Friday, December 30, 2011

Six Years

Friday, December 30, 2011
I've been blogging for six years now and I still feel like that introspective, moody, semi-hungover girl eating corn pops in her bathrobe and taking a break from the family jigsaw puzzle marathon.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

A haiku

Thursday, December 08, 2011
slow, the sun rises
pink, like the towels on the
floor - soaking it up.

Inspired by the radiator that exploded four floors above us at 5:00 this morning.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Merry Christmas from the Baileys...

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Allan and Megan, Late Summer 2011.

Our parents are so proud of us.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hey Look! We're Pretties!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011
It's been almost a year since Gary put a ring on it, and while that makes him ineligible for the Bailey Family Christmas Draw and the Bailey Family Hockey Draft (you have to be MARRIED or LEGALLY BINDING EQUIVALENT for that kind of business), we decided it was high time to get moving on the wedding planning.

Step One:

Engagement Photos.

Thanks to my good friend and former flatmate, Sarah, for being so patient with us while we awkwardly made faces at the camera and frolicked in a meadow. For reals. The Bailey-Geyers aren't really so great at frolicking, as it turns out...but sitting against a brick wall? Now THAT we can do.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Autumn Eats

Wednesday, October 05, 2011
I love the vast array of fresh produce available all summer long. Strawberries so ripe and red they look like jewels. A handful of raspberries that make me feel like I’m 7, plucking them off the bush at Grandma Clara’s house, my fingers stained. Fresh lettuce, baby potatoes, crisp garden carrots.

But then my attention starts to wane a little bit. I’m not saying that I get tired of barbecue and crunchy salads, fresh juicy tomatoes and nectarines that taste like sunshine – not at all. But around the same time that school starts up again in the fall, the cravings for the food of a different season start to sneak up on me.

Bubbling stews and soups. Roasted chicken and potatoes. Crisp, sweet apples. Spicy gingerbread cookies and cups of steaming tea and cider. Caramel. Pie. Gravy. Casseroles with layers of cheese. Curries. Pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread, and let’s not forget – pumpkin spice lattes. Chai. Root vegetables.

These are some of my favourite foods, and while I’ve sat down to a roast beef dinner in sweltering heat several times in my life – and I’ll do it again, without hesitation – it’s definitely more pleasurable when the air around us starts to cool.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Autumn Reads

Tuesday, October 04, 2011
I love fall. Late August through the end of October is probably my favourite time of year. (November is a month for brooding, and then it’s back into awesometown as we ramp up to Christmas!)

It’s still warm enough to get away with no jacket, but it’s chilly enough for a sweater or a scarf.

And I love sweaters.

In tribute of my favourite season, I’m going to attempt to post a mini series about my favourite fall things.

Today: My favourite fall books.

Fall reading material is different than other seasons, but it’s a stark contrast with what I read in the summer. Summertime, and the reading is eaaaasy – cheap and steamy mysteries, grocery-store romances, bodice rippers, British chick lit. That’s what I like to read by the pool or on a road trip.

But when the weather turns, I like something cozy. Engrossing. A little bit…sinister around the edges.

In no particular order:

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I read this one every few years. It’s one of my favourite books.

A Song of Ice and Fire series (also known as the Game of Thrones series) by George R.R. Martin – I finished the first two books over the summer, but I’m saving the rest for after Thanksgiving. Because after all – winter is coming.

The Harry Potter series by J.K.Rowling. I read these as they came out in the summer, but I truly relish reading them in the fall, for that back-to-Hogwarts nostalgia.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger – I read this with high, high hopes. I was disappointed because I wanted something like what she’d already written, but on it’s own – it’s perfect for fall.

The Forgotten Garden or The Distant Hours by Kate Morton. These are gothic-style family mysteries set in pre-WWII England. Perfect for tea sipping and brooding in a field of heather (in my imagination).

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. Another gothic suspense story. It's been a few years since I've read this, but I stayed up all night racing to the conclusion of this ghost (or is it?) story.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. To be fair, I’m only half-way through, but OH MY GOD this is everything I wanted in this book. I don’t really care how it ends, I’ve gotten my $9.99 worth of ebook enjoyment out of it already. I’ve loved it so much that I’m going to go buy it in hardcover.

I’d love to hear what you like to read when the leaves start to fall. Jane Eyre? Pride and Prejudice? Gritty detective stories? Sweeping romances? Lay it out. If you’ve got any suggestions for me, I’d love to hear them, too.

I'm going to retire to my chaise, wrap myself in a blanket, brew some tea and eat some caramel corn. Until tomorrow...

Friday, September 30, 2011

And then it was 1001 days later.

