Saturday, February 28, 2009

OUR MOTHERS WOULD BE SO PROUD

Erin and I landed at a youth literature conference last night in Lexington. It's an annual thing, and we're going to be there this morning as well.

We've come to realize that we grew with mothers that were almost exactly the same woman. So, when Erin complimented me on the fact that I was using the proper utensils for picking up the mini desserts at the dessert reception last night as well as using a fork to eat them, I thanked her and said, "Jan Murray would be so pleased. I'm making her proud."

It was sometime after that comment and when Erin dumped half the contents of your fruit custard tart on the Griffin Gate's carpeted lobby, that I flung my fork half away across the room, and said, "Oops! Jan Murray wouldn't be so proud of that one!"

It went downhill from there when I pilfered a diet Mountain Dew from the table reserved for the reservation volunteers and squealed with delight during a drive by dessert grab and go, "OH! They didn't have these at our table!"

Yeah, we're pretty sure our mothers wouldn't be proud of that at all.

In fact, I'm relatively certain my mother's eyes have just rolled to the back of her head as she moans, "For heaven's sake, I thought I taught her better than this!"

Friday, February 27, 2009

HOW DO I GET RID OF THAT?

I stepped on the scale this morning. According to it, I've lost anywhere from 1 to 2 lbs., depending on how the wind currents were in the bathroom ... stupid scale! I'm hoping that it's closer to 2 lbs., because that would mean that I am only 5 lbs., away from hitting my first real weight loss goal. It's a huge milestone, and it will mark 35 lbs., lost ... or at least I think. I stopped weighing myself at a particularly high and hideous number.

Anyway, last night at the gym, while I was lumbering away on the treadmill and sweating like a pig and staring at myself in the GIGANTIC mirror in front of me and trying not to hate myself because the thing was obviously warped in spots, I noticed that while my waist seems to be getting smaller, my thighs and hips seem to be getting larger.

What!?

There seemed to be MORE cellulite showing through my exercise pants. Again, WHAT!?

Is the fat falling from my belly and landing in my thighs and hips? I don't get this!

It's a family curse, my thighs and my hips are ... I can thank my sturdy peasant stock for them. My BFF, Thomas, says I've got curves in all the right places, but seriously, I wouldn't mind if those curves didn't jostle and jiggle quite as much as they did last night when I was running ... or whatever that was I was doing on the treadmill that caused sweat to roll down my back and make it look like I'd wet myself! Seriously, the gym is NOT the place to look your best. I'm not really sure how these gym prima donas do it.

Anyway, I need to figure out a way to get rid of it ... the fat hips and thighs, I mean. My pants are falling off, only to stop at my hips ... or, on a good day, my thighs! I could fit another person into the waist of my pants. This is not a good look, I'm just sayin' ....

AHHHH ... these thighs and hips are the bane of my existence, and that's saying a lot because that honor used to go to THE GIRLS! I guess my Girls and I are getting along a lot better these days ...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

DATING INTERVENTION

A while back, Carrie declared a DATING INTERVENTION on my life.

In her words, I needed to get my backside (I believe the term she used was a bit more, how should I put this, ummm, blunt, shall we say?) out into the dating scene. "Now is your time, Murray! Get out there! Live a little! Have fun! Enjoy it!"

I don't get out past the walls of the school or my townhouse very often, and so, to avoid the speed dating and blind dates and black and white glossies pasted on every bathroom stall between Michigan and Florida (oh yes she would), I've found an avenue that allows me to "GET OUT THERE," as Carrie has put it, without compromising my virtue by, say, hanging out on street corners, hollering "Twenty dollar! Twenty dollar!"

The other day, I had to introduce myself to a certain gentleman that I've found particularly interesting. This interest DOES NOT, in any way, stem from anything he's written me, because, quite frankly, the man is a man of FEW WORDS. This would seem counter-intuitive coming from someone that has way too many words and uses them ALL THE TIME! However, I pressed on and decided to just be me ...

Just being me translates into an all out, gab-fest of words rolled into crazy, insane quirky humor (sic) the poor man got a rambling diatribe from me. This surprises absolutely no one that knows me well!

I got in return?

After a day of what I can only assume was heavy contemplation, I got one sentence. This is, after all, how guys work. All my friends' husband have confirmed this tonight. Because, all my friends are just like me! I know this ... soooooo .....the score here? Megan zero, in case you were wondering!

Now, Carrie and I had quite a laugh this evening. I called upon her to help me with the next reply, because, honestly, I suck at this stuff ... and boys are a puzzlement to me. This would explain so much, but especially, it would explain why I'm still single.

Carrie and I are both teachers at heart ... we had to do a PRE-WRITE -- make a list of all the things I should reply ... then we had to create a DRAFT, and boy did I! It is filled with my home-grown humor, and it attempts to apologize for the cheesy corn-ball drivel that was my introduction to the poor man.

Carrie suggested I put options out there for the blogosphere to vote on. But I don't know. I'm having too much fun trying to excuse my lack of common sense where the opposite sex is concerned.

