Friday, July 31, 2009

I should really be washing the dishes

Friday, July 31, 2009
We're off to Edmonton tonight for a wedding that Gary is in. As I've dragged him to two weddings that I was in, it's only fair that I accompany him to this one.

In the end, though, I have WAAAAY more family than he does (let's see...Megan: 8 aunts and uncles, 10 first cousins, a bazillion second cousins, Gary: only child, extended family lives in Germany), so Gary will end up with the short end of the wedding stick.

Haha.

I am in no way prepared to go to this weddding. I'm also unprepared to have Gary's mom arrive in about 6 hours. And then meet my parents, who are arriving Sunday night.

I have to go breathe into a paper bag and do shots of tequila now. Oh, and finally settle the red-patent-pumps vs. polka-dot-slingbacks shoe debate.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Would you like spite with that?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The other day, I was patiently waiting in line at a fast-food type establishment for my lunch. Without a book or my iPod, I was left to do what comes most naturally to me: eavesdrop.
 
(This is also, by the way, one of the character traits my new boss admires most in me. Go figure. Maybe I died and went to heaven?)
 
While I was waiting for my diet coke and french fries (oh god I love you french fries, forbidden food that you are), I overheard an angry young man and his girlfriend harassing the order dude about the prices of the menu items.

Seriously, Angry Young Man, do you really think that the fifteen-year-old boy behind the counter wearing his jaunty little paper hat and a nametag has ANYTHING to do with the pricing of the Chicken Caesar Salad at this INTERNATIONAL fast-food chain?
 
And furthermore, if he did, do you really think that bullying him is going to get you anywhere? The poor kid probably gets jammed into enough lockers for smelling like fry grease 24/7. TRUST ME. BEEN THERE. That smell is nearly impossible to shampoo out. You practically need to grow out of it. Like puberty.
 
Or a bad perm.
 
God forbid you hit all three at once.
 
So, Angry Young Man, lay off the poor pubescent fry kid. I know our culture has developed into a horrible monster of I SHALL GET WHAT I WANT NOW, lest I complain frantically about it forever, and ye shall give to me free things because I opened my yap! but lay off the people who work hard to give you what you want, and can't do anything to change the pricing. Use your brain. For once.
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, July 27, 2009

Time flies

Monday, July 27, 2009
What? Monday already? Zomp. How did that happen?

I would like to tell you that because I am so very excited about my new gig, I did not get the Sundays yesterday. But that would be a lie. Amid the cleaning (Gary did a rock-awesome job of scrubbing the floors in our apartment by hand) and grocery shopping and other general chores, the Sundays crept in a little.

But I kicked them with a nap and a salad and a swim in the pool.

And so, here I am, heading back in, praying that the Tylenol Sinus Cold meds kick in soon and that I don't spend the entire day sneezing. Our HR person asked me if I was allergic to my new work environment.

Sadly, no. Swine flu? Mayhaps.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ode to the Coupon Book

Thursday, July 23, 2009
Last year, I was conned into persuaded to buy one of those fundraiser coupon books to support a local school. While I'm all about supporting local schools, I'm sad to say that in the last year, we've used a grand total of three coupons.

I had hoped that the 40 bucks I spent would encourage Gary and I to try new restaurants! Go to new local attractions! Own new leather coats! Live our lives to the fullest! This coupon book was a doorway- on one side, our current lifestyle of going to the same pub two nights a week and slowly crawling closer to death; on the other, a whirlwind of excitement and wish fulfillment and half-price curry takeaway!

I now realize the truth. That's a lot to ask from a coupon book.

So last night, when we both came home from work around 6 and opened the door to a blast-furnace of a beastly hot apartment, I grabbed that coupon book, dusted off the cover and found us a two-for-one Mexican restaurant.

Should you find yourself seeking relief this summer, may I recommend El Sombrero Mexicano on 17th Avenue? They have aaaawesome air conditioning.

Oh, and the Combo plate is pretty darn good, too.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

First day report

Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I feel like I'm sitting at the dinner table being asked how school was today.

