Monday, August 31, 2009

Fuzzy inside my head

Monday, August 31, 2009
This is what my memories of my hometown look like.



In my mind, it's always late summer. Early fall. Harvest. Everything shines gold and warm, brightly coloured and faded around the edges. It's pleasant, but a chill around the corner suggests you bring a sweater; everything smells like apple pie.

By the time I make it home again, it'll be too late for my favourite season. The gold will be gone, replaced with beige and grey and the chill will bite through your scarves and mittens.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

No Pets.

Sunday, August 30, 2009
This weekend Gary and I were hanging out at the swimming pool in our apartment complex. We are often lucky enough to get the pool to ourselves, which is completely more awesome than sharing it with other humans.

Because other humans are strange. Particularly the ones that live in our apartment complex.

For example, you've got the elderly gentleman who brings his twittering, vodka-sauced, bedazzled lady friends home with him, after treating them to the early-bird dinner at the Legion.

Then there's the odd ball couple of duuuudes that live a couple floors below us who seem to spend every single weekend moving furniture in and out of the building.

And who can forget the very short dude with glasses who is just a wee bit too friendly in the elevators. And by wee bit too friendly, I mean, hyper-paranoid and convinced the government is watching him, me, Gary, you, and the rest of the nation. And when the government is done watching us it plans to have us all killed.

But possibly the weirdest people of all are the couple we encountered mid-swim.

They appeared normal, by all measures available to the naked eye. They walked into the room with towels, strolled across the deck and opened the door out on to the patio off the pool area.

Then they proceeded to roll out those towels. Did I mention that the towels were wiggling?

No?

Okay, well, in those towels? A cat.

And a bunny.

Cat and bunny were tied to the patio with shoelace leashes while their owners went for a dip. I could not believe my eyes.

The indignity became too much, and thankfully, the He in this pet-owning couple got out of the pool.

And untied the leashes.


Do you know how you can tell it's time to cut a swim short?

Unleashed felines and rabbits running amuck about the indoor pool.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The weekend

Friday, August 28, 2009
Harumph, it's almost here.

So here's exciting tidbit of Meganry- at every single job I've had since graduating, I was paid on a bi-monthly schedule, 24 paycheques a year.

This job has a fun, every-two-weeks schedule, so 26 paycheques a year. When I heard this, I did a happy dance of joy!

Except the same paltry sum divided 24 ways or 26 ways is still the same damn paltry sum.

Harumph.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A festivus miracle!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

This morning I got out of bed around 4:00 to drink a large glass of water and take a tylenol.

How I missed the wonderful, awesome, beautiful surprise waiting for me in the kitchen when I staggered through the door last night, I'll never know...

But there is something really awesome about coming home from the bar half-cut to a clean, sparkling kitchen. A clean sparkling kitchen you did not clean yourself. Especially when you've made a giant, spaghetti-sauced mess of it and tend to lie on the floor and whine about how much you hate cleaning the kitchen.

Thanks, Gary! I knew there was a reason I'm planning on keeping you.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What is this, 2004?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I'm going out.

To the bar.

On a Tuesday.

Holy cats.





This makes me feel both age-appropriate and really, really old. The last time I went out on a work night for a non-work related activity that involved loud music, cold beer and people I didn't know was, oh, I don't know, DECADES AGO.

I'm pumped to finally meet Pat, but at the same time, today was a crazy enough day that I am equally excited to blow off some steam and drink me a good, frosty brew.

Monday, August 24, 2009

page-turner

Monday, August 24, 2009
I often base my reading selections on what will make me appear smarter.

I read more than my fair share of smutty paperback romance novels, mysteries and thrillers. I've probably read almost everything written by Sidney Sheldon and Danielle Steele- and let's not start on the Young Adult Vampire Smut. But I always have something on my coffee table or in my purse that appears considerably more intellectual.

I do it because I want to stretch my mind and expand my literary horizons. But I also do it because I want people to buy into the idea that I'm an intelligent woman. Smart people read smart books, yes?

I thoroughly enjoy reading. Reading might be my favourite hobby, except for some reason, I don't consider it to be a hobby. I consider it to be a requirement of life. It's something I do for pleasure, for education, even sometimes for work. Sometimes it's not easy, and I find myself slogging through endless boring chapters.

Right now I'm reading The Grapes of Wrath. I am reading it because I feel that carrying it around in my bag, leaving it on the nightstand and toting it from train to coffee shop and back gives me an air of intelligence. This isn't a self-help book or a fashion magazine. This is some serious, 400-page shit.

I was prepared for months of hauling this tome around, commenting casually on what I'm reading in conversations at work, sprinkling my day-to-day with some trade-paperback cred.

I am possibly more suprised than anyone that I am LOVING this book.

I need a hobby. No, seriously.