Friday, September 30, 2011
I remember vividly making my list of 101 things I wanted to accomplish it what seemed like an enormous amount of time. Christmas vacation was over. It was cold. I was working in a job that made me miserable. I hated my boss. I was terrified of how things were progressing with my financial situation. (At least I rectified that, though it took a few years and caused me endless amounts of grief) I was moving in with my boyfriend. I was a grown up lady. I was going to achieve these things, this list of 101 random things I put about 4 hours of thought, max, into compiling.

2008 was a horrible year. January of 2009 held a lot of promise. Little did I know that the coming year would be bumpy. I’d lose my job again. I’d have epic moments of “Am I doing the right thing, is this the right guy, why is there so much tension in this household – oh, right, it’s the fact that I have wicked cabin fever, no money and I’m struggling with letting him support me financially…”

Since January of 2009 I have had 3 different jobs. I’ve bought a condo and built a home with my partner. I’ve travelled to two, but not three, foreign countries. I learned to speak (at least a few phrases in) a different language. I didn’t sit on the beach. I didn’t go snorkeling. I made jam. I didn’t blog every day for 6 months.

Turns out that I don’t really care if I roast a chicken in a cast iron pan. Or about finding 3 specific albums of jazz music. Or dying a part of my hair magenta.

I did really care about changing my last name (subtext: I knew after a few months of dating that I wanted to marry Gary; it took a little bit longer for that actually to get off the ground. But the wait was worth it). I paid off my credit card debt, I started directing funds into an RRSP, I bought and furnished a home. I found a job I loved. Twice.

I guess what I learned most, though, was that it’s fine to set a list of goals. And goals are very, very important. But goals need to be flexible, need to move and change and grow. Because frankly some of the things I decided were so important in 2009 I honestly could care less about now. Having 101 of them was overwhelming and I lost interest.

So that’s about all I’ve got to say. Time flies, when you’re having fun/unemployed/trying to survive bouts of depression/elated with joy/eating bratwurst. Thanks for sticking around.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Use the tools, don't be one.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011
Working in a modern office is challenging, for many reasons.

But one of the largest points of frustration for me, and I'm assuming for the late-born half of Gen X and the entirety of Gen Y, or heck, pretty much every single person working in an office - is how we work with technology.

Some people catch on to new technology really quickly. It's second nature for a lot of us - because ultimately, once you master one platform or software suite or program, you can apply that knowledge to others. Without knowing much about software design or doing any research, I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that most of the tech we use in our day-to-day office lives is *designed that way*.

But the real problem comes when we assume that our coworkers all understand how to use these tools. Be it a blackberry, powerpoint, email, an FTP site, a digital camera, the internet - these are the basic tools of working in 2012. I'm not asking you to be able to write code or use CS4 or understand style sheets. I don't know how to do any of those things.

I'm asking that everyone who is employed in a job that requires use of email know how to send an email. That you understand how to send an email with an attachment. That you understand what a search engine is and how to find a file you've saved on your computer. And oh my god, saving to a common folder? What you talkin crazy about, girl?

I'd like to believe - it's my big dream, really - that we can get to a point in our society where people understand the scheduling function in Outlook. I have a calendar. I put my appointments in the calendar. I even block off time for lunch or the gym or a sanity break or whatever. When I need to call a meeting, I use scheduling assistant to select a time when everyone I need to attend a meeting is, indeed, free.

I do not send 15 emails asking if everybody can meet at 12:30. No? Not 12:30? How about 4? Sal can't meet at 4? How does Tuesday look? Ok! Tuesday! It's settled!

Oh, wait. Nope, Tuesday doesn't work for me. Let's look into next week...

Seriously. Do yourself a favour. Figure out what tools and programs you need to use in your job. Learn how they work. Then - and this is the shocker - actually USE them.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Back to School

Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Today would have been a really good day to have planned for a crock-pot dinner. A nice, bubbling stew. Or maybe a hot plate of pot roast and gravy. But I'm not that organized - it was enough for me to get out of bed before 6:30 to take the dog out for a cold, dripping walk.

It's the last day of August, and the kids are back at school. I know this not because I have children or am back at school myself, but because they are back on the bus. I'm told that the giant High School that is on my bus route doesn't actually start back up until tomorrow morning, but today there were a few groggy, nervous looking pre-teens out there standing in the rain, getting their first-day hair 'dos wet.

Soon the morning transit will smell like Victoria's Secret body spray, Axe cologne, puberty and angst. I will once again suffer being stuck between a goth couple smashing their tongues about and two students sipping lattes and stressing out over their AP exams.

Summer is over, and for those of us without school supplies to buy or lunches to pack or plots to hatch to get certain boys we've pined over for years but not seen all summer to fall madly in love with us this semester, we've got to rely on other signs.