My parents didn't ask that too often, as they both taught at the school I attended from Kindergarten straight through to Grade 12, and taught me frequently. So they knew when I'd had a bad day or gotten a stellar mark on an exam. Word gets around that staff room.

School was AWESOME. Er, I mean, my NEW JOB was AWESOME. I am so excited about the energy and the projects and the productions and the possibilities. I also think I did more exciting things yesterday (saw first costume sketches and set designs for the BIG BIG show, dropped in on a rehearsal, previewed Christmas merch, scouted out a new tradeshow booth, etc, etc, etc) than I did in six months in my last job.


WOOT!

Monday, July 20, 2009

950!

Monday, July 20, 2009
Summertime. Sandy shoes, sunburn, salty ripple chips and hot dogs. Crystal lite. Country time lemonade. Beer me! And room-temperature diet coke.

Bushpies. Make mine PB&J.

Oldies radio, The Eagles on tape. Maybe some Billy Joel, the Beatles for good measure.

Camp stove cookout, fried eggs in bacon grease. The way God intended.

Hot chocolate with a marshmallow in plastic mugs, olive green, brown and orange. Little fingers wrapped around to keep warm.

Shower shoes, bar soap- probably Zest.

Fighting over who does the dishes. I can't, I broke my arm! followed the next year by I can't, I have stitches in my leg!. Not a good excuse.

Tarps, bungee cords, elaborate campsite markers. Stacks of bikes. Velcro-pad catch with a fuzzy tennis ball.

More patio lanterns. Vegas looks dim in comparison.

Feels like back-to-school

Tomorrow's the day, friends!

I'm anxiously preparing my back-to-work outfit. I still haven't decided- will the blue cotton top from H&M look better with the black pencil skirt or the black bermuda shorts? Or should I skip to a navy tie-neck top with a brown skirt and cute, retro-looking pumps? Definitely not a suit, though.

So many decisions. Such a limited closet.

Straight hair or curly? Do I remember how to apply eyeliner and not look like a racoon? (I am mostly opposed to wearing makeup on weekends and days that I don't go to work, so it's been a while)

I've got my lunch plans laid out (PB&J, for luck) and comfy shoes for the walk. I've got a clean new notebook, some good pens, and a coffee cup. I'm set to go. Wish me luck!

Friday, July 17, 2009

TGI...what does it matter to me, I've been non-stop Fridays since May

Friday, July 17, 2009
Ahhh. Friday.

I'm really, really, supremely excited to start my new job on Tuesday. As nice as it was to have most of the summer off, it'll be even nicer to be contributing to society again. (Oh, and getting a paycheque sometime this year would be super nice, too.)

I've pretty much run out of things to occupy my time with. Granted, I still have 10,000 words of fiction to write- I got to about 4,500 words and then came up with a brilliant, completely different idea that I am burning to persue.

I didn't read The Grapes of Wrath, but I did get through Pride and Prejudice. And the last two Harry Potter Novels. A trashy romance novel (or 4), and the greatness that is The Book of Negros.

Seriously, READ IT.

I'm looking at the start of our recycling project. Can you believe that Calgary just recently adopted curbside recycling, but it doesn't extend to apartment buildings? And our apartment building has no recycling program?!

(Something deep inside me tells me that I'm the one who needs to spearhead that campaign)

All in all, my May-July term of kickin' it, burden-to-society style was both relaxing and productive. I needed that. Time to heal after my last experience was really important, I have realised, to prevent me from being imbittered and unproductive for the rest of my working years.

I'm excited. I'm enthusiastic. I'm wound up and feel really fresh. I can't wait to get started...

and now I just have to think of something to do with the 4 remaining days of leisure I have left.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Are you a muggle?

Thursday, July 16, 2009
Conversation I had last night with Gary:

G: Are you excited about the Harry Potter movie you're going to tomorrow?

M: YES!!! Are you a wizard?

G: Uh, no.

M: Are you a squib?

G: No, I am not a Squib. What is a squib?!

M: Are you a muggle?

G: No.

M: But you're not a wizard.