This weekend I attended an engagement party BBQ for a couple I went to university with. I am so completely over the moon for this couple, because I think they make each other so very happy and they are two of my favourite people. Also, I really enjoy getting invited over to their place for dinner.
 
(It's our turn to host, so that wasn't a hint)
 
(Though I wouldn't turn them down)
 
The party was at her parents' house, which I always find to be interesting. I love checking out people's homes in general, but there's something very comforting about hanging out at a Mom and Dad's house. The artifacts of a family are much different than the artifacts of 20-30 somethings.
 
At El Rancho Doug and Lenore (my parent's place), you'll find photos of my brother and I at different, awkward stages of life. Crafts we made, ribbons and awards we won, tchotkes we collected and precious things we amassed over the 20 some years we lived there.
 
Our apartment is decorated with books and dvd's. Gary's got most of his life collections amassed there, including a lego pirate ship (awesome). For the most part, he's not a tchotke guy.
 
I, on the other hand, am storing my clutter, er, treasures from childhood, high school, and university in boxes at my Mom and Dad's house. Indefinitely.  You won't find scrapbooks full of angsty poems clipped from teen magazines, 7th place ribbons, framed certificates from essay contests or failed art projects in my home, I guess until I have childrens of my own.
 
And while we're on the topic of failed art projects:
 
I need a hobby. Seriously. I'm open to suggestions.
 
I've knitted. I've done pottery. Pole dancing. Aquatic running. Yoga. Pilates. German language classes.
 
I tend to lean towards both group classes for active hobbies and solitary pursuits for quiet, 'ME' time.
 
Help me, people. I need something to spice up my existence.
 
 
 

Friday, August 21, 2009

Lacking inspiration at this point

Friday, August 21, 2009
You know, nothing funny or strange happened to me in the past few days. I have basically stayed inside, at my desk during the day or on the couch in the evenings. It makes for kind of a dull existence, really. I need an outside-the-house hobby. Suggestions?

I guess the high point of the week was spending nearly 2 hours in the waiting room of a Walk-In Clinic. I've lived here for, oh, 7 years. I have no family doctor. I haven't had a family doctor since I was but a wee tot. I may not have had a family doctor since I sprung forth into this world, giant head first. I'd have to check with my mom.

I was there to get a particular, ladies-only prescription refil. After my epic wait, where I calmly flipped through a copy of FLARE and worried about exposure to H1N1, I finally got to see the doctor.

Tragically, the doctor didn't ever really SEE me, and as far as he knows, he prescribed 3 months of birth control to a man with a high-pitched voice. How one can assess the medical needs of a patient without ever looking at them is beyond me- though that doctor's over-the-shoulder prescription passing skills were phenomenal.

On the upside, however: I didn't have to PAY to see a doctor. But that's another post altogether.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fashion: I give up!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Do you know how cute I look today? I seriously wish I had a webcam of some sorts, because I'm sitting here in my office and all of this cute is being WASTED.
 
(I work with women and gay men. Such is the life of the non-profit/arts communications gig.)
 
This morning I woke up and slowly rolled out of bed. There was no leaping, no birds chirping, no rising and shining. No, I hauled my sorry self into the bathroom and started my day.
 
In a bleary haze, I worked over the kitchen, looking for the blender bits for our Magic Bullet Blender, never before used. I have all the ingredients for a smoothie, but because I lack the ability to actually see or process thoughts in the morning, I went without my smoothie. I had bottom of the box cereal crumbs and slightly expired soy milk instead.
 
But then, people, I remembered. And I leapt into action!
 
I brushed. I washed. I blow-dryed, flat-ironed, hairsprayed. For the love of god, I applied a full face of makeup. WITH BRUSHES. Usually I use my stubby little fingers to smear some light-shimmer on my eyes and call it a day.
 
I had a day of meetings ahead of me, involving artistic staff, several dancers, sponsors and media partners. And be damned, I was going to make a good impression.
 
I carefully selected an outfit of cute green jacket (minus stain), well-cut trouser jeans and blue shoes, jewelery to "go" but not "match", and applied the perfect lipstick. I flipped my hair over my shoulder. I was ready, World!
 
I got to work and consulted my calendar.
 
My day of meetings is tomorrow.
 
Wasted effort. Wasted, wasted, wasted.
 

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Where it becomes apparent that I am becoming That Lady

Sunday, August 16, 2009
This weekend was a pretty good one. For the first time in weeks- months- maybe even this year, neither Gary nor I had any plans. Thank the Lord, I say. I was bloody exhausted by the time Friday night rolled around.

We ordered pizza (sans chicken!), watched Die Hard 4, and then I lamed out and hit the sack, because I knew I had to be up with the birdies on Saturday.

Why, you ask?

Because tank tops were on sale at Old Navy for $2.

That's right, I planned my weekend around a Door Crasher sale at Old Navy. I got up, got dressed and left the house to arrive at the mall about 30 minutes after the stores opened.

