Wednesday, August 31, 2005


but for the grace of god - keith.urban.

I just babysat for two of my cousins, one is five (boy) and the other is about 19 months (girl). They are so cute, and well-behaved. The five year old spent the whole time watching TV (okay, I'm a stinky babysitter) but I spent most of the time reading or eating with the 19 month old...who I'll call Caro.

Caro is awesome. When I came inside, she kept screaming my name and running past me. I'd grab her, then throw her up and down in the air. While she was cracking up, I kept having visions of me getting thrown up on. But luckily, her dinner stayed down.

Since I was hungry, and my aunt had left pizza, I heated up two pieces in the microwave. When the 40 seconds had passed, I sat on the kitchen floor with Caro and we each had a gatorade juicebox. I had asked her if she wanted pizza, but she said no. However, once I had taken two bites of my piece, she took it out of my hand and smashed it into her face, in an effort to eat.

That leads me to believe that she doesn't understand the words "Do you want a piece?"

So then we were sitting side by side on the kitchen floor, eating a piece of pizza and sipping Gatorade. It was such a moment.

Later, she was sitting on my lap and I was reading "Bye Bye Elmo." She was still working on her pizza crust (Uno's, you know how bready that is) and she smushed the crust into my jean skirt. I don't know why.

Then we have this thing where she wears the two gummi bracelets that I'm always sporting. She'll put one on each arm, then I'll say "Preeettty!!" and she's psyched. We also play "let's empty meghan's pocketbook" and she goes through the load of junk I have in there. Depending on the day, and what I've been doing, she may find a camera, my bathing suit, a book, two pairs of sunglasses, three different things of lip gloss, and of course, my wallet with the multi-colored debit cards, and the key chain with the whistle on it. And my indestructible phone.

I was just sitting there with her, enjoying the time, thinking that she's the most adorable thing ever, and that when I'm 42, she'll be 22. So weird. And it stinks to know that she's not going to remember all of these fun times, and that perhaps I'll forget them as well. So...I decided that I have to write this down in my real journal, that way I can look back and say "Oh yes!"

Leaving my family is going to be the hardest part about moving to D.C. I don't want to become "the cousin whose name they have to ask before they see me" (as my younger brother put it). I love hanging out with all of them. Sure, it gets stressful sometimes trying to keep them all in line ("NO you cannot climb that 12 foot ladder!" "STOP putting that plastic bag over your head!!" <- two things I've said in the past week), but when it comes down to it, I'm so blessed to have all of them. They're my friends, my support staff, my ego boosters. And I'm their substitute mom, the one who comes over when their parents have to go to work. The one who makes brownies all the time, haha. And I let them lick the bowl!

It's going to be awfully hard saying goodbye. I've promised them that once I have a job, I'll have some money, and I'll come home for random weekends as much as possible. But I can't help but feel like I've cheated them in some way. They thought that I'd be staying home once I graduated from college. And I remember their faces when they learned I was applying to jobs in Washington.

Growing up is so hard sometimes. Especially when the two things that you want the most are at direct odds with one another.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


working on my ostrich moves

It's weird to think that there's a disaster going on, right in the U.S. I mean, right now outside my window it's drizzling, but nothing bad is happening. It's easy to forget that all hell is breaking loose in the South, especially Louisiana and Mississippi.

I generally avoid the news, except for knowing the facts. As in, I'll read a few articles to be informed, but I'm not one of those people who is addicted to or 24 hour news stations. I know that if there's breaking news, I'll hear it, and often, the 24 hour news channels just show stuff over and over, growing panic and not helping much.

But maybe this getting the news once in a while is my version of denial. And it's my way of not acknowledging what's going on.

So, I took a gander on to (the globe) and Reports said that they're now evacuating the city, including the Superdome and all of the other places that have people still in them. Yikes. I saw an aerial pic of New Orleans, and it looked ridiculous. All the roads were filled with water, as far as the eye could see. Well, everything was deep in water, but it was especially noticable on the streets.

The headlines on, although frightening, didn't really touch me. Stuff like "Mississippi flooding up to 6 miles inland", "About 200 critically ill patients being airlifted to safety." It seemed tragic, sure. But somehow manageable.

But then one stopped me in my tracks.

"New Orleans mayor: Bodies being pushed to the side"

Bodies? Bodies? That's not part of the script that I've written in my head.

And then had a link to a video of a man talking about losing his wife, she slipped out of his grip. Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked it. article & link:

If you watch it, you'll see that he seems lower income, probably not well-educated. Or perhaps that's grief and shock making him appear that way. He's crying, with kids at his side, and he just lost his wife. Probably for forever.

I was watching it and hating the reporter. I was thinking "How can she not be hugging him right now? Turn off the camera!! The poor man!!!"

But then I noticed something. She was crying. She was listening to the man, and crying because she knew that he had lost his house, his wife, everything important to him. She was crying for all the people that she had met that day, for all of the ruins she had seen and known that each piece of debris that floated by had been part of someone's life.

"Why don't the newscasters cry when they read about people who die? At least they could be decent enough to put just a tear in their eyes." - jack johnson

Sunday, August 28, 2005


This is for you, C - Note

I was at a furniture store today, known for its cool decorations and little rooms that they set up to showcase their wares. In one room, they had this lovely stone walkway painted on the floor, complete with little mossy rocks and whatnot.

All of a sudden, I noticed an area smattered with black. Was that a shadow, casted by an imaginary tree? was the artist's rendition of nothing else but my nightmares! Who the heck thinks this is quaint?!


Define "potable"

So...the other day at home I went to the bathroom. No big deal. As I always do after visiting the commode, I reached for the handle, pushed down (pulled down? I'm not sure of my flushing motion) and...nothing. nada. no resistance.

Sighing, I opened up the back of the toilet. Sometimes stuff catches and whatnot, and some jiggling is required to make it all work. I looked into the dodgy back-toilet area, and the handle wasn't connected to anything. The plastic arm (that I never before noticed, nor cared about) was just floating around in the water, impotent.

I yelled for my dad (one of the many perks of living at home) and he came upstairs, I told him the toilet was broken. He sighed and he

plummeted his hand in the water -

let me repeat that.

