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Monthly Archives: November 2009

I have a Big Fat Crush

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…on Jason Segel. This clip isn’t helping.

Apparently he’s friends with Markéta Irglová and Glen Hansard (of Once fame) and did some guest-singing at a concert they did in LA recently. GP should be thanking his luck stars that we don’t live in LA. I’m just sayin’, is all.

P.S. That is allegedly his actual number. Say it with me, “Z-O-M-G.”

Finding the warmth

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“Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round, and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies:—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”
-Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

I don’t know if it’s the season (impending holidays of the kith-and-kin variety) or that I’m still in the early phases of Disgustingly Happy Little Married Couple-dom (and, sorry, I know that’s gross, but stay with me!), but I have begun to see and experience many more little moments of happiness on a semi-regular basis. Let me elaborate: you know how sometimes, as you’re scraping yourself out of bed, trudging through your day, and bemoaning the fact that it is pitch-fricking-black outside by 5:30pm, you get a little flash of “we’re all ok”? I seem to be having way more of these than usual these days.

Take, for instance, a recent account of Nice People on the Internet. I wasn’t personally involved in any of these interactions (although, trying-to-be-a-good-blog-citizen that I am, I did comment), but just reading a story of people– essentially complete strangers– going out of their way to be helpful and nice, made me think that maybe people aren’t that terrible, after all. It seems simple enough, right? You have something, someone needs or wants something, and you give it to them. Not because you have to, but because you want to. Because you want to help them out, to solve a problem of theirs, no matter how small or silly-seeming.

I’ve been trying to have this same attitude recently; give and help where you can, remember that everyone is dealing with their own bubble of stress/problems/dear-god-who-knows-what, and do more good than harm. Instead of giving the finger to someone who cuts you off in traffic (and y’all know how much I love to do that), give them a thumbs-up and continue singing along to the Glee CD you have blaring in the car. Be patient, and be nice.

And it comes back! Here is my proof. I’ve needed to replace one of my front turn signals, the one that would be the biggest pain to replace (as it is almost entirely blocked in by the placement of my battery), and had just not “gotten around to it yet.” I finally bought the cheapie bulb, resigned myself to the fact that Volkswagen are jerks and will just tell you to go to the dealer for what amounts to a $2 fix, and armed myself with two kinds of screwdrivers (from my very own toolbox, because I am a badass). Sure enough, the Jetta was determined to be a jerk– I fought little plastic pieces, clawed at the black box that contained the defunct bulb, got my hands dirty, but made very little progress toward my goal. Seeing my struggle, this man– who I had never seen, met, or interacted with before– approached and offered to help. “Let me just go get some sockets, and we’ll take out the battery and get that bulb in,” he told me. He returned with an arsenal of tools (and no fear of my car’s battery, which for some reason terrifies me) and, within ten minutes, I had a fully functioning turn signal.

We introduced ourselves, I thanked him profusely, and then we parted. I don’t know that I will ever see him again, but I am surprised at how surprised I was that he offered to help. He didn’t have to, of course, but he saw me clawing at the insides of my car and knew that he could be of assistance. I may be attributing this too much to the Magic and Wonder of the Human Heart (it’s all the dang Christmas commercials…I am terminally sentimental), but come on. Let’s be appreciative that not everyone is a jerk all the time. We don’t have to hug and share sundaes all the time, but be nice, dammit.

What Australia has to teach you

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1. In continents/countries that are so geographically isolated, there is a crazy amount of biodiversity. This sounds boring, sure, but it does mean that there is insanely colorful wildlife. (Also, hello, platypus. So cute and venomous.)

2. Speaking of biodiversity, there are also many threatening and dangerous animals in Australia, including many not-pictured-here (but in Flickr for the strong-hearted) colossal spiders and likely countless (though only one is pictured here) reptiles that would gladly dismember you. Also a valuable lesson? Australians have awesome senses of humor, if a little dark at times.


3. You will feel infinitesimal when you realize that the ocean that chills your toes at Bondi is the same one that freezes your feet in Santa Cruz. All the wine you consume in Bondi almost makes you forget this, but not quite.

4. BYO is a huge (like seriously huge) thing in Australia, and you will come to love it. There is often no corkage for wine you bring yourself, and if there is one, it is likely something like $5 per person. Before you get the hang of things, though, it is likely that you will enjoy a meal with nothing but “orange drink” to wet your whistle. (This may have been Tang. Do they have Tang there?)