Like a flood of insolent teens. And this cold, miserable, gloomy weather.

What I wouldn't give to be packed into my new chaise, in my library corner, sipping a coffee and reading something maybe just a little less trashy than what I've been devouring all summer long.

Because now that the lazy dog days are over, it's time to get down to business. No more Barbara Taylor Bradford or reams of fantistorical fiction for me. Nope - if I'm going to glare resentfully over the top of my book at fourteen year olds wearing more eyeliner than I've ever owned in my life and who are punctuating every single sentence with staccato curse words and be taken seriously, then I'm going to have to glare over them from something with some substance.

Dante? War and Peace? Milton's Paradise Lost? Naomi Klein? Any suggestions?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen, Your Designated Driver

Sunday, July 17, 2011

ps - I felt really beautiful yesterday. The secret to beauty must be to surround yourself with love. And beer.

Monday, July 11, 2011

I feel charming, oh so charming - but that's easy.

Monday, July 11, 2011
I have not been feeling so awesome about the State of Meganness lately.

It's been a long, long time since I felt pretty. Genuine, 'check me out, I'm hot stuff!' pretty. I'm not fishing for compliments here, I'm just saying. It's been awhile since I've looked at myself in the mirror and been jazzed about what's staring back.

I don't know if it's my short haircut. While chic and low-maintenance and I do get a lot of compliments on, isn't exactly feminine.

I don't know if it's the clothes I'm wearing, that make me feel frumpy and unattractive and so very last season and like I don't fit in my own skin.

It might be the same-same makeup routine I've been practicing since 1998.

It could be that I've been struggling with self-image for a very long time.

Whatever the reasons, it sucks.

We're about a year from our wedding, the one day in a woman's life when she should, without pause or hesitation, feel beautiful. Everyone I know, everyone I've ever known, has looked gorgeous on her wedding day. And I'm sure I will, too.

Except I keep freaking out about it. I don't want to go dress shopping. I don't want to look at pictures of myself. I don't want to feel all the pressure of feeling like I look beautiful and loving myself TIMES ONEHUNDREDTHOUSAND when I really don't.


Maybe I just need some new clothes, a manicure and some lipstick.

How do you make yourself feel pretty, oh so pretty, when really, you feel a bit bilge rat?

Friday, June 24, 2011

101 in 1001: Jammin'

Friday, June 24, 2011
Yes, I am still working on that dang list.

Last weekend I bit the bullet and made jam. All by myself. I had originally planned to make no-cook freezer jam. It's easy, it's fast, it keeps for a year in the freezer.

But then I started reading blogs. And researching recipes. And realized that I wanted to try this canning thing out - and so I did.

With an improvised canner (our stockpot) and canning rack (made out of tinfoil), I gave this recipe a whirl.

And here are the fruits of my labour.

Canning is a glorious combination of my favourite things - crafts, cooking and science. There were pots bubbling. Delicious smells. The chance of danger. And then, when it was all over, something glorious that I could share. Our new condo has a gorgeous pantry off the kitchen with loads of room for jars filled with preserves, and I really enjoyed the process.

Plus, that jam was freaking delicious.

This weekend I'm going to try a couple other recipes - a strawberry-rhubarb jam and a small batch of salsa.

I bought myself a $17 enamel canner and rack (tinfoil doesn't really do well when you boil the crap out of it for 20 minutes) and a case of half-pint jars. Exciting new hobby? Check. One more item off the list? Double-check.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

It's not a contest

Wednesday, June 08, 2011
Last night I took a bottle of wine over to a friend's house to help her finish her wedding invitations.

They are lovely. Three layers of cardstock, ribbon, etc, etc. I am very impressed.

And filled with a certain type of comparative fire that has had me questioning my plan for our wedding invitations since 6pm last night.

Hers are better than mine. That can't happen. My invitations have to be better than hers. My whole wedding must be better than hers. I HAVE TO WIN.

Good lord.

It's not a bloody contest. Do I care about invitations? They're not on my top 5 priority list. Do I want to spend several hours every night for a few weeks designing, constructing and crafting them? Not so much. Are the invitations I am planning to send affordable, attractive, and do they meet my needs? Yes.

So what's the boggle?

I don't know. I blame the SavBlanc. White wine always brings out the bitch in me.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

We don't live here anymore

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

This was our view. My view for 2 and a half years, Gary's for 9. We could look out the 23rd story window and see the mountains, the river, the city.

I could not be happier. We did our final move-out walk-thru this morning. We handed over the keys, the scan card, signed the papers. It's done. We don't live there anymore.

No more ridiculously hot, sleepless nights. No more 3am train horns. No more shouting across the street, no more pidgeons on the balcony, no more weirdos in the elevator.