Plummeted His Hand in The Water and pulled on the plastic arm and the toilet finally did ITS duty and flushed.

I basically yelled "EEWWW!!!" in a horrified voice. He said "Meghan. It's potable water! you could drink out of that!" My response was something along the lines of "I don't care if you CAN drink it, it's coming out of a toilet."

Later that night I had forgotten about the stupid thing being broken, so I had to plunge my hand in there to pull on the chain. Ew.

(my dad fixed it earlier today, so in this pic has the plastic arm working. I'm sorry I don't have an accurate portrait of the useless arm)

In other disgusting news, the other day I was having Frosted Flakes and reading the paper (by "paper" I mean the comics, ann landers and the living arts section. No bad news before breakfast!). I polished off one bowl, and I decided to have another. With one eye on the paper and the other on the bowl, I began pouring.

Something black, wriggly and NOT frosted tumbled out of the box, onto my flakes and took a swan dive into my milk. IT WAS AN ANT. I gave a yelp of alarm/disgust, and my mom, without looking up from her section of the paper, said "What is it, an ant? This isn't fear factor Meghan, just take it out."

She said all of that entirely too calmly. It made me wonder how many ants she's surreptitiously dug out of morning meals over the years. I took my bowl, emptied the contents off the front porch, and took all of this as a sign to have a piece of coffee cake.

Friday, August 26, 2005


what's in a hair color?

Today while watching my four adorable cousins, I decided that I wanted to dye my hair. Something about light brown just wasn't doing it for me anymore. For weeks, whenever I'd go by those Brilliant Brunette, blonde and redhead ads in magazines, I'd linger lovingly over the reds, thinking that it's so much better than brown hair.

For some reason, lately brown has just seemed so...brown. Blonde is out of the question for me, because it would look like a horrid disaster (quite frankly). Dark eyebrows? Pale skin? It may work for some, but it would be a car, train and plane wreck wrapped in one on my head.

So I asked for the opinion of my beloved relatives/confidantes. Would reddish brown look okay? All (ages 12, 11, 8 and 6) agreed that it would be fun. The poor kids, today had been the third day in a row that I was keeping an eye on them, so we had been long on TV and short on excitement. If that excitement came at the cost of me taking some personal appearance risks, it was all good.

After we made the decision, I surreptitiously kept excusing myself to go to the bathroom. Ry caught me once looking at myself in the mirror like a true narcissist. Important questions raced through my mind: was I prepared to give up my hair color - the same that had seemed so blah a half hour before? Was I ready to throw away my hard-earned natural blonde highlights that so daintily framed my face?

(okay, so that "Dainty" bit is a bit of a lie. But there are highlights, darnit!!)

Afterall, I had gone to the beach and risked scalp damage in order to try and lighten my hair to the point of possibly claiming a highlight or two. Was I willing to throw that away on a whim?

And was I ready to ruin any random compliment that I might receive from strangers saying "Why, you have such a lovely hair color!"? Saying "Thanks! it's natural" (then beaming becomingly) rolls off a lot better than "thanks. CVS. aisle 5." Not that any of those compliments have come yet, but one never knows.

And would I look too high-maintenance with dyed hair? Would people stop coming up to me to ask for directions, because I wouldn't look like the approachable friendly person that I'm (sometimes mistakenly) pegged for? Would parents stop pointing to me, saying to their youngsters "If you ever get lost, go up to someone like this girl. Or a woman with a kid. Those people are usually safe."?

Also, what if I meet a guy, and he thinks that it's my natural hair color? (well, he'd have to be pretty dumb...) I'll be like George in Seinfeld, who mentioned once that he hated meeting girls when he was wearing a hat, because eventually he'd have to take it off, and she'd realize that he's really bald.

(random note: I wonder if that's how kenny chesney thinks?)

Eventually, I'll have to leave my new ravishing hair color, and go back to ho-hum.

And then I realized that I was being awfully, horribly vain and that the only way to remedy this sudden alarming obsession with myself and these absurd situations was to dye my hair. It had to be done. Otherwise, I'd be spending the next two months gazing deeply into my own eyes.

When I came home and informed my parents, my dad got to the meat of the situation immediately by querying "You're dyeing your hair? What if you get an interview?"

But that was only prompted by me telling him that I was going to dye it green. hahaha. And besides, don't job hunters like someone with a little pizzazz?

So. I went to CVS, picked out "Rosewood" by Natural Instincts and eventually came back here and went for it. I got all dyed up....and the stuff was purple. It looked like a blueberry had exploded on me. On my shoulders, my forehead, my watch, the crook of my elbow, my cheek, and...the floor. At first, I was worried about how I'd pass the 10 minutes or so between application and washing off. Then it occurred to me that during the application process, I accidentally squirted dye all over the white wall, the white floor, and I got a tiny dot on the white door.

It also occurred to me that, unlike CUA's housing staff, my mom would definitely notice the purplish hue in the room. So I got to scrubbing. I was the modern-day Lady MacBeth - it would look clean, but then I'd turn my head, then look back, and the dye would reappear. I couldn't get rid of this crap. In fact, I think a bit is still remaining.

So. Finally. All showered and specially conditioned, then dried. And it's amazing! In a kinda dark room, it looks almost blackish - with a halo of reddishness. Then, in the light, there is a cacophony of color, a melody of red and sparkliness. Then, even closer up in the light, it's a color not found in nature, more often located on early 80s holographic stickers that shimmer oddly when you wave them back and forth. I'm not sure yet whether or not the super close up is a plus.

So, after all that...

the vanity continues.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Relationship Rant

"she don't know how much I need her, she don't know I fall apart without her kiss, without her touch, without her faithful loving arms" - andy griggs

Now, is that too much to ask? I think not. I have a friend who's going through rough relationship times. She's in a lot of pain, and doesn't know what to do...doesn't know if she's being unreasonable for wanting to be with someone who absolutely positively wants to be with her.

because right now, her boyfriend isn't making her feel wanted like that.

perhaps me asking this question is just me being me, being someone who is a "hopeless romantic," and being someone who wants too much in a relationship. But you know what? My friends and I may have high standards and equally high hopes, but we certainly never ask for something that we don't give in return.