G: No...

M: OR a witch.

G: NO!

M: So then you're a muggle.

G: I don't know this terminology! Leave me be, crazy one!

M: From this angle, you sort of look like Alan Rickman.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

So wrong.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Dear Alan Rickman,


Gaaahd, I love you.

You dirty old bastard.

Sigh.

Wrong on so many levels,
Hugs and kisses,

Meg

ps- yes, even in Die Hard. Maybe even especially in Die Hard. Not so much in Harry Potter, but a girl's gotta make do.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Babies 101

Tuesday, July 14, 2009
I've hit that magical age where everyone I know is getting frothed up in lace and wed, or procreating. As such, my life is full of showers and registries and very precious gift wrap.

When I start to feel angsty about it, my mother reminds me that someday, I too will get to haul a scanner gun around the Bay and select homegoods, towels, and other grown up things that my distant relatives will feel obligated to purchase for me. What fun.

But after the gift giving and cute little party games and drunken debauchery involving driving to Edmonton (of all places) for a Bachelor party (gross), real life sinks in and our friends are faced with the realization that they are a) Married or b) Parents.

If B is the option selected, well ho! What sleepless fun abounds!

Eventually, a few weeks pass and they trot out the little bundle of joy to their single urban amigos inner city barbecue party and watch the awkwardness ensue.

So, to help my peers get through this life stage, here is a field guide I put together, titled, "How to Approach a Baby in Your Own Home". Enjoy.


1. You have spotted a baby! Congratulations. Please mix yourself a strong alcoholic beverage. You'll need it.


2. Approach the baby from the side. Allow it to become accustomed to your scent. Remember, they look cute, but they can smell your fear.


3. Moving slowly, scoop the baby into your lap. It might help to make a weird face and point at random things in the distance, as to confuse and distract the baby.


4. At this point, if you feel a rapport has been developed with the baby, you may move into a full-frontal snuggle. However, don't be alarmed if baby confuses you with its mother and attempts to get to second base.


5. By now, you have bonded with baby. But no bogarting that tot! Time to pass baby off on your unsuspecting partner!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday nights are alright for mind-numbing bloggery

Sunday, July 12, 2009
There are some really unfortunate times in life to be bored. On a fourth date, for example.

By the fourth date, one should have figured out if they are interested in actually "dating" someone. You've become invested enough to enter someone's contact info into your phone, you've referred to them in conversation with your friends by just their name, not by "___, the guy/gal I'm seeing", you've shared numerous things including several meals, likes and dislikes, and potentially a toothbrush (but not me, that's weird, and also, I'm a devout Catholic. Minus the living-together-before-marriage thing. UNLESS we actually ARE married. Wouldn't that throw you all for a loop?).

But if it occurs to you on date four that your paramour is already boring...my friend, you have a long and desperate road ahead. Now you're facing a real 'break up' scenario. You're a jerk if you end it abruptly on date four, using my favourite tactic of "Fade Away", whereby you merely fade. away.

Someone pulled the Fade Away on me once after three months of dating, and the words I refer to that gent as in my own head are none too kind and would probably get me excommunicated.

But I digress.

Fourth date. Bad time to be bored.

An equally bad time to be bored? The fifth inning of a baseball game.

You've got a loooong way to go, brother. You haven't even reached the bit where you're allowed to stretch yet.

Let's see. During an exam. Bad time to be bored.

During an awards ceremony that you are hosting. Not an ideal situation to experience ennui.

As a contestant on Jeopardy.

As a member of a bridal party DURING the ceremony.

Oh, and at 10:30 or so on a Sunday night when you don't work the next day.

Too early to go to bed, too late to start to do anything. And if you're me, your roommate/domestic partner/boyfriend/secret hubby/whatevs is getting up at 4:45 to go to the gym and told you, without actually using words because that would be cruel, to stop squirming and sighing and tossing around in bed already and go out to the living room where you can be awake and LEAVE HIM ALONE.