It was a nice enough place. But by the end of this month, it felt like a real dump. I hated driving past it. I hated having to go back there to finish up cleaning or moving. I wanted to be done with it.

And now we are.

Adios, renting. Can't say you'll be missed.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Let's talk about...

Friday, May 27, 2011

I hate talking about money. Seriously. I hate it. I loathe the idea, it makes me nervous. My heart races, my stomach hurts. I lose sleep. I would rather go to the Gyno than talk about money.

But here I am. Talking about money. Willingly.

When Gary decided that it was time to be serious about purchasing a home, I freaked out. A lot. I freaked out because that meant I had to be serious, take control of my finances, and get my gear (and bank account) in order.

I have a commerce degree. A COMMERCE degree. I'm smart. But so stupid with money.

I am embarrassed to admit that I frequently had NO IDEA what my bank balance was - and was in a constant state of fear that I was one latte away from an overdraft charge. It was way easier to stick my head in the sand and forget about it. And buy some more shoes.

So we sat down, together. There were some tears (mine). There were some confessions (ours). And there were lots of hugs, and promises that hey - we can do this, together.

And now, a few short months later, here we are. We bought a home. I have grasped control of my finances. I might be a bit shaky, but at least I know, to the cent, how much money is in my bank account. I know what the password is to my RRSP account. Today, I negotiated our insurance rates down by $30 a month - which, for the record, is one extra dinner at our favourite Vietnamese restaurant.

And most importantly, I know that I have X number of bills to pay before I get paid again.

So canned chili for lunch and no starbucks today it is.

Gary definitely helped me get my self back on track, and without his support, and love, and the fact that he never doubted or judged me, who knows how bad things could have gotten?

Another huge help was a book that I read recently. Moolala, by Bruce Sellery, is hilarious. It's written for smart people, like me, who do dumb things with their money, like me. Never once did I feel talked down to, or embarrassed. In fact, I felt empowered. And entertained.

When is the last time a personal finance book entertained you? Seriously?

It's written for Canadians (BONUS) but I'm sure his advice is applicable no matter what currency you use and if you call it a 401K or an RRSP. (I think those things are the same, right? Anyone? Bueller?) It's not just about saving for retirement, either. It's about creating context for your money, which in turn, helps you reach your savings goals - and your life goals.

I heartily recommend it. I bought it at Chapters. If you know me you can borrow mine. But I think you'll like it enough to go out and buy it yourself.

*obviously I wasn't paid for this. Bruce Sellery answered my email about RSS feeds for his blog almost instantly and I happen to have met his partner through a string of random work situations, but he doesn't know me nor had any personal influence over this post. Aside from the fact that the book is awesome.*

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The one where I realize that I'm the jerk

Tuesday, May 24, 2011
I came to a really uneasy conclusion a few weeks ago.

I love doling out I Told You So's. When under extreme stress, I am the jerk who wanders around pointing out errors or potential problems, but offering little in the form of solutions.

I take great satisfaction in being proven right in unfortunate circumstances.

In short, I am the jerk in your workplace. Or, uh, at home. If you're unfortunate enough to live with me full-time.

Sorry, Gary.

Obviously, you can understand that this does not sit well with me. It's hard when things that are otherwise advantages, or strengths - like being able to see past step one and two, down the road to step six where - OOPS! - there be dragons and problems and issues - become weaknesses, or negative attributes.

But when pressured, when other stress comes into play, when I'm not my Best Self, the way that manifests is really icky. And really awful to deal with.

So I'm trying. I'm trying to point out the potential problems that lay ahead along WITH the solution. Or at least, more than a smug "I told you that would happen and you didn't listen" retort.

I used to get really bad growing pains in my shins when I was a child. I'm 5'9. A lot of that height came quickly, and suddenly, and I used to cry out at night for my dad to come and rub my legs to make it stop hurting.

So opening up here, by saying that I recognize that I exhibit douche behaviours...that's me calling out in the middle of the night. Growing up can suck sometimes. But maybe someone out there will come help me deal with some of that pain?

Does anyone out there have any suggestions? Things I could read? Exercises I could try? Thoughts to ponder?

Or at least maybe someone could provide me with a stronger metaphor?

Goodbye, Wallet

My wallet was stolen out of my purse on Monday afternoon.

I've never had my wallet stolen. I've left it on a bus once, several years ago, but I got it back with every single cent in it.

I was out for coffee with a friend, my giant handbag hung over the chair rail as usual, my coat slung over it. I felt someone bumping my chair a few times, but the cafe was crowded. I reached around to check that my bag was still there and thought nothing else of it - until I went to pay for groceries about 3 hours later and found that my wallet had disappeared.