We're not asking for a dozen roses, or jewelry or expensive chocolates or whatever else people use to demonstrate their supposed love. I don't have a lot of money, I can't give that to someone. We're just asking to know that we're important to you, that you love us, that you think about us when we're not around.

Letters, phone calls, text messages, e-mails. A walk in the park. A picnic on the floor. A dessert that you found on your way home from work that you know he/she'd love. Their favorite lunch. A little note slipped into the pages of a book. A hug and a kiss for no reason. A compliment.

If you have someone that you love, bless your lucky stars. Make every effort to make that person know that they're special. Not because you have to, but because you want to.

And if you don't want to? Shame on you.

Monday, August 22, 2005


clouds of doom?

I swear, this what my horoscope says today:

"The more you try to get ahead, the more you'll be left behind. Slow down so you don't set yourself up for disappointment. Watch what's going on around you and bide your time."

I know horoscopes aren't real, but I love to read them when they apply to my life. Basically, I see it as frosting on the cake. If it's good news, I see it as a favorable omen. If it's bad news, I skim over it and skip right to the funnies.

But telling me to not try to get ahead? Warning me that I'll fall behind if I do so? How I'm having a hard time skimming over this one.

At any rate.

This weekend I heard a song called "These Words" by Natasha Bedingfield. I promptly fell in love and downloaded as many of her songs as possible. She's a rocky/poppy person from London (I think). I like her lyrics because they're not all gushy and lovey dovey. I mean, I'm addicted to the love songs as much as the next person - possibly more - but there's only so many times I can listen to how much a guy loves a girl until I want to jump off a bridge with all of the other single people out there. Keith Urban - I'd love to Make Memories of Us, and I'll Be Your Everything too...but sometimes I need someone who understands that there's more to me than looking good in your shirt.

And NB isn't bitter either, which is awesome. I don't want to listen to a song about man-hating...that's not my style (usually). So, if you're going to download some of her songs, I first recommend "These Words" and "Frogs and Princes" and then if you want to slow it down, "Wild Horses".

(you can tell I'm missing my CUA DJ days, hahaha)

Since I apparently think I'm an arts critic today, I'd also like to recommend the movie "Murderball". Now, I love going to the movies. The whole experience is exciting to me. It's so fun going to the theater, buying the tickets, buying a pepsi and some candy (or going to CVS beforehand and buying snacks there, then sneaking it in within the confines of one of my cavernous bags), then seeing the previews and sitting in the dark in front of a huge screen, ideally next to someone who you can laugh and smile with during the good parts.

I also like to go to independent/lesser played films, if only because I run out of mainstream movies to see. I'll be the first to admit that the majority of independent films are painful to see. The acting is usually okay, but I find the plots to be so weak. And when I'm checking my watch for the fourth time, I'm generally thinking "WHY did I come to see this? I'm so foolish!" I can probably count on one hand the number of non-mainstream movies that I've truly enjoyed...Shattered Glass, Napoleon Dynamite (and okay, that wasn't even that good), Camp, Mad Hot Ballroom. And do Shaun of the Dead and Love Actually count?

Anyhow. Murderball is AWESOME! SO GOOD!! It's about these paraplegics (people who have limited use of the four limbs) who play wheelchair rugby. It's insane. It's not just a big sporting event, the filmmakers also get into people's pre-conceived notions of wheelchair-bound folk - and (in that vein) the guys in the wheelchairs

My younger brother and his friend came with me, so it also appeals to the blase 16-17 year old boy demographic. And the guy behind me with a good laugh also enjoyed the movie. And the old people across the aisle.

If you're looking for a movie to go to, skip the 40 year old virgin. I mean, come on. You're smarter than that. You deserve something better. See Murderball instead. I'll even make it easy for you to find a theater.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


dreams and slaying the green-eyed monster

I referenced my weird dreams in yesterday's post...for some reason, I have particularly vivid, bizarre dreams. A lot of people tell me dreams like "I went to the grocery store, and I bought lots of broccoli." What? My older brother had a dream a long time ago - he was driving a jeep over a field, with supermodels, and he could smell cinnabons. The cinnabon smell was the result of my mom making breakfast, but the other stuff is from his head. Someone else told me recently that he had a dream that he ran into Paris Hilton on a beach. My younger brother had a dream last week where he met both Christopher Walken and 50 cent. Lau has dreams in which she hangs out with Keith Urban.

What the heck? It would be so neat to have dreams where I meet superstars, hot celebrities, drive cool cars.

I kinda sorta remember three dreams from last night.

In the first, I was graduating from college, only it was taking place in this giant sketchy warehouse with a lot of rows. Kind of like someone took Home Depot, made it twice its normal size, took out the wood, but kept the aisles. When going to my seat (well, I don't remember sitting...going to my standing space) I dropped my cell phone (not a rare occurrence in normal life) and I only picked up the front piece...leaving the phone behind.

So, I'm in my standing spot, and we hear this giant wind. Soon pieces of the warehouse are flying everywhere, people are shouting and chaos ensues. I look at my phone, and I realize that I can't call my parents to see if they're okay, since my phone is wrecked.

(on a side note, isn't it cool how my mind set up that phone dilemma?)

I look back and one of the walls is gone. I turn to the front, and the guy who was in front of me had gotten hit with a board. (he's not a real person in real life) He had a swollen lip, but was otherwise okay. We ended up bonding, and I think I remember him making some cheesy comment about love connections being made in disasters.

So I took the ending of the dream from Speed. But I can't really blame my subconscious...the rest was pretty creative.

All I remember from the next dream was that I was standing outside somewhere, and I saw a plane plummet down from the sky and crash. That was lovely...

And in the third dream, C-note and I were applying for a job in D.C. We were on the way to the interview, but when we got to the Metro, they were like "oh, the red line doesn't run downtown anymore!" Instead, they had a bus that you had to pay 10 dollars for. We were going to walk to the interview, but we were really pressed for time, so we decided to take the bus. I was flipping out, because I hate hate hate to be late. And it's horrible to be late for a job interview!