Perhaps my dear friends will provide their own set of excuses for Megan ... like ... "You'll have to excuse her, ____________. I've known her for a long time, and I'm telling you, her mouth runs itself!"

Or ...

"Megan's pretty quiet ... when she's asleep."

I guess the point is, I'm having fun.

RANDOM OBSERVATIONS ON THIS HUMP DAY

  1. I introduced myself to someone the other day and did what I always do ... acted like myself! Three people I know (okay, two of them were Carrie and Erin ... I'm calling you out, girls!) were like, "Vintage Megan! Total vintage Megan!" But wait, isn't that what I'm suppose to do? Be myself. Now the question becomes is vintage Megan scary ... sort of like Scary Spice? This I am not sure of ... jury may still be out on that one! But I'm guaranteeing that Carrie and Erin have thoughts on that ... G.U.A.R.A.N.T.E.E. IT.
  2. There is no one standing in my way EXCEPT ME ... enough said!
  3. If something is meant to be, it's going to be perfect (well, as perfect as an imperfect world can be), and so therefore, there's no need for me to worry about it, fuss about it, or try to analyze it. Just go for the ride, but remember to buckle up!
  4. I no longer care what other people think. Seriously! What a waste of the few brain cells I have left.
  5. The birds around here are singing spring songs.
  6. Skunks are being hit left and right.
  7. Add item 5 with item 6 and you get = Spring has gotta be JUST around the corner.
  8. I might need EMT attention during the Derby mini-marathon ... I'm just sayin' ...

Monday, February 23, 2009

PLEASE PASS THE BENGAY

I just completed one hour's worth of walking at a pace of about 3.5 miles per hour. It was a slow go, but I got it done. I've got the blisters to prove it!

I've also just completed a Power Pilate's workout ... 23 minutes worth of my gut muscles feeling as though they would explode through my skin and wring my strained neck.

I'm guessing I won't be able to move tomorrow morning ... this is merely a guess, however.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

LIKE A LAMB TO THE SLAUGHTER

I'm afraid of heights.

This is a somewhat new development in the QUIRKS THAT BELONG TO MEGAN.

So, the thought of careening down an ice-covered hill -- smallish mountain, more like it -- at speeds that cause the G forces to push your cheeks to the back of your head, well, let's just say it wasn't top on my list. However, it was my birthday, and I've spent a good deal of time shying away from things I don't want to do because of fear. So, when my principal suggested snow tubing as a staff outing, I decided to go for it.
"If I'm going to die," I mused, "it'd be nice to do it on my birthday ... just like I came into the world, screaming my head off!"

After a perfectly wonderful few hours at the Gap Outlet -- where I walked away with three pairs of khakis, a pair of jeans, a cute little sweater, and a $0.49 stocking cap, all under $40, I was drug to Perfect North (www.perfectnorth.com), in Lawrenceburg, IN ... not to be confused with Lawrenceburg, KY!

It was there I visualized my death in excruciating detail, complete with blood and guts mingled with a trail of mangled pieces of snow tube. Erin, my supposed friend, told me to follow her, and like a lamb being led to slaughter, I followed her and the rest of the group, all smiling slyly, up the people mover to the world's LARGEST hill ever ... Albionites, Victory Park Hill is a veritable speed bump, that's how high this death trap was!

I got to the top, said more than a few prayers, and prepared to meet my maker.

I screamed like a girl the entire way down, practically messing my drawers in mid-fly, before finally skidding to a stop at the giant bean bags that keep one from zooming to their untimely demise in the rubber death saucers.

The best adrenaline rush I've had in a good long while, save for the trip to Michigan when an Indiana State Trooper pulled me over!

And here's proof that I was there!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

IT'S BEEN 37 YEARS OF PURE INSANITY

"Go, go, go, go Go, go, go shawty!
It's your birthday
We gon' party
like it's yo birthday..."

Ahhh ... 50cent ... what a wordsmith. But whatever ... I'm gonna party like it's my birthday, because, well, it is!

Friday, February 20, 2009

FLUNKING THEM ALL!

For the past two years, I have run a contest in my classroom called GUESS MISS MURRAY'S AGE! For the entire month of February leading up to my birthday, they are allowed to make as many guesses as they can as to my true age.

My group last year was very complimentary ... loads and loads of twenty-something guesses. Love those kids!

This group of jokers are somewhat more savvy ... perhaps it's the crow's feet starting to show ... or those crazy gray hairs that keep popping up. They've done everything they could to pry my birthday year out of me, but I've kept mum.

I suppose I've solicited this fourth grade nastiness by leaving them to their own devices. I mean, the eat their own boogers, for heavens sake, and they consider them part of the major food groups! I mean, I should be prepared for the 55 guesses, or the darling child that said A BILLION.

Yeah, I love them, but I'm flunking every last one of them that guessed 49, 50, 52, or higher! Every last one of them!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

WHO DIED AND LEFT YOU IN CHARGE OF "COOL?"

As I stare my 37th birthday in the face, I can't help but to throw an age-old question out there to the cosmos ...

WHEN DID I CEASE BEING COOL?

I look in the mirror and appear to be cool ... okay, mildly cool. More like a luke-warm cool.