I searched the car. I emptied my purse. I went back to our rented apartment, where I had stopped to clean out the fridge. I checked over, under and around boxes in our new home - but nothing.

I called to cancel my credit card and it was confirmed - several charges had already been made at gas stations across the city. (OMG, the price of gas is already killing me filling up my own car, never mind a caravan of thieves!)

I'm lucky that I don't carry cash, that credit cards are insured for this sort of thing, that I was going to have to go get a new license anyway.

But it still sucks. My plans for an extra day off - shopping, a pedicure, some various errands - all evaporated because I don't carry cash, and now I have to wait until my new cards arrive.

Bummer. It was a really nice wallet, too.

Monday, May 23, 2011

At long last

Monday, May 23, 2011

Thank god that this month is almost over.

We painted for days. A full week, actually. We packed for weeks. We loaded two moving trucks with the help of three amazing friends. We have about nine million boxes to unpack - all of which we carried down 23 floors, into said trucks, and then back up a floor. So many elevators. So many bruises.

And finally, we've settled into our new condo, and it is amazing. I can't wait to have you all over - well, those of you that aren't serial killers or stalkers or weird rapists or people I went to junior high school with who were real jerks to me. Particularly those of you who frequently removed my snap-up track pants and threw them into the boys' washroom.

You know who you are.

You are not invited over.

But I digress. The past few weeks have been a flurry of sleep-deprivation and hard work. But now it's almost over! I've even hung a flowering basket up on the balcony.

It doesn't quite feel like home yet, but it sure is sweet.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hey! We didn't kill each other!

Monday, May 16, 2011

On Friday Gary and I took posession of our new home. We got the keys at 2:30, ate a quick celebratory linner at 3:30 and were at the Home Depot not even two hours after officially becoming homeowners.

16 gallons of paint, a trunkload of painting supplies, one bottle of Mr Clean and a new mophead and several hours later, we were in business.

We painted all day, all weekend. I woke up earlier on Saturday and Sunday than I EVER do on a workday. It was thrilling. It was exhilarating. It was fun, for the first, oh, let's say four hours. By the time our mid-afternoon Frappucino break hit on Saturday afternoon I was good and sick of painting. But we perservered because we still have so much to do. And I am so, so tired.

But hey! We didn't even argue once. The wedding is still on! This bodes well for our future, yes?

Monday, May 02, 2011

Oh so many boxes

Monday, May 02, 2011
We started packing for our move yesterday.

Gary shall we say...a little type A about the whole packing process. On Friday he spent most of the afternoon driving to god knows where to buy the best grade bankers boxes at the best price he could find. No, the ones they sell at Staples aren't good enough for him, sir.

We had a busy weekend, so by the time Sunday rolled around I was exhausted. While I slept in, Gary hauled nine hundred small appliances out of the storage room. Then he took the shelves out of the storage room. And finally, after brunch and a grocery run, we got down to work. He instructed me on bankers box assembly and proper filling of the bankers boxes and we started packing.

There is a stack of boxes filled strictly with DVDs and Blurays that is about 6 high and three deep in our closet. Beside it is a slightly smaller - but not by much - stack of boxes filled with books. The books are not stacked on top of the dvds, though. Because that would be BEDLAM.

Also, it would apparently make it more difficult to load the boxes onto a dolly, but what do I know?

All afternoon Gary and I built boxes and filled them.

And frankly - thank god for Gary, because after box number three I got really, really, really bored.

I'm pretty sure Gary packed nine boxes for every one that I packed. And I'm sure he didn't appreciate my frequent diet coke and cheese breaks, or that I sat on the floor and idly flipped through my old history notes for about twenty minutes.

But hey. The boxes are packed. One major to-do checked off the list.

Only eight bazillion more to-dos to go.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Not everyone wants to be in your weddding party - specifically, me.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011
I have a very strong opinion about wedding parties. The people who stand up for you at your wedding have an important role to play. And it's not just wearing an unflattering outfit, shelling out mega cash to cater to your every whim and re-scheduling their lives to accommodate multiple wedding-centric parties, events and outings.

They are there to offer support for the marriage of the bride and the groom, in the days leading up to the wedding and the days after. These are the people you chose to stand beside you and proclaim, "we support this union! we will do everything we can to ensure it is successful - today, tomorrow and fifty years from now."

These are the people who will take the vodka bottle away from you, stop you from making out with that cowboy and pour you into a taxi three days before the ceremony when you've got the cold feet.

Heavy shit, right?

So if you don't believe a couple should get married, gracefully pass on that bridesmaid invitation. If you are unwilling to shoulder that burden, say no thanks. If you are still trying to set the bride/groom up with your hot cousin...then you know where I'm going with this.

Just say no.

And furthermore - being a bridesmaid is NOT FUN.