I can see the future, people. In this future I am that lady with the mitt full of coupons, screaming at a woman and trying to grab that last package of 15 cent looseleaf, then promptly being escorted out of Superstore. My un-conceived future offspring are so ashamed.

I left the mall on Saturday with 5 tank tops.

I left my dignity behind.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Spell it out, all simple-like

Friday, August 14, 2009

Worth the effort:

Shaving my legs

Not worth the effort:

Shaving my legs above the knee unless I'm expecting company or it's a special occasion


Worth the effort:

Homemade tomato sauce paired with homemade chicken parmigiana

Not worth the effort:

Homemade tomato sauce paired with homemade chicken parmigiana on a Monday night


Worth the effort:

Lovingly hand-written thank you cards

Not worth the effort:

Lovingly hand crafted gifts for each one of my coworkers. Sometimes a Timmy's gift certificate says enough


Worth the effort:

Blowdrying my hair and applying mascara

Not worth the effort:

Blowdrying my hair and applying waterproof (LIES!) mascara, then walking 20 blocks to work in the rain

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Life is much calmer with cats

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I love dogs. I wish I had a dog. I frequently (on a daily basis) ask Gary if we can get a dog, despite the fact that our building forbids them.

This morning on my walk to work, I saw a rather round man with a rather small dog. This dog was up on his hind legs, yapping his poor little heart out. Up the block, I saw a woman who matched the man rounding the corner, moving out of sight.

The man was repeating, "She's coming back, I promise! She is coming back! I promise!" in increasing urgency to the small yapping hound.

Being a dog must be like living in a constant state of Latino Soap Opera. The drama! The tears! The tearing at one's blouse, one's hair, the clawing of the hands in desperation!

I do not live in a Telenovella. I know with reasonable certainty that when I leave my house, it is not for the last time. I will probably be back within 10 hours or so. Though I am prone to whining when Gary leaves in the morning, it is less out of "MY LOVE! I WILL NEVER SEE YOU AGAIN! WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME! OLE!" and more out of "aaaaaaahhwww. If you're leaving for work this means that I have to get out of this warm, soft bed and also leave for work. Crumb."

On the other hand, when that roly-poly lady DOES come back,that dog will notice. He will not casually look up from the computer, acknowledge that the door has opened, and turn back to the computer. Oh, no. He will fling himself at her legs, chanting a constant doggy chorus of "YOU HAVE RETURNED TO ME! MY LOVE! YOU CAME BACK! I DIDN'T THINK I'D EVER SEE YOU AGAIN! YOU RETURNED!"

Might be nice to have a dog.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Reasons I'm Annoying, Part 427

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I work in a largely open-concept office. We have offices around the perimeter of the space, and then a little cube-farm in the middle. It works for us, as people who like quiet (accounting) have doors they can close, and people who require the constant hum of creative genius (me) are always in the thick of it.

And if all else fails, one can wear their iPod.

The downside to this office plan, aside from the occasional need to have confidential, closed-door meetings, is an issue desk jockeys across the planet face every day.

The smelly lunch.

I'm trying to save money, so I bring my own lunch to work. It's working remarkably well, closing in on the middle of week four of employment, and I haven't gone out on a lunch run to a fast food/pizza joint yet. I'm saving scads of cash, people. Scads.

But because I'm a busy gal and I hate both sandwiches and salads unless they are prepared by other people, I'm left with two options.

Soup and frozen dinners.

And in the world of frozen dinners, I like things that have a bit of international flair. I like to spice up my day. Who can blame me? Making excel spreadsheets dance is only so exciting. A little flava added to the day makes Megans happy!

So today I heated up my frozen Chicken Korma. And immediately, I regretted it.

Our entire office smells like curry. I'm so sorry, coworkers. This is exactly like the time that I came home on Friday night from a friend's house in high school. We had made sweet potato curry won tons. Saskatchewan. There wasn't a lot to do.

My mother made me take my clothes off outside of the house because she told me I smelled like the apartment building she lived in back in 1975.

I promise, from this point forward: non-smelly lunches. No more sauerkraut or Korma or delicious, worldly treats. PB&J may not be all that thrilling, but at least it will help me avoid scenarios where I get naked in the office.

(some of them, anyway...)

Monday, August 10, 2009

101 things: visit the Farmer's Market

Monday, August 10, 2009
Waaaay back in January I made an outrageous list of goals: 101 things I wanted to accomplish in the next 1001 days. I also dragged a couple of my friends into it. I've posted a link to the list in the sidebar, feel free to check it out. (sorry for those using a reader- I'm emailing this to my blog and haven't figured out how to use fancy code yet)
 
This weekend I was over at the lovely Lady Rose's house, sipping sweet tea, er, diet coke and ruminating on the fact that we both feel our enthusiasm for this project waning. That's the problem with massive self-improvement projects. You start out so keen, so invigorated, so fresh- and 8 months in, you're trying to remember why you decided to be such a dolt and try this in the first place.
 