This sucks. I'd ALMOST rather be on a mind-numbing fourth date right now. ALMOST, because while I wouldn't have to be verrrry verrrry quiet...I would be on a crappy fourth date, listening to some dude tell me some lame story about his childhood experiences with the neighbour girl and how they shaped his attitude towards women, lemon gin and the Liberal party. True story. That was one relationship that was clearly going nowhere.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Butterball is landing

Saturday, July 11, 2009
Ladies and Gentlemen, brace yourselves:

A baby is coming to visit our apartment.

The apartment Gary and I live in is quite possibly the least baby and child friendly place in the entire universe. We live on the 23rd floor. It's full of expensive, jaggedy electronics and a floor-to-ceiling unsecured bookcase.

Not to mention the magnetic knife rack gracing the kitchen.

I have visions of a wee toddling tyke stabbing himself, tipping over hundreds of heavy dvds onto his head, and then pitching headfirst through the patio door off the balcony.

Fortunately said tyke is 2 months old, and Gary assures me he's not walking yet. I still have time to baby-proof this shack up.

For now, I'm just making sure all the liquor is out of reach. Babies are wiley little things. You can never be too sure...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday night's alright for assembling cheap shelving

Friday, July 10, 2009
Or, at the very least, watching your boy-person do it for you.

I know that I am perfectly capable of assembling my own flat-pack swedish furnishings. However, in every single instance where I have purchased and dragged home said furnishings, I have called upon a brother or a boyfriend to do it for me.

Why?

Because I can. And because it certainly boosts the male ego, which is an important thing to stroke. Particularly when you want them to go back to Ikea with you yet again to buy even more tchotckes. Sleek, urban, chic, cheap tchotckes.

Wicker baskets, anyone?

Locked in.

Whew! Friday already! Holy cats, how did that happen?

Oh, right. I spent the better part of two days flipping flap jacks and avoiding grease burns. Then I participated in a focus group that left me feeling both snappy and smart and like the future Soccer Mom of Babylon (aside: apparently I'm the only GenY on the planet that would consider their future family planning when purchasing a home. Good to know.)

What else happened this week? A variety of trying to ward off migraines, meeting my new coworkers, hitting the gym with Amanda, cooking up a deelish Mediterranean Orzo and Chicken dinner.

And then, whammo! Friday.

I decided that I would enjoy the beautiful Friday weather and do some new-job prep work outside. Our building has a really gorgeous second-floor courtyard garden, which also happens to be just off the swimming pool. I packed a little bag of necessities, slipped into my two-piece and wandered downstairs.

Only to discover that all the doors leading outside where locked. All of them. I checked at least 5 doors on both the east and west sides of the courtyard. Locked.

So I stood, sad, staring out at an empty courtyard built just for Megans, then came back upstairs.

I called our building office, asked them why the doors were all locked, and they told me they'd check it out. And promptly hung up. Without taking down my phone number to get back to me with an answer.

So now, do I go back down for attempt number two? Or do I give up? Sigh. Summertime, and nothing seems to be easy.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Can you use bacon grease as tanning oil?

Tuesday, July 07, 2009
This morning I was up early, dressed, starbucksed and "working" by 7:40. Gary's office holds two Stampede breakfasts every year, so today I was on cooking duty. My duties will continue tomorrow. Seems like a fair trade- I flip pancakes for about 6 hours, he provides me with food and shelter.

It went pretty smoothly, aside from continuous blowing of a breaker, affecting the coffee urn, the pancake griddle and the skillet I was frying bacon in. I'd say I'm a pretty skilled breakfast cooker- I ran the bacon and pancake stations mostly single-handed.

And after a nice hot soapy shower to wash off the residual bacon/sausage grease, I'm inspecting my sunburn and getting ready for the rest of the afternoon and evening. I'm participating in a focus group tonight. Man, I love being rewarded with food, beverages and a nominal cash payment to express my opinions. I wonder if I could do it full time...

Monday, July 06, 2009

Germany, in photos!