I don't know what crazy romance novel/wacky girlie bonding movie kool-aid we've all been drinking. Sure, it has it's moments - including being privy to the dirt and details of wedding planning. Having a seat of honour. Being recognized as someone so important to the bride and groom that they've asked you to play a role in the first day of their married lives.

But dudes.

Not always fun.

I didn't ask a lot of my close friends to be in our bridal party. I considered their lives, if they might have significant life events or other important things happening to them in the coming year. Do they live across the country? Are they planning a baby for roughly next year? Do they have demanding lives, short budgets and too many other things going on?

Then I thought about whether they'd be the person urging me to divorce the lug once and for all five years from now when the baby hasn't stopped crying for three days and my spouse made an idiotic comment about my penchant for yoga pants, or if they'd laugh with me and help me through it.

Young brides often think that their friends would be offended if they weren't asked to be bridesmaids.

I'm not exactly a young bride, and I was more concerned about the friends and family I'd be inconveniencing if I did ask. Which might have been presumptuous, but is it not more presumptuous to ask you to take off a few weeks, buy an expensive dress, dance with my future brother-in-law (you know, with the hypothetical odour issue?) get your hair done, fly across the world and spend a week helping me heat emboss a hundred and fifty place cards?

And while we're on the subject, I'm also hoping, DEAR LORD PLEASE, that my days of being a bridesmaid are OVER. Finito. Caput. The end.

Because I'm done. After spending all day Saturday searching for the right dress with the Bride, her mother, and her sister - who, uh, happens to by my fiance's ex girlfriend because I lacked the ability to say, gee, thanks, I'm honoured, but no thanks- I'm DONE. Call someone else. Because I love you all, really I do, but honest to god, the next person who asks me to don the chiffon is getting a kick to the head.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wait, we actually have to plan this thing?

Thursday, April 14, 2011
Gary and I have emerged from our home-purchasing cocoon and take possession of our condo in one month minus one day. Huzzah! We are adults now! Really! Like full-fledged and stuff! We have a mortgage payment!

Interlude while I breathe shallowly into a paper bag.

Anyway, even though now we're spending most of our time dithering over paint chips and comparing the many virtues of different formal dining room sets, there is a beast lurking in the background. Something big, kinda important, sort of significant and expensive.


No, wait. That's not right.

Oh, right. The WEDDING.

I keep thinking that it's well over 18 months away.

"How goes the wedding planning?" asks an innocent acquaintance or coworker.

I scoff. "We've got a year and half! Talk to me in June!"'s almost June. In the next 6 weeks I'm going to be packing, painting, cleaning, packing, unpacking and whammo! June 1 will be upon us like a dirty shirt.

And then holy dinah. I have to start planning a wedding.

My subconscious must realize it, because I've had a few wedding-related dreams lately. Of course, most of them focus on being a bridesmaid in Kate Middleton's wedding, or having to help Kate Middleton find a backup wedding gown because someone blew the cover off her super secret one, or helping Kate Middleton run away in the night because she realized:


So clearly I've got wedding on the brain, despite the fact that I'm sort of in denial about it.

I am looking forward to planning a few things - cake eating! dress shopping! picking the song I'll dance to with my dad!

Some things make me want to apply a power drill to my temple - seating charts! budgets! guest lists!

And some things I just haven't even stopped to consider - and I'm sure one of these days I'll be dealt the You're a Bad Bride card for not having a strong opinion on Cathedral vs. Fingertip Veil length or whether to register for a formal china pattern or not.

But anyway. I wanted to give you fair warning. Things might start getting a little tulle crazy around here.

But I'll try to keep it to a minimum. Or at the very least, mildly entertaining. Like, "What to do when the chances are mighty high that every other woman in your wedding party will be knocked up on your wedding day?"

Answer: Don't worry about it. More champagne for me.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Oh, why the hell not.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011
Internet meme! Fun for all!

Blogger ABCs

A. Age: 26 years and 364 days.

B. Bed size: Queen

C. Chore you hate: I hate all of them, but probably washing the dishes the most. Oh, what's that? Our new condo (OFFICIAL!!) has a dishwasher. BAZAM!

D. Dogs: I have a sister-dog Abbey and a niece-dog Jude. I don't have a dog of my own but would love one. I would name it Lucy.

E. Essential start to your day: Coffee and a good-bye-have-a-nice-day-drive-safe-love-you kiss. Not in that order.

F. Favorite color: green

G. Gold or silver: gold.

H. Height: 5'9"

I. Instruments: Piano as a child, French Horn, Trumpet and Bass Guitar as a teen, the spoons now.

J. Job title: Communicatrix. Well, actually, it's Communications Specialist but I'm lobbying for a change.

K. Kids: I like hanging out with other people's.

L. Live: with my SigOth in an apartment downtown.

M. Mom's name: Lenore

N. Nicknames: Meg

O. Overnight hospital stays: A few, one concussion and then a bout of really severe strep.

P. Pet peeve: assholes. Oh, wait. Um...foam mattresses, burnt coffee, people that say "I seen". Oh god, the "I seen" is going to be the end of me.

