter / LOLcats version, too:


See? Easy.

Anyway, if you decide to go experiment with Open Salon, make sure to tip Athena a few bucks for me. I’ll owe you coffee. ;}


Click My Nose

by Megan M. on April 27, 2009 · Comments (Blog) |

Yes, those are clicky-pencils in my hair. Yes, I’m still using the new camera. Yes, I kind of love it. Yes, I did give my speech about internally-motivated external motivation this morning (and it went great).

Yes, this is the second video I’ve posted in as many days. CRAZY!


Internally-Motivated External Motivation

by Megan M. on April 26, 2009 · Comments (Blog) |

Double-test: The new camera (read: the camera I bought months ago) and my Toastmasters speech for tomorrow morning. ;}



by Megan M. on April 20, 2009 · Comments (Blog) |

A number of weeks before I turned twenty-eight I began to experience a kind of urgency.

Maybe it had something to do with the fact that twenty-eight is only two years from thirty, or that twenty-seven is fairly close to twenty-five but twenty-eight is not. I began to feel that something wasn’t getting done quickly enough, that I had limited time (even a hundred years is such a small amount of time) and I had to move my ass to get where I was going. Something that couldn’t wait. Something important.

I began to feel that in my life I’d wasted far too many hours on deadening minutiae, and that I need to push hard to catch up. Twenty-two years until I’m fifty, I calculated. Forty-two until seventy. How healthy do I need to be to be pushing forward when I’m seventy and eighty and ninety? I need to be very healthy, I thought. And I simply haven’t come far enough to match the time I’ve used up. Time to move. Only two years until, what, the middle? The middle of what? Too far to go to be moving this slowly.

Who am I kidding? I felt this way long before I got anywhere near twenty-eight. But when I realized I was approaching twenty-eight, it got a lot worse.

When I tilt my head to one side, that all sounds like paranoid emotional workaholic crap. I hear that people have crises at thirty, so I should have one too. Here’s mine, and I’m an early bloomer! Isn’t it pretty?

When I tilt my head to the other side, I know that it’s absolutely true and I have to fucking get with it. There isn’t time for the kind of bullshit mainstream society engages as normal. There are things that need to happen now, and things that need to happen soon, and the clock is ticking on our ability to move them. If I sound like Keanu Reeves in some goddamn movie I guess you’ll just have to deal with it. This is how I feel.

It’s why when I see people sitting on their asses and languishing in the status quo it pisses me off.

It’s why I sometimes burn myself out because I forgot to (read: wasn’t willing to) take a real break. It’s why I get so frustrated when I seem to be slowed down, stalled out, becalmed or confused. Places to go. People to meet. Thoughts to hatch. Miracles to work. How can you just sit there? Aren’t you paying attention? We Americans, we’ve got it good. We can sit warm and cozy inside our fuzzy blanket of money and entitlement and instant gratification letting media and commerce jerk off our pleasure centers, and all the while we’re whining because we can’t quite get our way without expending some effort. Do I sound like a hippie or do I just sound mad?

How can we lay around distracting ourselves when there’s so much that we can do? Must do?

I just don’t understand.

No wonder I’m feeling urgency. I’m overcompensating for my culture.

But is it really overcompensation, or is it exactly what needs to be done?


Last month, I finished a job editing a book.

I know! A freaking book!

It was an awesome book. It was all about listening and building real trust and relationships in business. Of course, nothing’s ever just about business (and neither was this book). It was an incredible resource in terms of great ideas, practical steps and case studies that really make you think about business building, sales, marketing, and people. (I love people. You know how I love people!)

And there were moments during the editing process where I was absorbing so much great material, I felt like I was getting paid to learn. (If you ever want to really ingrain some information, get yourself an editing job!) This book was very worth learning, and it was written by Bob Poole.

If you’ve been paying any attention, you know that Bob Poole is pretty damn nifty.

I first met him on Triiibes, and over the course of the next six months came across him during the work on the Tribes Q&A ebook, my bid for Seth’s Alternative MBA program in NY, and soon after, when he asked me to do some consulting… and this editing work. (He had to convince me to do it, because I’d never really, professionally considered myself an editor. Man, am I glad he did!)

Bob’s way of interacting with people is impactful. In my case, it makes me want to do great work for him; it makes me want to impress him. This is a particularly strong feeling, and I haven’t felt it very often (in fact I can only think of one other person, off the top of my head, who’s struck me quite this way). It seems to happen most when I’m dealing with people I feel undeniably valued by.