Monday, July 06, 2009
My day is full of unsavoury tasks, like dealing with my laundry and washing dishes and various grumble cakey things. Like coming to grips with the notion that when I purchased cereal yesterday, I went wild, buying the most fun breakfast food I could think of- Fibre One Raisin Bran - and I was actually really excited to eat it.

Sigh.

Anywhoodle, I thought I'd post some photos to tide you over while I sift through grubby vacation clothes. Ew. Suitcase sweat.

These are all from Gary's camera, as I haven't gotten my act together and uploaded mine yet. I assure you they are almost the same.





Ahh, picturesque Regensburg. Narrow streets, tile roof tops, colourful buildings older than Canada.


This building was constructed by the Romans in about 100 AD. Old, old buildings.





We ate a lot!


We were edutained!



We saw ancient castle ruins and a strange temple commemorating German-speaking persons, housed in an ancient Greek style monument...


We ate Gummi Bears!


And we drank beer. Sweet, delicious, coldish beer.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

A SINK-y Weekend

Sunday, July 05, 2009
Man, what a North American weekend.

Yesterday, while Gary burned off some Schnitzel at the gym, I met up with Lady Rose for an afternoon of frivolous activities.

We drank diet cokes, went for a walk, felt that after we had gone for a walk we deserved ice cream, and caught up on the various on-goings in each other's lives in the past month. I remember my mom doing the same thing with her girl friends, except they had a variety of munchkins underfoot and called it "coffee", though I suspect there may have occasionally been liquor involved. I know I would have involved liquor given the responsibility of raising a child like myself.

(Love you, Mom!)

After we were sufficiently Kitten-TV'd and diet coke saturated, I came home to my apartment where I proceeded to procrastinate the unpacking.

Gary and I planned to BBQ some hamburgers and then go see UP! at Chinook, but we didn't have cheese, and we sort of hate Chinook, so...

We went to IKEA.

First we went to Home Depot, to purchase the riggings for our new Gary-designed, European-influenced Pigeon Defense System. Trust me, a rat of the sky poops on your BBQ flipper just once, and it's war, birdies...

Then we went to IKEA to check out laundry hampers, leather couches and shelving for our storage closet.

Then we tried to go to Home Outfitters to browse for the same, but they were closed.

So then we went to Future Shop to purchase a Bluray to watch, because we clearly weren't making it to the movie and of the 600 titles Gary owns, none of them appealed to either of us.

And then, at about 9:00, we hit up Ricky's Grill for dinner. I should note that the only thing we purchased was the Pigeon Defense System supplies and the movie.

Today we returned to IKEA, Home Outfitters and tossed in Costco and the grocery store for good measure, to secure and purchase our selected goods. Except the laundry hamper. That'll have to wait.

We also picked out new bedding, except it costs about $800 (Duvet cover: $380, pillow cases, $99, decorative quilt, $500...) and we're still on a single income.

What an exciting, car-fueled, Big Box Retailer filled weekend.

And now we have shelves! And my belongings will finally have a home! Instead of being heaped in a wobbly stack behind a bike!b And I'm about to make ice so we can break open the bacardi! And the ugly birds will be helpless to our defensive strategy!

Ah, the care-free days of summer for two 20-something childless urbanites, one of which is living 3 weeks of Saturdays. Sweeeet.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Plans for my summer vacation, 2009 edition

Saturday, July 04, 2009
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I accepted a job offer shortly (hours) before we left for our holiday.

I am so excited about this new position. I don't usually blog about work and I don't intend to start, but I just wanted to share my joy and thank you all for your support. It was really awesome to go away and not worry about missed phone calls for interviews, writing cover letters and what I was going to do when I got back.

The really sweet part is that I don't start my new gig until July 21st, giving me almost 3 weeks off. In July. Helloooo, suntan!

I have a range of free-but-awesome things to do to occupy my leisure time, but am game for more suggestions. So far, I plan to:

1. Take a picnic lunch to Prince's Island Park and suntan for the afternoon
2. Crash the pool at Hotel Arts
3. Go to Shakespeare in the Park
4. Visit my grandma (potentially)
5. Eat lots of free pancakes
6. School myself on the ballet industry
7. Get a little bit of colour
8. Dream about wardrobe combinations built around things I already own

Any other ideas for a broke girl to do to enjoy sweet, sweet summertime?