Q. Quote from a movie: Rob, top five musical crimes perpetuated by Stevie Wonder in the '80s and '90s. Go. Sub-question: is it in fact unfair to criticize a formerly great artist for his latter day sins, is it better to burn out or fade away?

R. Right or left handed: right

S. Siblings: 1 younger brother

T. Time you wake up: not early enough. Somewhere between 7:30 - 7:45.

U. Underwear: indeed.

V. Vegetables you dislike: raw onions.

W. What makes you run late: the snooze button.

X. X-Rays you've had: left wrist, right arm.

Y. Yummy food you make: I am an excellent cook. And incredibly modest.

Z. Zoo- favorite animal: I kind of have a hate-on for the Zoo but if pressed, Hippo!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Overheard at Chez Geyer-Bailey

Sunday, April 03, 2011
Megan: (singing and dancing in the kitchen) Garb-orator, lallala, I can't wait to have a dishwasher, I can't wait to have a washing machine, all our chores are going to be done by robots...lalalala..

Gary: I don't know about you, but I don't currently take my laundry down to the river to wash it.

Megan: blank stare.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Monday, March 28, 2011
So we did it, peoples. We found a condo we loved, we put an offer in, the offer has been accepted, we did a walk-through and got a mortgage and now we are waiting for the one final piece of the puzzle - the inspection of the condo finances and documents. Once that's's ours!
After a few days of waking up promptly at 4:00 AM and staying awake for a good hour and a half, then falling back asleep, I'm now sleeping soundly through the night. And dreaming of one and a half baths, over a thousand square feet, recently renovated, concrete construction, dishwasher, massive amounts of storage space and in-suite laundry....
You're all invited over for dinner if and when the deal closes. Cross your fingers for us!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A peek inside my brain

Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Gary and I have indeed started looking at real estate.
People, I would be completely lying to you if I told you that I had been looking forward to this. Gary has been on the condo-purchasing bandwagon for almost a decade, but what with Calgary's whacko housing boom and various life changes he's experienced, it's just never happened. But he really wanted it to happen NOW, so back in January I agreed. We should meet with a Real Estate Agent and get some information on the process, of which I was totally in the dark.
Because honestly, I work in the Arts. People in my industry, my peers - they don't often own their own homes. We're a big swath of secondary-suite renters (CALGARY CITY COUNCIL I'M SO DISAPPOINTED) I'm part of that atrocious generation of 20 somethings that are rapidly bomeranging back into their parents' homes and enjoying an extra decade or so of delayed adolesence. I figured I'd buy a home sometime in my mid to late thirties, if ever. Because obviously when I was making my Grand Master Life Plan back in 2006 I figured that in 2011 I'd be living in Paris, and be super slender and doe-eyed and wear a lot of stripes and naturally bed-rumpledly gorgeous, and be dating really exotic men with accents and drinking a lot of Bordeaux and writing the Great Canadian/Parisian Novel.
But hey! Here we are, and it's 2011, and my Grand Master Life Plan now includes things like a wedding (July 14, 2012!), and baby/ies and RRSPs and car payments. The plan has totally changed - well, minus the bed-rumpledly (questionably gorgeous) bit and the copious amounts of wine, but I now prefer Pinot Noir. And it's totally wicked. It's just not where I thought I'd be when I plotted out Major Life Events on my imaginary little graph o' life.
So I was hesitant. I'd be one hundred percent saying goodbye to Parisian Fantasy Megan. *cue door slamming sound*
So then we met with a Realtor. I figured that would be enough for a few weeks, just kind of dip our toes into the water. But then we started looking at listings. And met with a mortage broker. And got some financial stuff figured out. And then heck, let's start actually looking at property.
The next thing I knew, I was digging through some stranger's medicine cabinet and closets, and it was totally kosher to do so.