5. Nothing takes the edge off traveling like drinking before noon in an airport. There will usually be at least one other person at the bar, and you might be able to claim jet lag– though likely not in the domestic terminal.

The one where we went to Sydney

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As you may be able to imagine, this honeymoon recap is going to span several entries. What is slowly dawning on me, however…is that it’s likely that Sydney alone demands multiple mentions. Don’t worry, though, they’ll be picture-filled (we did, after all, take 585 pictures)!

We departed SFO late Tuesday night, and, through the magic of flight and time travel, completely missed out on October 14th. After landing in Sydney and dropping our bags at the hotel, the exploring began! We started with some tea and scones (I knew I could expect great things from a country with The Queen on their money)…

…and proceeded to explore much of the major tourist area in Circular Quay, The Rocks, and the CBD. This included a tour of the Opera House (which we could not stop photographing),

a walk across the Harbour Bridge,

and a short stop at an amusement park (you’re welcome, GP).

We arrived back to the hotel to find our room had been prepared with some champagne and a note– Marriott must have known that alcohol was the way to secure our loyalties.

Our first dinner– tapas at a Spanish place called El Capitan Torres– was not as magical as it could have been, because it was then that all the exhaustion of traveling halfway around the world and traipsing all over the city of Sydney caught up with us. As we munched on crispy chorizo and chilled white wine, it was all we could do not to pass right out, sitting there at the table.

However! (And here is the great thing about flying west versus flying east, we discovered.) When we woke up the next morning, we were well-rested and ready to go. Some activities that filled the remaining four days that we had in Sydney included a trip to the Taronga Zoo…

(Those giraffes have no idea how good they have it. Check out those insane city views!) There was also a little wallaby-petting:

(GP maturely pointed out that I was touching the wallaby’s butt. What was I supposed to do, buy it dinner first?) Also, a trip out to Katoomba, in the Blue Mountains, was in order. Apparently “hiking” is a thing people want to do on their honeymoons?

Well, someone should have told me that, because I hiked for miles and miles in flip-flops. Comfortable, lovely flip-flops that drew numerous sideways glances from other (actual) hikers who were trekking along with those ski pole-like things that somehow make what amounts to slow mountain climbing easier (and also double as weapons against whatever terrifying creatures were rustling around in the underbrush). Oh, and might I add that, while there were stairs to help in the climbing of the Three Sisters (pictured above), some of these stairs were over thin air? Not cool, Australia.

But we lived to tell the tale! Coming up next, valuable Australian lessons.

The first of many: remember that time I got married?

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I’m trying to get Blogger to let me change my “identity,” but it looks as though the best that’s going to happen is adding my married-lady Google account as an author to the blog. So don’t be confused…there is only one Megan around here, she’s just in a weird, between-names place. (What a great excuse to have ADD and just create a new blog, though, right? I’ve been toying with the idea of naming a new blog “Hot MES,” because those are my initials and I am often in ridiculous situations. I feel like it’s dumb to call myself “hot,” though, so that is a problem. Opinions?)

Anyway, to the task at hand! Since there was very little blogging lead-up to Wedding Day, let me fill you in on some key stuff: the event coordinator at the venue (cute downtown hotel) hadn’t proven herself any more useful as time passed, I had a completely disastrous post-alterations fitting in which it was a challenge to get the zipper up (tears, shockingly, did not ensue), and I had completely lost the ability to sleep past, ohhh…5:30am? And yet, as it got closer and closer, I got more and more calm. I was able to tune out the idiocy of the coordinator (and ended up loving the hotel’s day-of person), I went on this crazy (and probably pretty unhealthy, though I was still eating) diet and lost enough weight to be comfortable and attractive in my dress (and haven’t gained back all the weight since, yay!), and I made the most of my all-the-time wakefulness with a ton and a half of craft projects. I was ready!

We got married on a Sunday, and people started getting into town around Thursday, which made my decision to only work Monday a pretty easy one. Things really started on Friday, when my mom and stepdad threw a wedding-weekend-kickoff cocktail party at their house. It was a lovely evening, and a good reminder to me that, since I wasn’t eating much, maybe I shouldn’t drink a ton. Unlike an engagement party that my mom and stepdad had thrown for us last August (well, last-last…it was August 2008), my dad wasn’t invited– not to be hurtful or exclusive, but I would say that it’s the norm for divorced couples not to invite their exes to parties. This isn’t terribly important now, but will become more so later. (Just trust me, ok?)

