Friday, March 31, 2006

VALENTINES REMEMBERED


Too bad roses don't last forever ... these were gorgeous. A happy surprise on an otherwise dreary Valentines Day.

ARIZONA DREAMIN'














This was taken in the foothills of Chandler, Arizona. Unfortunately, I think I caught a somewhat phallic cactus to the left of center. Oh well! The cactus/cacti are amazing. They grow like dandelions down there! So cool!!!!



This was shot as we drove through Chandler, Arizona. The photos don't do this place justice!

I SHOULDN'T HAVE HAD THAT LAST DRINK

SCENCES FROM CARRIE'S WEDDING, PART 2


Stan giving Carrie some love.


Barb, Deb and I trying to appear demure and elegant.

Dreaming of dancing with the big boys one day ...

Jane and her hubby having a fabulous time at the wedding.

Girls gone wild ... well, as much as a bunch of teachers can!

Tuohy and Deb getting ready to heat the place up on the dance floor!

SCENES FROM CARRIE'S WEDDING, PART 3



The bride is gorgeous, but what's up with the chick next to her?

Me, Lisa, and Dar ... um .. yeah ... we've already started the party!!!


Shawn, Leslie, Letitia, and Jeff just chillin'.

SCENCES FROM CARRIE'S WEDDING, PART 4

Tuohy and I cheesin' for the camera ...

Dar, Lisa and Eddie ... LET'S GET THIS PARTY STARTED!!!

The whole APS gang ... we are a pretty bunch!


Barb and Deb starting the party early!

Monday, March 27, 2006

MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT

I had a real, live conservation with a real, live man today! What proceeds is the detailed conversation with Lane (name has been changed). The conversation in the ( ) is what went on inside my head.

Lane: "Hello."

Me: "Hi there." (Mayday! Mayday! Man entering my general vicinity. Sector 1, teeth check. Sector 2, voice maintenance ... no squeaks!)

Lane: "Your name is?"

Me: "Megan. Megan Murray" (Maintain eye contact! Maintain eye contact! Hello, those are some nice eyes to be contacting with!)

Lane: "I should have introduced myself a while ago. It's nice to meet you."

Me: "It's nice to meet you, too." (Crap! Why is my face turning red? I know it's turning red!!)

Lane: "So, how's it going?"

Me: "Very well, thank you." (Danger! Red Alert! Arm pits are getting sweaty! Maintain composure. Smile! Oh heavens! If you showed anymore teeth, you'd be prepared to start ripping into his flesh like a rabid bear!).

Lane: "You've got an interesting group here."

Me: folding my arms ... "Yes, yes, I do." (Why are you folding your arms? Hello! Just scream out the words EMOTIONALLY UNAVAILABLE! AND FOR THE LOVE ALL THAT IS GOOD AND DECENT IN THIS WORLD, MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Lane: "They're good kids, though."

Me: "They are. I'm really enjoying them." (And your eyes aren't bad either! But could I interest you in a razor?)"

Lane: "Well, it seems you've got it under control. I just wanted to say hi."

Me: "Well, thanks for coming and saying hi. (Red alert! Cheesy come back! Cheesy come back! Please press auto pilot for recovery plan!)

Lane: "I'll talk to you later." Turns to leave

Me: "Yes. Thanks again for stopping by." (RED ALERT over. You are one hopeless case.)

Face goes back to normal, flesh color ...

Sunday, March 26, 2006

SCENCES FROM CARRIE'S WEDDING

Pictures will be forthcoming ...
PROS AND CONS OF CONTROL TOP PANTY HOSE
Once I wrestled those suckers over the parts of me that needed controlling (resulting in countless runs and two holes in strategic locations of the control top), I looked in the mirror. "Cool! Not a line, wrinkle, crinkle or dimple to be had. Sure hope I don't have to use the restroom once during the course of this evening, because I don't think I can wrestle them back up a second time!"

WHAT CARRIE SAID TO ME THAT MADE MY DAY
"You look hot!"

WHAT CARRIE SAID TO ME THAT MADE MY WEEK (and, frankly, almost made me cry)
"Seriously, girl! You're hot!"

THINGS I'VE LEARNED AT WEDDINGS
Never give a drunk toast. The aforementioned drunk is the only one that thinks it's funny. Oh sure, we're laughing, but it's for a whole different reason!

Kick the shoes off as soon as you possibly can.

Bring lots of one dollar bills ... you can't make change for a ten in the coat check tip jar. That's looked upon as tacky.

Teachers are their own worst enemies. They will talk through ANYTHING ... even when you're not supposed to be talking.

The only way to sing along to a Bon Jovi song on the dance floor is at the top of your lungs.

Chocolate fountains are a good thing!

Chocolate cake with sticky white frosting is a good thing!