And now, the home-purchasing process? IT'S ALL I CAN THINK ABOUT, EVER.
I hate HGTV. But now I find myself streaming Property Virgins in the evenings and obsessively flipping over to that channel when I'm on the elliptical. I browse through home and garden magazines. I think about paint swatches. I CONSIDER THE PRICES OF APPLIANCES - and not quesadilla makers, no, I mean the heavyweights.
And surprise, surprise. I am totally gung-ho about the home purchasing process. Hit me. Hit me with more listings. Let's look at condos on Saturday. Let's spend another hour disecting our household budget. Let's talk about what it really means to be house poor. Let's consider our hidden desires to renovate a bathroom (still totally nil). Everything about our current apartment is driving me bat-shit crazy. I WANT TO MOVE. NOW.
It's a rollercoaster, people. And I"m not even going to go into detail about how we found the PERFECT condo and then had to say goodbye to the place, and with it, our dreams.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Modesty has never been my strongest virtue

Thursday, March 10, 2011
Oh, hey blog. What's up? Looking good, looking good. Let yourself go a bit, though. Well, if I'm going to be brutally honest here - and we're friends right? So we can be that way with each other - you look pathetic.

Unlike me.

I get that you deal with stress by clamming up and hiding, but couldn't you do something maybe a bit more original?

Like chopping off ALL of your hair?


Hottness, amirite?

And totally a fab way to deal with the fact that you're getting married, working like a madman (But not a Mad Man, they don't let us Scotch and Cig it up at the museum, for shaaame) and buying your first home. ALL AT ONCE.

Better than developing a raging Thursday - Sunday vodka habit and self-medicating with cupcakes and Tylenol 3, I say ;)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Tuesday, February 22, 2011
I made the most amazing buttermilk banana muffins last night.
Yesterday Gary built me a stand, a butcher's block, if you will, exclusively for my KitchenAid mixer. I think he was willing to give up what little empty space we had in our kitchen for such an endeavour because I baked him a pie on Saturday that blew his mind.

Well, I really baked the pie for me, but he doesn't need to know my selfish intentions.
So we cleaned all weekend, and went to ikea, and put the fresh, white sheets on the bed and ate warm stew and biscuits, pie, muffins and waffles and were generally cozy creatures.
I stop myself from wishing that I could be a cozy creature baking muffins all the time, wearing a breezy shirt that reminds me of the bedsheets at my Grandma's, my hair in baby pigtails...because after two periods of unemployment, I know there's no bliss in 'not having to go to work every day' unless you are somehow independently wealthy and can somehow obtain meaning and purpose from muffins.
They were freaking good muffins, but not Life Validating Muffins.
And the line between cozy creature and cabin fever is very, very fine.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Wedding We're Not Having

Friday, February 11, 2011
Last weekend Gary and I went back to my hometown for the annual Dinner Theatre performance, directed by my mother.

It was our first trip back home since getting engaged, and it was awesome to share our exciting news with everyone. We definitely got a ton of hugs and congratulations and well wishes.

But more than a few people also pointed out to me how surprised they are that we're getting married in my hometown - in a traditional hometown-style wedding.

I guess I disappointed everyone by not showing up in a dress like this:

To a flash-mob wedding in Barbados, where we would get funnnkeh to a Guns and Roses/ABBA cover band.

My bridesmaids would wear hot pink and teal pantsuits, the groomsmen in drag, and everyone would be soaked - nay, pickled! - in gin.

And then we would eat some weird ethnic food.

I guess all that wacky teenage angst I ran around with when I lived there kind of stuck, and people still think I'm weird. Loveable. Awesome. But totally weird.

And now I kind of want to have that wedding.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

An open letter to TLC

Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Dear Programming Geniuses at TLC/Discovery,
I have to say, I am really relieved that Stacy and Clinton are back on the air. Even if it has to be on Tuesdays. I was really getting worried there, guys. Several months with no What Not to Wear? Do you know how many Friday nights and Saturday mornings I wasted at the gym, hooked up to a bloody rat-on-a-wheel machine with a TV attached to it so I could watch the show without actually paying for cable?
But no. No WNtW. Only episode after episode of mind-numbing Say Yes to the Dress.
Honest to god, even now that I'm justified in looking at wedding dresses because I'm in the market for one, I still can't think of anything more boring than watching girls I don't know try on wedding dresses on the telly. Except maybe watching rich housewives throw parties. Boooooring.
Please, at least, diversify a bit. Toss in a few other tv shows on Friday nights? Maybe some Child Abuse and Sparkles, er, Toddlers and Tiaras. Or that show about the people with 25 kids. Or that one with the guy with all the wives.

Yours, ever grateful that I don't actually pay for this crap,
ps - see you on Tuesday.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011


Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Sometimes (ALL THE TIME) I go too long between haircuts. When I finally sit down in my stylist's chair, I almost always tell her that I feel like I look like David Cassidy.

I'm not sure that she, or probably most people I talk to on a daily basis, for that matter, know who I mean.

FYI, this is who I am referencing. This is basically what I see in the mirror roughly 6 weeks after every hair cut.

Minus the bangs. My head is way too round for bangs like that.

Also, in alarming news, my brother often has the very same hairdo.