We went there...and I guess it went well, since we had to go back. The second time I left for the interview with a half hour to spare, but then I realized that I was in Boston and I had to fly to D.C. I got to the airport and was waving a ticket that I had just bought in front of the ticket lady, and I was practically crying. I was supposed to be there at 7:30 am...I remember thinking in the dream that I could possibly get there by 9:30, and that wasn't thaaat bad.


I woke up being like "aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!"

Back in the real world...I admitted to myself this morning that I've been feeling very jealous lately, especially now that there are tons of away messages up saying that people are at various places around campus. This jealousy doesn't stem from wanting to be back there at school - I loved school, but at the end, I was done with taking classes that I didn't give a fig about (earth science, sociology, to name a couple).

Rather it is an indication that I'm not happy with the way things are right now. My theory is that if I'm happy with what I have, I'm not jealous...for there is no need to be.

So, in order to get out of this jealousy nonsense, I'm going to take a lot of time today to apply to jobs. I'm going to shut off IM and hole myself up in my room. I've reached the point where I have practically no money (and really...I'm serious. I'm not exaggerating) and I've reached the point where I'm impatient and chomping at the bit.

I can't do anything about my weird dreams, but I can do something about this unemployment. If you're reading this at work, and you're in D.C...look out. There's a resume with my name on it coming your way.

Saturday, August 20, 2005


ah. to be a girl.

So for the past few nights, I've been drifting asleep and I've thought about something that happened to me and E a few weeks and reflected "oooh, that would be a great blog entry." But by then, my head is settled in my pillow and the comforter is pulled up, and I'm ten seconds from the weird night life that features my dreams. So I'm too lazy/not motivated enough to get up and write about it.

With that grand, it is. When I was last in D.C. (about three weeks ago?) E and I were meeting up with C-note for a tasty dinner. C-note had a saga with her cell phone the night before (anyone see a cute blue phone floating around in Adams Morgan? Anyone?), so E and I were waiting for her near a metro exit. We were chatting away, reflecting on life, work and lost loves, I was facing the metro escalator, E was facing the world. E's eyes suddenly grew wide and she said

"uh oh"

I turned and instantly summed up the situation with my penetrating eye. A girl, (probably 20) and a guy were sitting on a bench approximately 25 feet away. Girl in green shirt, leaning forward and speaking forcibly, her whole manner screaming "AAHHH I'm DISTRAUGHT!" from a mile away. The guy. Wearing all black, slouching, facing forward. Towards a wall. (and a girl waiting for friends, trying unsuccessfully at that moment to blend into the concrete)

Things didn't look good for our green shirted friend. Reflections abruptly ended, and E and I spent the next 10 minutes trying (in vain) to eavesdrop. We were happy that we weren't any closer, though, because then that would have been awkward.

Like that poor girl dressed in a cute shirt and jeans who was standing at the wall 7 feet from the bench...she was trying her hardest to look uninterested, but E and I knew that any girl worth her salt would have her antennae up.

From our distance, we could see tears, also see that the guy was just sitting on the bench while it seemed like the girl was pouring her heart out. We felt so bad for the girl, we were tempted to walk over and be like "FORGET HIM! You deserve someone so much better! Someone who looks at you when you're talking!!"

E and I got distracted, but then the male half of the ill-fated couple got up and walked fast to the street corner, in an effort to get away. That caught our eye. Then the girl jumped up as well.

At this point, I could contain myself no longer. I mean, she could make a tragic mistake! I shouted "Nooooooo!!!! Don't chase after him!!" Alas, she did. And the drama became french farce-like, because the chase ended at the corner, since the "do not cross" orange hand had popped up.

Green shirt girl didn't hear me, but cute shirt girl happened to and she started talking to me and E. She said "I knoooowww!!" and at that moment, a brief friendship was forged. We walked over, and we had an instant bonding session right there in front of the recently vacated bench.

It turns out that the two were in fact fighting, and that the guy jumped up because green shirt had just tried to slap him. Oh! The unexpected passion! She didn't look like she had that spirit (psychoticness?) in her.

Cute shirt girl (on closer inspection, probably about 24) said that she's a social worker, and she was like, two seconds from staging an intervention. She couldn't believe that they were arguing so publicly, that the girl was making a scene and that the guy was so apathetic. He didn't try to comfort her at all, and he didn't seem to be listening. "AND" she said, "he was wearing a spy museum shirt."

That settled it.

We talked more about how we should have intervened to save that girl, her heart and her dignity, but then she pointed out "Well, we've all been there, so maybe that's how we learned. I guess everyone has to have their turn."

Now, perhaps we haven't all sat on a bench in Metro Center and tried to slap our boyfriends, but what our new social worker friend said struck a chord. All of us have done stupid, emotional things when we're distraught or driven to distraction about a guy, or about work, or about life in general.

There's those of us who have become "that girl" and cried in public.

There's those of us who have IMed the guy of our dreams one too many times because we were afraid that he wouldn't IM us first.

There's that girl who told everyone that she was going out with my little brother, and she took our last name as her confirmation name. (okay, that's a little special)

There's those of us who have gone 10 minutes out of our way (and dragging our friends along) because we know that HE will be walking by a certain building on campus at a certain time.

Next time you see a girl having her own spin on the emotional rollercoaster, smile at her understandingly. Because we've all been there. Let her know that even though it seems like right then all things important to her are falling apart and she's trying to survive in a mile of quicksand and no one loves her (or ever will!), there are people there for her.

PS - thanks to that wonderful random woman who gave me candy on the metro a few months ago during the never to be mentioned again "camera incident"!

PPS - and yes, I did take candy from a stranger. and it was tasty.

Friday, August 19, 2005


Ground Control to Major Tom...

I KNEW things were going a bit too well!!

When I returned from the Cape Monday, Bub informed me that, while he was feeding my fish, he didn't think the fella was eating. Mildly concerned (as any good fish owner would be), I realized that perhaps Major Tom didn't like the bargain basement pellets, and I bought the standard flakes. After that, things have been going swimmingly. He is fed twice a day, and I think Major Tom particularly enjoys the mornings, when the sun is streaming through his tiny habitat.