Laughing and getting rowdy with friends is always a good thing!

Friday, March 24, 2006

SISTER ACT, PART 2

Scene set up ... my sister and I in my truck en route to an undisclosed shopping center.

My sister: "Peeee-eeewww! I smell something foul!"

Me: "Here we go again."

My sister: "I'm serious. Can't you smell it?"

Me: Laughing

My sister: "I can't believe you can't smell that! It's foul!"


One hour and a truck full of groceries later ...


My sister: "Peeee-eeeeww! I STILL smell something foul!"

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

THE NEW WAX DIET

Were you aware of the nutritional value of crayons? Well, where have you been? It's quite the thing with the first grade set. It's my understanding that navy blue crayons are best when eaten in little bits during a science lesson. WARNING: The paper around the crayon can be tricky and tends to give you away when it hangs on your lip.

Monday, March 20, 2006

SIGNS OF ECONOMIC HARD TIMES

I saw Santa Claus driving a semi-truck today. I'm pretty sure it's because there have been lay offs at the North Pole!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

REASON #382 WHY I DISLIKE SALES ASSOCIATES AT SNOOTY STORES

What I asked my friend Deb while we were both out shopping for outfits for an upcoming wedding we're attending: "Please be brutally honest with me. Do these slacks look really bad with my fat thighs"

What the snooty clerk said: "Ewww ... I don't like them."

What I wanted to reply: "I didn't ask you!"

Friday, March 17, 2006

WHY THE PRINCIPAL WOULD HAVE FOUND A FIRST GRADE TEACHER IN A CORNER CRYING

Mia: (name changed) "What is your husband's name?"

Me: "I don't have one."

Mia: (dramatic gasp) "Why not? Did he die?"

Me: "No, I just haven't found one yet."

Mia: "Why not? Just go out and get one."

Me: "It's not that easy."

Mia: "Yes it is. Just walk outside and get one! You're just not doing it correctly!"

Thursday, March 16, 2006

THEY'LL SAY (AND DO) JUST ABOUT ANYTHING

What a first grader does at Reading Circle ...
** loses his or her entire forefinger in their nose
** makes spit bubbles in his or her mouth
** chews on the loose rubber sole of his or her muddy shoe
** digs in his or her pants for a full minute (I take a don't ask, don't tell approach to this one).

******************************************************
Things first graders say to badly balding celebrity guest readers/radio DJs there to read them a story for READING MONTH ...

"I really like your hair cut."

******************************************************
What teacher of first graders that have just commented on badly balding celebrity guest readers' "hair cut" does ...

Tries desperately not to laugh out loud by hiding her face in her turtle neck sweater.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I WANT ONE OF THOSE!

Tonight I found myself holding newborn twins (not at the same time -- I'm not that talented!) ... a boy and a girl. As I'm sitting there holding them, looking into their sweet faces, I found myself thinking "I WANT ONE OF THESE!"

But then reality struck ...

Reality #1 ... They poop ... at alarmingly massive rates, amounts, and concentrated odor levels, especially for something so little.

Reality #2 ... I could, and probably would, drop them. I drop a lot of things, you know.

Reality #3 ... They grow. That means they will get bigger; their cute little noises will get louder (and not so cute); and their attitudes have the potential to get uglier.

Reality #4 ... They must come out of a bodily orifice. That doesn't sound the least bit comfortable or pleasant.

Reality #5 ... They would rely on me to feed them -- see, this is a problem because I sometimes forget to check and see if my cat has food.

Reality #6 ... They must have a father -- preferably Mr. Wonderful. I've not met Mr. Wonderful. I've met Mr. So-So, Mr. Hell-Will-Freeze-Over-First, and Mr. Only-in-My-Dreams, but no Mr. Wonderful. I'm beginning to think he doesn't exist.

Reality #7 ... I'm bound to screw them up somehow. If not with the aforementioned ways, then there will be some other creative technique I will employ to completely mess with their little minds, rendering them non-functioning parts of society.

So, with these realities playing like a broken record over and over again in my head, I hand them over to the next person that wants to cuddle with them ... and sigh heavily.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

I THINK I'M GOING TO MAKE MY MILLIONS ON EBAY

I was just down in the basement cleaning out that cat pan ... a job I hate, by the way. I have clumpable cat litter (a brilliant invention, by the way), and I've discovered something. My cat pees in clumps that could make me millions!

Million #1 ... there was a pee clump in the shape of a set of lungs that appear to be the size of a three year old human.

Million #2 ... I could have sworn I scooped out the Mona Lisa, and her smile was taunting me in a very sadistic manner.

Million #3 ... a golf ball! Yep! You read that correctly. My cat peed a pee clump in the perfect shape of a golf ball.