I could give up, but I really do want to accomplish that list. And it's not like anything on the list is particularly difficult to do in the first place! Egads, people. "Find three jazz albums I really love?" "Lie on the beach at least once?"
 
These are not difficult things to accomplish.
 
So on Saturday I dusted off my vigour and headed out to the Calgary Farmer's Market. It's the Yuppiest of Farmer's Markets in the city. Along with fresh veg and fruits and jam, you can buy wine, fair trade coffee, deluxe pastries, homemade pies, and really expensive yuppie jewelery. Oh, and gorgeous cedar patio furniture, should you own a patio and have an extra grand or so to throw around.
 
Sigh. My fingers are stained pink from the fresh raspberries and cherries I came home with.
 
I've pledged to visit five times, which means four more Saturdays between now and September 2011. I'm pretty sure that is an achievable goal.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

delicious covered in butter

Sunday, August 09, 2009
Last night I had an epic dream with an exciting post-apocalyptic theme. I'm unsure of the exact circumstances surrounding said end of days, but I do know that I was forced- nay, challenged to save the world.

Save the world through a trivia game!

I had to ask a room of normal, average people a series of rapid-fire trivia questions to determine the fate of the human race and the planet earth. The catch? I had to come up with the questions. In real time. Under pressure.

And the best I could come up with?

What is the smallest member of the cabbage family?

I am so, so sorry, World.

Where it becomes apparent that I read mostly smut

I'm avoiding pre-treatment of my whites. This is the BBC Books meme. X's are books I've read.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen x
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling x
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee x
6 The Bible x
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell x
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Epectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott x
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger x
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell x
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams x
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll x
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini x
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden x
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne x
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown x
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving x
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins x
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery x
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood x
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding x
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan x
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel x
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon x
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck x
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold x
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Aleandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding x
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens x
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker x
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett x
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens x
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White x
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle x
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton x
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Eupery x
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Aleandre Dumas x
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare x
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl x
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Friday, August 07, 2009

Weekend Mountain

Friday, August 07, 2009
I got out of bed this morning and tripped over an epic pile of laundry. It's seriously epic. I believe that everything I own is lying in a heap on the floor, waiting to be washed, fluffed and folded. But then I open my drawers and they are still full. Oh, Laundry Mountain. You rival even the most loathed of uphill climbs: our friend, Lady Mountain.
 
Then I stumbled into the kitchen. Fortunately I tackled the stack of dishes that had overtaken our kitchen last night. The downside to the pre-planning and budget-savvy strategy of making all of Gary's breakfasts and lunches (and my lunches) in advance and storing them in tupperware in the fridge for the upcoming week is the OUTRAGEOUS amount of tupperware that collects and then needs to be washed. I officially added "dishwasher" to the Condo Needs and Wants list last night (right there beside double sink, wall big enough for our projection screen and in-suite laundry). Oh, Dish Mountain. I hate you.
 
Then I dropped my eyeshadow compact on the floor in the bathroom. Crumbs of my favourite L'oreal Berries and Cream now shimmer on the tile under the sink. Sorry, Gary. I tried to wipe up what I could in the 30 seconds I reserve for applying cosmetics in the morning before rushing out of the apartment in mad dash to scurry off to the office. Oh, Mop Mountain. I hate you, too.
 
If you haven't figured it out yet, tonight I am going to be a very busy Megan. However, somewhere between my desk at work and our front door there is a bar, and I have plans to meet a friend in that bar for a cocktail. Cleaning is always much more fun after a few G&T's.
 
Oh, Hangover Mountain. I welcome your presence. It has been too long, my friend. Too long.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

AWESOME.

Thursday, August 06, 2009
Cruising the social media networks after an evening of watching post-apocalyptic themed telly, I thought to myself, "Gee. I wonder if Barney Stinson is on Twitter?"

And then I remembered.

He's not a REAL PERSON.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Unseasonably Perky

Tuesday, August 04, 2009
I, for one, am happy that it's raining.
 
It means that I can wear clothes from the fall-winter section of my closet, which, coincidentally, is 99% of said closet.
 
It means I'm not a sweaty, chafed, red-faced mess by the time I arrive at work.
 
It means I can eat delicious hot foods at lunch (Hellooo, President's Choice Blue Menu Thai Sweet Chili Chicken frozen entree, on sale for $3.19).
 
It means that Gary and I can actually watch something in the evening in our apartment without sweating to death.
 
And it means that for a few days, I can indulge my living in Vancouver/London fantasy and drink earl grey tea mistos and brood.
 
On the other hand, if it's still like this next week, I reserve the right to change my tone.