(either that, or the water is extremely hot, so he swims around in an attempt to cool off)

At any rate. Looking in the bowl a few minutes ago, it seemed a bit bubbly and icky. It was time for...the first water cleaning!

Now, I don't know if I've mentioned this, but I once killed a fish during the bowl cleaning. I'm not proud of it, but yes, it happened. It was around the seventh grade, my first fighting fish. I was told by someone to boil the water first, in order to kill all the nasty public water germs (that I drink every day without a problem...but whatever). I boiled the water, then poured it in the bowl to cool off. During this time I had the fish in another container.

After waiting a long, long time (15 - 20 minutes) I tested the water. It seemed fine, if a little warm. But hey, it was the middle of the winter, and fighting fish are tropical ones, afterall. I popped the fish in there, then went about my business in the kitchen.

About five minutes later I looked over, and he was definitely dead, floating at the top of the water.

Autopsy report: boiled to death.

In what I thought was a fitting move, I put him in a ziploc bag, then went outside in the four foot snow to try to bury him. My heart wasn't too into the task, so I just shoved him under the snow outside my back door.

Spring time came, and my parents were puzzled by the appearance of a dead fish in a ziploc that time, we gave him a proper burial. Or flushed him down the toilet.

At any rate. That was then, this is now. So, with that memory fresh in my mind, I was a bit nervous about the big first cleaning. I got a cup from the bathroom - a bit tiny, but big enough. I put Major Tom in there, placed it on my bureau, and grabbed the bowl and brought it to the bathroom.

This is all rather elementary, and boring, but in the bathroom I dumped the old water and the marbles out, then rinsed out the bowl, grabbed the marbles and put them back in the bowl...weighed down the pathetic plant with a few marbles in the base. Filled it up with lukewarm (through erring on the colder side) water. Then carried the operation back to my bedroom. I wasn't speeding, per se, but I was rushing because I was mindful of the tiny accommodations that Major Tom was chilling in.

I get back to my room and


funny, he didn't look so purpley and shiny while jumping around and gasping for watery air.

I tried to pick him up with my fingers. I attempted a scoop-like move with my hand. I was about to slide him off the bureau into my waiting arms, when he took a flying leap into my hand, then I tossed him into the water.

It's 15 minutes later, and he's handling the situation seemingly well. I dropped some food in there in an attempt to make him forget about the whole thing...hopefully this doesn't trigger some Pavlovian response where he associates food with almost dying.

I thought fish only jumped out of bowls/cups in movies...

Thursday, August 18, 2005


I know happy posts make for boring reads, but...

it's high time for one.

This may not come as a surprise to, well, anyone, but I whine quite a lot. Perhaps not in that high-pitched wheedling voice (unless my parents are around!), but I am quite a complainer. Nothing is safe from my criticism...overpriced clothing, cranky looking models, where people park their cars, the way AIM (a free service!) sometimes shut down, etc.

However, there are moments, random moments, when I'm just struck with gratitude for my life. Last night I was driving to my aunt's house to babysit. I left in a bit of a mood because my mom wouldn't let me drive her car, but I had to drive my dad's car instead (horror of horrors!). Let me just state right here that my dad has a pretty nice car. Most people would be thrilled to drive it. But in my selfishness, I left in a huff.

Of course, that huff was gone in two minutes, since I'm never too committed to being in a bad mood.

So, 45 minutes later, I'm close to my destination and I was hit with a bolt of thankfulness out of nowhere. My God, my parents are awesome. They do so much for me. They catch me when I fall - in fact, they catch me before I fall. They give me loans when I need it, knowing that it's going to be a long time (does never count as a long time? because sometimes it's that...) before I repay them. They are there in countless ways, and I know that however I screw up, they'll be there for me to help me get all the pieces together. I am so blessed.

Later that night, home from babysitting (where my aunt and uncle were very generous...I hereby make a vow to always spoil my relatives as much as possible), I sat around, talking to friends online.

Now, I'm not boasting - okay, YES I AM! - but I have the best friends. People who are kind to me, who deal with me when I'm not the easiest person to deal with. People who boost my ego, even when I always haven't been the best at thinking about them. People who listen to me, encourage me, laugh with me. People I know I can rely on.

What did I do to deserve all of this? I hope that in my moments of whining and feeling like I'm alllllll by myyyseeeeellllllllfffffff, I look back to this entry and give myself a slap upside the head. Because I really am never, ever, truly alone.

I've had a piece of paper on my wall since the summer after sophomore year of high school. I had this horrible first job (blah blah blah) at a sub shop. Looking back, the job itself wasn't particularly awful, I think the main problem was that I was relatively young and pretty sensitive. If someone said a mean or harsh thing, I'd dwell on it and give it more importance than it deserved. (glad those days are gone....hah!)

At any rate, this piece of paper, taped above my light switch (classy, I know), has never failed to cheer me up. The author is unknown - if anyone knows who wrote it, let me know, and I'll add it into this entry.

here it is!

Focus on the Lesson

I have a friend who every time
I had a problem, dilemma or minor crisis would say --
"Focus on the lesson.
Ask yourself what am I
being shown here."

Every person in this life
has something to teach me --
and as soon as I accept that,
I open myself to truly listening.

For every one that makes you cry,
there are three to make you smile.
And a smile will last a long, long time,
but a tear for just a little while.

Don't let someone who hates the world
cause you to hate it too.
Behind the clouds is a Golden sun,
and a sky that's full of Blue.

If someone said a thing that's cruel,
don't let it get to you.
Your achievements are greatly numbered,
and your faults are very few.

So if a certain person should act a certain way,
think of those who Love you,
and don't let it spoil your day!
Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul.
Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.

Steal it! Print it out on pretty paper and put it somewhere that you will see it, especially someplace that you'll notice when you're in a horrible mood. It's worked for me countless times, and if you think it might work for you, that would be great.

Because it would be a shame to let someone who hates the world cause you to hate it too - even if that someone is you, just for a few minutes...

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


am I racist? (or is it the proper grammar "am I a racist?")

So. This weekend I was on the Cape with Tans, her family, her family friends and Patty. While idling around the cottage, I picked up a book that a 12 year old is reading - the first in a series called something like "The Beacon St. Girls".