I figure if someone can sell celebrity belly button lint on Ebay and actually make money, Maddie the Cat's pee clumps have got to be worth something!

Friday, March 10, 2006

ALBIONOTES ... AN UPDATE

So, I received my college alumni magazine today. As per usual, I went right to the ALBIONOTES, i.e., notes on what everybody is doing, how many kids they've had, and how many times everyone has been married (not necessarily in that order).

Well, I have this to report: everyone is more successful than me ... everyone is marrying more men than me ... everyone is having more babies than me!

I've decided to write my own alumni note. It will read something like this:

"Megan, '94, has been unemployed since June of 2005 when she was unceremoniously laid off from her teaching job (a job she's been unceremoniously laid off from 4 other times). She has not yet received a new, job, but has managed two job offers, countless job rejections, one WHOPPER of a speeding ticket, many reams of paper wasted on resumes and cover letters (thus, killing a small forest), untold stamps licked (well, not really, but it sounds more pitiful), thousands of air/road miles flown/driven, piles of rejected book proposals, a romantic rejection or two, a dwindling savings account and a partridge in a pear tree. She is not married, and it does appear that most of her eggs are now shriveling into wizened shadows of their former selves. She would, however, love to hear from all her old college pals and can be reached at a cardboard box near you ... after a day of collecting pop and beer cans/bottles along the side of the road. Io Triumphe!"

It has a nice ring to it, don't you agree?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

JUST GET ER DONE!


I have a philosphy when cooking. It's very simple really. JUST GET ER DONE! I'm like the Tim Allen of cooking ... more power!!!

Case in point ... this morning at about 8ish, I hauled out my crock pot (only one of the greatest inventions known to man/woman), lined it with one of those cool new crock pot liners, and threw in three frozen pork chops. My plan: to make Pepsi Pork Chops, or in this case, Cheap Grocery Store Cola Pork Chops.

I must admit now that I'm scared to death of e. coli. I will go to great lengths to make sure no food I prepare is ever host to e. coli. A little cat hair? Yes, possibly. Some dog hair? Quite likely! A smigden of my own hair ... most certainly. But e. coli? You will find absolutely no e. coli in anything I serve.

So, upon tossing the chops in, pouring the aforementioned cola on top with the allotted amount ketchup and onions, I cranked the crock pot up on high. It commenced to boiling until I got the remainder of my dinner together at 7 p.m. this evening.

At this point, I must mention that I've been extremely impressed by those nifty little crock pot liner commercials. According to their sleek ads, one needs only to pull out the used liner, throw it away, and dishes are miraculously done! Voila!

Not the case tonight. Apparently, my GET ER DONE philosophy not only produces chewy chops, but it also caused said liner to adhere itself to the side of the crock pot. I read the directions, and they specifically said you could cook with them on the HIGH temperature setting ... only they mentioned 4 to 5 hours, not 11 hours!

JUST GET ER DONE!

5:30 A.M. WAKE UP CALL


Our morning routine has never changed ... not in 7 1/2 years ... Sadie and I haven't strayed one inch from our routine (other than changes in venue through the years). It goes something like this:

Alarm goes off ... I grumble ... Sadie sits up and begins wagging her tail ... I roll over, grumble some more ... Sadie stretches, rolls, stretches some more -- tail still wagging ... I roll back over to the other side and groan loudly ... Sadie comes over to the bed, breathes nasty doggy morning breath in my face, tail wagging, letting me know she's really got to use the doggy facilities (in otherwords, "Hey Lady! Get out of bed. I gotta pee!") ... I stumble out of bed and head to the bathroom ... Sadie does potty dance in the hallway while I try not to fall asleep in the bathroom ... Sadie leads the way to the back door while I try not to trip over cat standing in the way ... I let Sadie out, she does her business, and sniffs around the yard ...

EXCEPT FOR THIS MORNING!!!

This morning, Sadie heads outside, sits on the edge of the patio and barks for 6 straight minutes. Oh yeah! The neighbors not already awake, were when I finally dragged Sadie in! I am soooo popular this morning!

Monday, March 06, 2006

TATTOO PARTY COMING TO A CITY NEAR YOU

A sign I saw in a tattoo parlor window recently: "WE ARE NOW BOOKING TATTOO PARTIES!"

This makes me wonder, what does one serve at a Tattoo Party?

Saturday, March 04, 2006

JOB FAIRS .. FISH OUT OF WATER

I attended a job fair today at a local zoo ... I was a fish out of water.

Walking into the building, I quickly realized that I was the "what's wrong" in a "what's wrong with this picture" practice. The median age in the room (taking out those folks already employed by the zoo) was 17. I was the oldest job seeker in the room. In statistical terms, had this all been plotted on a line plot, I would have been considered an outlier ... an anomaly. The only other folks older than myself were the parents that had driven their teenagers there.