Friday, July 03, 2009

Today, I hate parades.

Friday, July 03, 2009
Today was the official kick-off of the Calgary Stampede, officially kicked off by a parade. On a day called Parade Day, generally observed as an unofficial paid holiday for most/at least many offices in Calgary.

Since I'm still on sweet, sweet vacay until July 21st (wooooo!), that last bit was irrelevant to me.

But since my home is located directly on the parade route, my day was dramatically affected by the parade. And if by affected, what I really mean is "completely %@#$*$$ screwed over"... we have kicked off the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth in fine form.

This morning I was roused from slumber shortly after 6:00 am by a combination of jet lag and Shania Twain being blased over giant speakers located in a parking lot 23 floors below and across the street from my bedroom. Oh, and the sound of marching bands warming up in the distance.

I peered out the window, bleary eyed and grumbly, to the hundreds already lining the streets to snatch up a prime bleacher seat for optimal parade viewing.

I drove Gary to work at 7:20, planning to drop him off and then return to help out at their company's customer appreciation bbq later that afternoon.

Except that I encountered a giant snag in my plans on the way home, that being...a complete inability to access my home.

I knew the parade route would be closed off to traffic. I am no idiot.

I just didn't realize that EVERY SINGLE STREET required to access my domicile would be blocked off by tarts in trampy short shorts riding stick ponies.

And because I left the house this morning intending to return immediately, I was not appropriately attired for a "spousal" work party. I was not prepared for an entire day of outside of the house activities. I didn't even have my bloody cell phone.

Do you know how hard it is to find a pay phone?!

Anywhoo, I couldn't reach anyone who was at home to provide me a place to hang for the rest of the morning, so I sat in Second Cup for far longer than usually permitted and then putzed about Chapters for two hours before fufilling my First Lady duties, shakin' babies and kissing hands and servin' up No Name Munchie Mix.

And I am finally home again, 16 hours or so later.

I hate the Stampede.

(Be prepared for more posts on this topic. I could go on forever about my true feelings on this subject)

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Home again!

Thursday, July 02, 2009
We arrived last night, an hour and a half delayed for the stupidest reason. I won't name names, because I didn't care to ask, but we sat in Toronto on the tarmac in the plane for almost an hour while Air Canada tried to locate two passengers who had checked in, checked their luggage, and then disappeared.

After about 30 minutes, they decided to pull their 4 checked bags off the plane. I don't really understand the rationale behind it- I get that bags cannot fly without the attached passenger for various explosive safety reasons. But what of the thousands of bags that get misplaced or misdirected every day? If it's an accident, whoops, no prob. But when you're inconveniencing 150 people and as a result, skewing the flight plans of two airports and two people don't show up because they are having a leisurely cocktail in the departure lounge? God gracious, Batman! Get those suitcases off the plane!

So Air Canada removed all the luggage from the plane, sorted through them, located the 4 suspicious bags...and the couple showed up. So they put the bags all back on the plane. And I shot laser death glares at this man and woman for 4 hours, because they were seated directly in front of us.

I made sure to do my part by aggressively pushing the buttons on the head rest entertainment system.

I may be slightly incoherent because of yesterday's epic 24 hours of alertness, and a wicked time change (I feel like going for a beer. Anyone for beer? It's 8:22 am!), so I apologize for sentence fragments and stylistic issues.

But we're back, with our bags and about 7 kilos of chocolate and Haribo gummi bears.

Which conveniently enough, was exactly the weight we were over on our baggage allowance. But the nice folks at the Munich airport just waved us on by. How sweet of them!

And on a final note, when you tell Canadian Customs that you purchased, between the two of you, $1200 worth of euro-jeans and chocolate, they might not believe you, regardless of whether it's the truth or not. But you just hold to that declaration card. They can sift through your meticulously-packed overweight luggage if they must- but the likelihood of those bags getting closed again once open is mighty slim.