On the cover, there was a blond girl in the foreground, with three friends behind her. A short asian girl, a tall black girl, and a girl with long red hair. Clearly this blond girl is an open-minded, culturally aware teen. She has friends of many races!

Well, that's cool. Why the hell not? When I write a book, you can bet that I'll have things in there that I consider my pet issues. That's the awesome thing about being an author - you can do whatever you want.

However, I have a bone to pick with this author. When reading the book, it was hard to tell what race the characters were. In fact, one character appeared a few times until I realized she was black. I didn't realize that "Avery" and the asian girl on the front cover were one and the same until about page 100. That's a pretty darn long time.

And you know what? That really pissed me off. Does that make me racist?

I've given a lot of thought about this issue. No one wants to be a racist - remember Omarosa and her far-fetched comment in the first season of the Apprentice? Someone made an offhand remark - "Well, that's calling the kettle black" and Omarosa flipped out. (I don't even know, is that even racist? I always thought it went back to when kettles were made of that black metal. But maybe O knows stuff we don't...) Calling someone a racist is absolutely positively the worst thing ever. So the thought that I could be one was quite unsettling.

But, no. For me the issue wasn't "Hey! Mrs. Fields is black! If I had known that, I would have lots of assumptions about her as opposed to when I thought she was white." For me, the issue was not knowing what the characters look like. When I read a book, I really get into it. I start to think of the characters as my friends, I picture them going about their lives as the story progresses. I don't know about you, but I know what my friends look like. I know that C-note has dark hair, E (usually!) has blond hair. When they tell me about their various adventures, I picture C-note as I know her, and E as I know her.

What a crappy author to make me think that someone looks one way, but then pulls a little trick and changes it all around in a little game of "gotcha!" Perhaps the author is sitting at home, chuckling to herself, feeling that she's trapped me in one of my many assumptions (okay, I guess my default skin color for characters when they're not described is white. so sue me.).

But if she wants to be a good author, she has to start describing people. If I were a character in a book, I absolutely would not mind if I was described as "Tall, brown haired, blue eyed, white - the product of Irish immigrants from a long long time ago." So why should the author not say about Katani "Tall, black haired, brown eyed, flawless skin the color of mahogany."? It's not insulting Katani. In fact, it's insulting to hide the truth of the matter.

Since when did black or African American become a dirty word? Or Asian? Or Italian?

It's obvious that it was very important that the main blond girl have friends of different ethnicities - so why didn't the author take the concept and run with it, instead of skipping over the description of appearances?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Since you're bored at work, you'll probably read this. Even though it's just as boring.

oh man. so you may be wondering what I do with myself all day, since I am clearly not working.

Well, I got up around 9. After that, things get a bit hazy.

I had some food, I've been online, I looked for some jobs (but didn't apply to any, just made a list of them). I talked to my friends (who are online at work), I wrote one e-mail, I faxed a job application (yes!), washed some dishes, and... and....

I created an advice column! The brainchild of E, I made an e-mail address, then made an advice blog, then posted the whole thing on craig's list. No bites yet.

Now, there is this little matter of me not having any professional training when it comes to giving advice, other than obsessively reading every advice column for probably the past 10 years. But we'll see how this little experiment goes. How arrogant of me to think that I can give worthwhile advice!

It's 4:19 right now. The only way for me to redeem the day is to apply to about five jobs tonight (okay, let's be truthful. probably more like 3). Then I won't feel like a waste of space when I wake up tomorrow morning. I suppose if I start around 5:30, and actually work hard, it should go well.

To be honest, I miss school. There was something in the meaningless task of doing homework that I found positively encouraging and self-esteem building. I liked to goof around, read short stories, study for quizzes. I hated writing papers, because I always left it to the last minute, and it became an exercise in self-loathing at 2 a.m. (e.g., HOW could I be so DUMB to not do this ahead of time?!?! I haaaaate meeeeeeeee.") But other than that, school was fun. I miss chatting with professors, and talking with E in the second to last row of physics. I miss eating nasty tasting chicken sandwiches - actually, I just had a flashback of a stale bun and brown chicken and I don't miss that - but I miss the camaraderie of sitting around the lunch table with my friends. I miss waking up in my narrow twin bed and thinking "hey, this is what I'm going to do today, this is what I have to get done, this is what I have to look forward to on the weekend."

now I wake up and I don't even know what I think. E and I were talking last night, and we confessed to being jealous of each other. (is this okay for me to be sharing?) She misses being home and just kinda lazing around, seeing her home friends and hanging out with her family. And here I am, wishing I could be in her position - having a job and an apartment. Even the bills that come with it (providing I can afford to pay them!).

So I suppose the grass is often greener on the other side. Of course, here I am thinking "she doesn't understand, she doesn't know how lucky she is!" I bet E is thinking the same thing about me.

Actually, we had a little talk, and I know she's thinking that. We were hoping that would make the other appreciate their condition...but didn't work. I'm still wanting a job, the money that comes with it, the satisfaction in knowing I did a job well done. And knowing that people are noticing me, and not just relegating my hard worked cover letter and resume to the "trash" file right after I send it, with my hopes raised and my fingers crossed.

Saturday, August 13, 2005


let the naming begin!

I just bought a fish - I had an empty bowl sitting on my shelf, and I decided to fill it. My new pet is a beta/fighting fish. Not to make the little guy feel unwelcome, but I was hoping for a goldfish. Something simple, yet elegant. Well, apparently goldfish are too elegant for me, because the Petsmart guy told me that only betas could go in the puny bowl that I own.

And you may be wondering - Meghan, how do you know it's a male? Well, I looked online to see how to properly care for my new acquisition, and a site said that most pet stores only sell the males, because they are better looking than the females. Hmm. That would probably get me mad (are male fighting fish the abercrombie models of the water world?), but it means that females get to frolic in the open water, free from being bought by bumbling people like me who have accidentally killed several fish.

Hoping that he lives through the night, I'm opening up the naming to you guys. Please post suggestions, don't just IM it to me!

so far:

- Zoolander (from bub)
- detax (because I bought him on MA tax-free day. from patty)
- Major Tom (me)

please send more!