I also felt very over dressed in my slacks, turtleneck sweater and jacket. What the job fair ad failed to announce was that it was apparently casual dress ... "quite all right to look like you just rolled out of bed" should have been printed in small print at the bottom of the ad -- or maybe it was, and my 34 year-old eyes just missed it.

The employee took my application and practically laughed in my face as she loudly announced that the dollar amount per hour that I requested wasn't even close to the actual amount they were paying. "Your application won't even be looked at if you keep that amount there. Scribble it out and write open."

Snickers from the 16 year-old rubbing the sleep from her eyes just to my left. I can't tell whether she brushed her teeth, but she looked as though she slept in her clothes. As if!

The employee continued to scan my application. "Well, we are not interviewing for any of these positions today. So, I'll take this, if you're done scribbling that out (referring to the salary line), and someone will be in touch."

So, I crawled back into my gas guzzler and headed back home ... a 35 minute drive and countless precious gallons of gas, to again sort over my unemployment fate and try to figure out if I will ever again be part of the functioning parts of society.

Friday, March 03, 2006

RESONANCE

As I sit here typing, Creed songs are blaring from my computer speakers ... and when I say blaring, I mean Miracle Ear candidacy, ringing in the ears, hard-core, rock-n-roll blaring!

I'm so bummed they broke up. Yes, this is a slightly delayed reaction to their break up, especially in light of the fact that it occured in 2004.

At any rate, their lyrics have such resonance in my life right now ... they rock my soul to it's very core (to borrow a well-used phrase from a very recent episode of reality TV drivel I shamefully I admit I stayed up to watch).

I find myself, as of late, questioning my purpose in this world. We all do this at some point in our lives ... some of us at many points in our lives. It's normal. But for me, the big questions that, when it's all stripped away, become the basic questions, nag at me with such urgency that they keep me up at night ... what the heck am I really supposed to do and be? Why am I taking up space on planet Earth?

Loaded questions ... yes! Loaded answers to those questions ... ummm ... NO! I want to be so much more than a little drip in a tiny mud puddle. I want, desparately to be a big, continuous ripple in the sea of humanity. I can't help but wonder how I can possibly ripple in my four walls in a tiny little map dot on a big, fat, expansive globe.

It feels, sometimes, like I have one last breath, and man, I want to use it wisely, cuz it feels like it's the last one I'm going to be able to take. And I feel like I'm at the edge of a precipice ... and the rock is crumbling slowly at my feet ... and any minute, it's going to break away and send me sailing into the oblivion of space and time ... if that happens, what is the footprint I leave behind ...

I don't have DNA that I'm passing on ... I don't have the great love of another that weaves me to him, creating a life of one ... all I have is this one last breath and I want it to have resonance ...

ONE LAST BREATH
Sung by Creed
Please come now I think I'm falling/I'm holding to all I think is safe/
It seems I found the road to nowhere/And I'm trying to escape/
I yelled back when I heard thunder/
But I'm down to one last breath/And with it let me say/Let me say
Hold me now/I'm six feet from the edge and I'm thinking/
That maybe six feet/Ain't so far down
I'm looking down now that it's over/Reflecting on all of my mistakes/I thought I found the road to somewhere/Somewhere in His grace/I cried out heaven save me/But I'm down to one last breath/And with it let me say/Let me say
Hold me now/I'm six feet from the edge and I'm thinking/
That maybe six feet/Ain't so far down
Sad eyes follow me/But I still believe there's something left for me/
So please come stay with me'/
Cause I still believe there's something left for you and me/
For you and me/For you and me


Thursday, March 02, 2006

THE WOMAN RIDES ON MY LAST NERVE

Why is it that Katie Couric has taken to reading the news? I don't understand it.

I caught her a couple of times on the Today Show's adventures in Torino, and every time, Katie was reading the news (when she wasn't gushing over yet another chocolate truffle) ... in other words, there were newsclips playing, and good ole' Kate was "narrating" in the background ... badly, I might add! Today, I turn on the TV to catch the weather (cuz that's what we do here in Michigan during the winter months), and there's Katie, narrating again! ARGH!!! My ears started bleeding.

I mean, if you're going to "narrate," why MUST you do it in a deadpan monotone voice that sounds like your forcing sweetness through your nose?

Is this a new trend in news? Is this what all the "greats" out there are being asked to do? If so, someone needs to give Ms. Couric a clue ... she stinks at it!!!! Someone introduce her to the actors that narrate PBS documentaries. If we are moving toward narrating our news, then, let's get Charleton Heston or Alan Alda ... trashcan the Katie Technique!!!!

[crawling off my soap box, in search of more coffee]