Whatever it is Bob does, he does it well. It’s a lesson in dealing with people, prospects, clients, employees—and everybody else. They will work hard for you if they know you appreciate and respect them. They will work harder for you than anyone else.

I don’t think a lot of people get this (even when they think they do), but Bob clearly does. It means that any work with him is sure to be delightful, and it meant that I worked my ass off editing his book.

The title is Listen First—Sell Later. It’s fantastic. Seth Godin wrote a blurb for the cover. (See?) It will be officially published and available in just a few weeks. The title alone should clue you in; this is what Bob’s all about.

If you want to know what the hell Bob does, why and how he does it (and learn a lot about sales and marketing in the process), well, you can read it yourself—but not for another few weeks. Please get crazy excited and send lots and lots of link traffic here so that everyone else can get excited too. Please do not actually hold your breath until the book is available unless you really can go without oxygen for more than a week. Because, dude. Come on.

(Also, I don’t think asphyxiated people buy books.)

You can bet I’ll be letting you know when you can pick up a copy. And in the meantime, you can go read Bob’s post from yesterday. Because of the awesome.

Update 2009-04-15: Bob made a post about his book today! Go take a look!

Update 2009-05-06: Bob launched his book today, and it’s available nigh-instantaneously from Amazon. Plus, if you buy one copy he’ll send a second for a friend (those instructions are here)! He’s doing this for a limited number of purchases, so go grab yours and forward your receipt along now while you’re thinkin’ about it!

{ 1 comment }

It was Tiara who called it a quarter-life crisis. Funny, huh?

I have spent a lot of time being sure of myself.

I was sure of myself when I started Virtual Magpie, way back when. I was sure that I could design brilliant materials, build really great websites, and provide enough value to the people I worked with that they’d be happy to pay me for my efforts.

I was sure I could run a business that paid my bills. I was sure I could move to Austin and let go of my last available safety net (that is, living in proximity to family—who have to take you in whether they like it or not).

I was sure that Marty could break amazing ground with his artwork, that it made no sense for him to work all day at a job he hated just to pay bills. I was so sure, I constructed a mad plan to allow him to quit that job… and do what he loved. I was sure I could make that difference in his life, and make it work.

I was right about all those things.

This last year, I decided that I wasn’t going to do anything I hated anymore. No more taking jobs just for the money, no more subjugating my master plan for a temporary fix. I was really vehement about it, too. I stopped doing business the “traditional” way and started treating my clients like friends—and only dealing with clients I felt truly friendly about. Pretending I was someone else simply wasn’t worth it. The world would have to accept me as I was.

The world did. Everything got better from there. Projects started to go more smoothly (and arrive more frequently). Clients were happier. I was happier. The money was better. My life became perceptively more positive and even more reliable. I started feeling really good at making my own living.

But then something kind of funny happened: I stopped really understanding what it is I do.

I got so caught up in listening to the tiny voice telling me what to do, what was best for myself, that I got halfway down the path and realized I didn’t know the destination. I didn’t know what I was striving for. I was following instructions—really good instructions!—but I didn’t understand what the instructions were leading me to. Without an explanation, I had no context. I was still going, but I was lost.

As of right now, I still am.

I know that I care a lot about the world and the people in it. I know that it evokes a powerful emotional reaction from me to see people laying about and wasting their potential when there is such need in the world for clever, skillful doers. I know that it makes me incredibly angry to see children being taught ineffective systems, to see people slogging through work they despise because they were taught that adults hold down jobs and pay bills, and that’s the end of it. I can’t stand it.

I can’t stand it.

But try as I might, right now I don’t understand what my purpose is. The little voice tells me what to do (sometimes) but doesn’t tell me why. That’s not useful, little voice. I take orders from myself great, but I need to know what’s going on here. It’s important, man. You’re decreasing my productivity. I need the explanation. The explanation is my will to live. It’s the thing that gives my life meaning.

And if someone asks, I’m not even sure what I’ll tell them.

Me?? I have that problem?


Everything you know is wrong. You know?

I know that there are probably lots of reasons for this little hiccup. I’ve been working unbelievably hard, and not really taking time off until very recently. I’ve been making impossible things happen as a matter of course. I’ve been the insane scientist focusing on the unlikely goals at hand, intent on getting what she wants even if no one else believes it’s possible. And that focus—that obsession—is causing me to lose sight of the whole situation. I can’t see the forest, because the trees keep coming at me with machetes. Those are some serious trees, yo.

So what’s the solution?

I think it’s what I’ve been avoiding all along: Step back. Be still. Wait.

That’s when solutions come to me. When I wait.

Oh, man. I can do this.