Friday, August 12, 2005



As promised (threatened?), I've done it!!

Yes, I left a note for Mr. White Truck.

(oh, and Patty requested that I post more pictures of my adventures. So, in order to please my reader, I will illustrate this one for you.)

I gave a lot of thought to all of this. I was considering going in the dead of night - but I didn't want to wait that long. I considered looping around the block, so I'd come from a direction other than the one in which I live. But that involved about two extra blocks of walking for this mission. And it seemed, even to me, a bit too cautious.

I even considered wearing Bubba's Gollum mask, but that was deemed TOO weird. And that would probably get me arrested.

(for the record, that's C-note wearing the Gollum mask, circa new year's. I love my friends.)

I do not know how people commit crimes! I've thought about this a gazillion ways, and it's just leaving a stupid note. I guess it's good that I'm so paranoid, it keeps me from doing any real damage. And I've even thought "What if the marker runs in the rain and damages the paint? What if I use tape and it messes up the windshield?" Basically, I've thought of all ways in which this could turn out horribly. Do people think about all this when they leave stupid flyers in the windshields at the mall?

During the course of planning, I decided that a post-it note is just too darn small to fit in all that I wanted to say. So, I used a sheet of notebook paper, and a red permanent marker. Here's the note, and me making a fish face. I don't think it looks like me too much, but when I showed Bubba, he said "No. When I think of 'Meghan' that's actually what I picture." humph. younger brothers.

Hmm. If you'll note, I wrote "Maple" street on there. In actuality, I'm not positive that there's a Maple Street in my neighborhood. I know there's a street, but it may or may not be called that. So that may weaken my argument in the long run.

Bubba and I decided to take a walk to my aunt's, and during the course of this walk, we'd be passing by the white pickup truck house. I stashed the note in my bag, along with my trusty camera. I stopped at the end of my street to take a picture of the offending pickup (no need to stop right next to the truck and look completely suspicious!).

that's the pickup truck. (the picture is crooked because I "shot from the hip" - as advised by my photography teacher last year for when taking sketchy photographs) Notice that it is RIGHT next to the stop sign! And especially annoying, it has one of those goofy "I support our troops" magnets. In my mind, that's even more cause for irritation.

So, Bub casually crossed the street and walked on the sidewalk in between the house and the car, and I walked on the driver's side. (We didn't plan that, it just fell into place that he would be a decoy. good initiative!) I was planning on putting it in the windshield wipers but, there was a slight snafu - I was too wussy to actually reach across the car. So I just kinda shoved the note at the opening in the hood near the windshield.

On our way back from our aunt's, we eagerly awaited coming upon the purple house and white pickup truck. As it got into sight, we saw that the pickup was gone from its usual spot. AND we saw the back of a pickup truck in the driveway.

As we got closer and closer, I rummaged around in my bag for my camera. I KNEW it would make the perfect ending to this blog posting. It was SO exciting to think that I had made a difference.

We got to the driveway and realized that it was a silver pickup truck in the driveway, not the white one. Our hope and enthusiasm for the project had been altering the reality of the situation.

But at least someone had taken the pickup truck out for a spin! We shall see if they got the note, and if they will heed the advice.

So. what did you do today?

Thursday, August 11, 2005


after that post... it too late for me to claim that I'm not crazy?


Mr. White Truck. You're finished.

so, I didn't post earlier today because I was determined to apply to several jobs. And then after I applied to enough jobs, posting in my blog would be my reward.

but now that it's time to write, I can't think of anything.

except for a stupid car that's a hazard to my neighborhood.

I live on a side street, and to access the main road, you have to go up a street, and then go either left, right or straight to exit the neighborhood onto the main road. In my neighborhood of about 6 streets, there are only two "exiting neighborhood" exits.

At the more frequently used exit, there is a purple house on the corner. Their front door faces the exit street, their driveway is on the main street.

Now, you may wonder: Why do I, as the reader, care? Well, unless you're going to be visiting me, you don't probably don't care. but...

I care because the stupid guy who is a year younger than me that lives in the purple house parks his gargantuan pickup truck on the "Exit street" corner right in front of the stop sign, thereby creating a HAZARD for everyone on the six neighborhood streets trying to exit.

The street isn't that wide. AND it's on a curve, so it's hard enough to pull out safely anyhow, nevermind trying to navigate around the dead weight of a pickup truck. And when there's a car pulling in at the same time people are pulling out, it's a downright disastrous accident waiting to happen.

Now, I know his game, he has a Marine Corps sticker on the back of his truck. He's thinking, "oh, they'll have pity on me, because I'm saving their lives." And I even happen to know the inside gossip that says he's possibly a young, unmarried dad of an infant.

Yeah, that worked for about a month. Now whenever I drive by his car, I get the urge to either a) slam into it or b) rake my keys across it. He's lucky that a) I don't want to damage my (mom's) car and b) my keys are in the ignition as I drive by. And it further boils my blood when I go by his driveway and see that there is plenty of room for that truck.

I know I shouldn't be obsessing over this, that it's not a big deal...and if it angers me so much, I should just leave my neighborhood by the other exit. (I'm probably equidistant...okay....I'm actually closer to the non-pickup truck exit)
But no. I'm going to make a post-it note that says

"Dear Truck owner

Your truck is a hazard. I almost hit it every time I pull out of this street. That makes me angry. Please move it.

the residents of a, b, c, d, e, and f streets "

Tomorrow, or tonight, when I drive by, I'm going to put the post it note on either the driver's side window or the windshield.

I'd be tempted to make a threat in there....but that only works on desperate housewives, and I'd probably get arrested.

and that would make getting a job tough, huh?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


am I living it right?

"go in the direction of your dreams" "dream high" "dream big" blah blah blah.

my problem is that my dreams keep changing. When I was a know-it-all middle schooler, I knew I wanted to be a journalist. I wanted the investigative skills of Nancy Drew, the exciting life of Brenda Starr, the readership of Maureen Dowd (although...not her attitude. ick.).