On Saturday morning, I took my maid of honor and bridesmaids out to breakfast and had scheduled a mass mani/pedi appointment for any in-town ladies who wanted to get together pre-rehearsal dinner– this included out-of-town people and friends of mine and my mom’s, etc. However, when we were on our way to the nail salon, I got a call from the owner, confirming my appointment for Sunday. As in, the day of my wedding. This would not do! Luckily, we all got our nails done and no one was the wiser– and I think that was my only episode of “bride brain.” Thank god. We arrived at the hotel later that afternoon for the rehearsal, during which my dad spotted the very meticulous timeline I’d put together on a bridesmaid’s clipboard. Pointing at the entry for the Friday cocktail party, he asked my friend, “See that?” Gulp. “I wasn’t invited.” Fun, dad, thanks for that.

Saturday night was our rehearsal dinner, a delicious and less-stressful-than-I-feared spread put on by MaGP and PaGP. As the spokesperson for the couple, I got to be the one to give the thank-you speech and kick off the slideshow, a tearjerker complete with Ben Harper soundtrack (seemed more appropriate at the rehearsal than the wedding). I (unlike a certain spouse of mine) wrote all my cards to parents and the soon-to-be in-laws and husband, and finally managed to get some sleep.

Now, I could give you a blow-by-blow of the wedding day, tell you about hanging out in the hair-and-makeup room with the girls, listening to music from Glee to pass the hours and hours before the ceremony, waiting anxiously to do the “first look” photos with GP, and mildly panicking when I was told it was time to go and my fricking dad was nowhere to be found, but all you really want are pictures, right? Well, who am I to deny you? (NB: these are just stolen pictures from Facebook, not the lovely ones that I anticipate from my awesome ninja photographer.)

I had both my dad and stepdad walk me down the aisle.
I surprised myself (and GP, and many others) by not crying my eyes out during the ceremony. Instead, because it was so surreal, I had to stop myself from giggling a little.
Then, what seemed like about 2 minutes later (seriously, our ceremony felt so short!), we were married. Good thing we had practiced that kiss!
What we had not practiced was appropriate hand-holding. Let me explain: by the time we were getting closer to the kissing part of the ceremony, GP had developed a death grip on my hand, and my ring was digging into my left pinky finger. It did not feel awesome. But as the kiss got closer and closer, I knew I couldn’t pull back, pause, and go, “Ow! Nice hands, please, sir.” So I just went with it. And, not to bombard you with pictures of us kissing (I assure you it was an appropriate kiss), but come on… (and look how happy GP’s sister looks!)
With all the kissing and finger-mangling done, we were ready to take our triumphant walk back down the aisle as husband and wife.
I had to pause for a second to collect myself…
(don’t judge my double chin! I love this picture despite it)
After the cocktail hour, we had the dad and stepdad toasts (respectively short and blessedly tear-free, and long and sentimental), we ate our delicious meals, had the best mens’ and maid of honor’s toasts…and at some point got to eat cake. I love this picture because it shows a fraction of the awesome job our florist did.
He also made us some gorgeous centerpieces (there were three styles in all, distributed among our eleven tables). That program, though (and the ninety-nine others just like it)? All me.
Here we are cutting the cake– less awkward than I feared, and with an Ingrid Michaelson accompaniment– with our super-sweet photographer all up in our grills (oh yes I did).
When I have the much-anticipated pro pictures, I will share some of my favorites, but for now, I leave you with this: one of the more adorable ones of my brother, who was so sweetly teary the whole day. (And called me the previous Thursday to say that the Jim/Pam Office wedding made him cry because he was thinking of us. That kid!)

Up next: some honeymoon recaps!

NaNo…not even going to attempt

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I don’t think that the best way to welcome myself back to Blogtown USA after taking a “Hot damn, I’m getting married and going on a big fat honeymoon, y’all!” break for the last month and a half would be to try blogging every single day (witness my previous failure to do this), but I promise you this, blogfriends: you will have the wedding preamble, wedding day stories, and honeymoon recaps by the time Thanksgiving rolls around. Well, I guess I can push it back to my birthday if I’m being realistic. But that’s it! December 2 is my self-imposed deadline for getting all. These. Stories. Into writing!

The short version? I got married! It was awesome! Then? We went on our honeymoon. Also awesome! But then, last Friday, we had to come back home, and today…they made me do work. Which is not as awesome as vacation, even though I enjoy my job and coworkers. So at this moment, all I really want to do is play with my duty-free Jurlique products and come closer to finishing My Life In France.