But then I realized that I actually don't really enjoy news reporting. To be honest (and I hope to God this doesn't come back to bite me in the whole job search thing), I really just do not care.

I mean, I do care about the world and its population and the struggles of humanity. But I do not care to search after it day after day, yearning for that extra source or that piece of information, only to start it all over again with the next article. I'm not one of those people who is always looking for the catch, looking for where the big corporation failed, where government has messed it up yet again. Don't get me wrong - I applaud those people who do all of that. But to be truthful, I'd rather write about cute clothes, or that fun movie I just saw, or write an advice column.

That's one of my be an advice columnist, with the fame of Dear Abby, the hipness of Ask Amy, the morals of Miss Manners, the dry of wit of Dear Prudence. Wouldn't that be fun?

Another one of my dreams is to one day retire and own a small bookstore on the Cape, or Martha's Vineyard. But...that's only planned for retirement. When I'm blue haired and old and cranky. But the neighborhood kids love me for that, because I have a heart of gold and make a mean plate of chocolate chip cookies. And maybe I'll solve mysteries on the side, a la Miss Marple. (haha)

Last night I was lying in bed, blankets up to my chest, having a semi-panic attack. I love Bridget Jones, but I don't want to be some loser middle management person. I don't want to spend my time caught in a grind, feeling as though what I'm doing could be done by any other person with a pulse. I was meant for great things. For real.

But I don't know if this great thing is to be the president of a University, or to campaign for women to be priests, or to be that wonderful teacher that inspires, or to own a magazine, or to write the great American short story or to...I don't know.

I can't be great until I know what I want to be great in. Right? And what is great, anyhow? What is it going to take for me to be satisfied with who I am, and knowing that I haven't wasted my time here? Did I get an expensive high school and college education, only to whittle it away?

Is great being a good mom? (well, I can answer that right now. definitely yes.) But is great also having some okay job, but volunteering to help the needy? Is great having a bunch of random jobs, living in a bunch of places, tasting all that life has to offer? What difference should I make in the world? What does success mean, exactly?

I'm not lazy. I don't mind paying my dues. But I only wish I knew which bank to send those dues to...


what the heck?

Now, I'm not one of those girls who whines "there are no nice guys out there! I just want a nice guy." I KNOW there are plenty of nice guys out there. And unlike many people, I actually do want a nice guy. I don't like mean people.

(For the record, I consider any guy who says with an innocent BS I-wanna-slap-him-silly-face "I'm a nice guy" is NOT a nice guy. Nice guys don't feel the need to say they are nice. Because people don't call it into question.)

But I don't know. I haven't spent much time in it, but I'm already sick of the bar scene. I'm 99 % positive that I won't meet anyone special in a bar. People there are just drunk, leering at girls, hoping to get a one night stand.

And perhaps that's unfair of me to say. I mean, I consider myself a fairly okay person, and I go to bars, right? However. The type of guy that I'm interested in is the one that wouldn't go up to girls in bars. He'd be with his friends, drinking and having a good time, and basically ignoring the other people there.

So now when I go to bars (basically when I'm in D.C.) I go with the attitude that I'm there to have a fun, goofy time. I don't have ridiculous expectations to meet Prince Charming in the dirt-streaked walls of the basement of the Times. Speaking of. That damn bouncer!!

This is all stemming from talking about guys with E. And a general feeling of loneliness. Perhaps it's also from reading Gone with the Wind (I finished it last night, I promise there won't be any more references!) and Scarlett finding refuge and rest in Rhett's arms. Or maybe the malaise is from reading Glamour. My favorite magazine, but full of smiling, model couples.

(and for the record (sorry for another tangent) - I'm bitter about Jake hooking up with girls so soon after the Orange Blossom breakup. I mean, there's moving on, and there's moving on!)

But I have priorities. and they are...

2) A place to live

and then, only then

3) A boy. Well, I guess, you know, a man?

So this isn't even anything that I'm giving much thought to (rightttt). No need putting the cart before the horse...worrying about something before crossing the bridge, whatever saying you want to use.


on the job front, I applied to be a nanny today. Also to work at a magazine, and to work at a Catholic newspaper. Nothing like throwing a wide, varying net out there.

Monday, August 08, 2005


Maine 2005

there's something about this moment that I love...


plates and pillows and ottomans, oh my!

I was just on a trip with my mom to TJ Maxx. She was looking around for things for our dining room - my mom is in the process of re-papering it, therefore new decorations are in order. Knowing me and my lack of willpower, I left my wallet at home. I absolutely positively cannot afford to buy anything.

Once in the store, I started off in the clothes section, longingly trying on a pink corduroy jacket and then a light green fleece. Then I drifted to a section I had never before spent time in - the body lotion/perfume section. It was a gold mine of fun things. I sampled a wide variety of lotions....honey, almond, milk. I sprayed "hula girl" body spray, as well as lime and verbana body/linen spray. (body/linen. what the heck?) I became a pleasant cacophony (an oxymoron?) of smells.

I then spent a significant amount of time in the pocketbook section. My weakness. There were the little bags with the beautiful gold clasps and pretty blue satin linings. The bigger brown leather bags that would be good for a weekend or for going to work. The bag that made me think of E, because it had an opening at the bottom. Perfect for finding that license! And there was the hideous blue feather bag that I dragged all over the store to show my mom to give her a good laugh.

I finally found my mom in the section in which I least anticipated trouble. Housewares. Knick knacks. Plates. Stuff that ordinarily interests me, but doesn't light a fire in my bosom.

But oh. The plates were pretty - blue ones, green earthy looking ones, reddish swirly ones. And the decorations. With Italian and French influences, some were 5 inch high letters, spelling out words. And there were pillows! Suede ones! In deep purples, calm greens, rich browns. And ottomans! That held stuff on the inside, in addition to the noble purpose of propping up a weary foot. All perfect for decorating an apartment. The chicest, coolest, funnest apartment on the East Coast.

But, alas. No money. And no apartment to decorate. Each beautiful thing was a pain in my heart. I walked through thinking, "I can't wait to have a job and have money. I can't wait to have money."

I left TJ Maxx a determined girl. With God as my witness, with God as my witness - I will never be unemployed again!

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