I have hip clothing ... okay, a hip-like wardrobe, which I suppose is a step up from the broken hip wardrobe, but I digress.

I want to know why, when I say to one of my fourth graders today, and I quote, "Yo! Thompson*! Dude, zip it," they are all reduced to a fit of giggles (do fourth grade boys giggle? not sure ...), and then they commence to rolling their eyes.

I mean, these are the same children that pick their nose AND EAT IT in mixed company ... DURING LUNCH! When did they become the graders of COOL?

They like the Jonas Brothers, for heaven sake! And they wear clothing that has a ridiculous monkey on it that every refers to as Bobby Jack, but no one can explain why? Who deemed it necessary for each and every one of them to be granted a HIPNESS CARD?

As far as I'm concerned, 37 is the new, hip AND cool 25 ... and that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I roll.

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

GROWING A BOYFRIEND UPDATE

Boy is still laying in the bottom of a giant bowl of water. He's MAYBE grown a millimeter!

Stupid boys!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

EXCUSE ME, I THINK YOUR SNIFFER IS OFF

I had an insanely good coupon for a toilet bowl deodorizer. You know the kind? The ones that clean and make the bowl smell good all in one fell swoop?

Well, this particular one is suppose to smell like a Fresh Mountain Breeze.

Ummm ... unless fresh mountain breezes smell like clump-able cat litter, I think someone's missed their mark ... by a long shot!

NO LUCK GROWING BOYFRIENDS

My friend Cindy gave me a "GROW YOUR OWN BOYFRIEND" for Valentines Day. All one has to do is add water ... 72 hours later, the boyfriend will have grown 600%! Seems simple, right? Seems convenient, too, based on the packaging that advertises "No mess, no smell, no talking back!"

Story of my life ... my boyfriend? Still laying in the bottom of the bowl of water, not growing an inch.

The many, many, many ironies in this whole situation are too many to even begin to recount or analyze in this post.

Monday, February 16, 2009

THE TO DO LIST FROM HELL

I have a TO DO LIST that could fill the time of two days, easy.

I am Over-Ambitious Girl and plan to complete all items before bedtime at 10 p.m.

... Or kill myself trying!

Friday, February 13, 2009

FOOD THIEF STRIKES AGAIN

The food thief that resides in my fourth grade room has struck again.

This time, the child snuck back into my room while I was down at the bus dock (where this child was SUPPOSE TO BE, by the way), LICKED off all the M & Ms (and some chocolate frosting too) off of a cupcake another student gave me, and then left me with the rest of the cupcake, lick marks and all.

Seriously, what is wrong with this world? For cripes sake, why not just take the whole stupid cupcake!?!?

BURNING VALENTINES

As you know, I got a new hair cut last night. I came into school today, went to the gym to pick up my kids, and was greeted by Sierra*, who scowls at my head and says, "You get a new hair cut?"

"Yep!" I reply.

"Huh, that's what I thought," she comments, scowling some more. "That would explain why it's so .... " waving her hands around in the air ... "Thin on top!"

Is it okay if I burn her valentine???

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

NUMBER OF ITEMS I'VE LOST DUE TO WIND

Number of yard flags I've lost due to crazy Kentucky wind in the last three years? THREE!
Number of door mats I've lost due to crazy Kentucky wind in the last three years? ONE!
Number of aforementioned items I will continue to put out only to be carried away to the Eastern Sea Board? ZERO!

I ASKED FOR DRAMA!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

IS IT SPRING ALREADY?

I've heard Red-winged Blackbirds three times this week ... the true harbingers of spring!! Can it really be seeping its way into the Bluegrass region?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

EMPTY NEST

Tonight, I'm feeling the effects of my now-empty nest. I don't like it.

It's been a full 24 hours since Maddie passed on, and I didn't realize until now just how much I talked to her. Yes, I know this sounds like I need professional help, but it's true.

My family would all agree on one item. I could talk to a wall and get a response. That is how much my mouth runs. My pets have always been that wall. In fact, as I look back on my life, with the small exception of a year and a half, I've always had pets, and, thus, have always had a wall to talk to!

There was Tai Li ... the Siamese cat with sinus issues. Tai Li had been around as long as I can physically remember, and I have some lovely memories of her. I remember being outside on a fall Indian Summer day, piling leaves all around her, while she patiently sat under them, cursing me and my three year old ways, under her wheezy breath.

As I mentioned, Tai Li had sinus issues. She sneezed incessantly ... ALL THE TIME. And with each sneeze came a shower of kitty snot. You had to wear a raincoat! Seriously! There was this one spot in the hallway that she always loved to sit next to because of the heating duct behind it. That wall was absolutely covered with dried cat boogers! I swear to you.

With her sinus problems came a puking problem, due to all the drainage. We had a playroom in the basement with an old, hideous sofa that my mother swears was in style at one time. I'm not buying it. That sofa was one of the many places that Tai Li loved to empty the contents of her stomach on any given day. It was common knowledge that if we were going to go down and play house or school or office, you had to first sweep the basement and peel all of the crusty, old puke piles off first. Ahhh ... memories!

Then there was Greta, the German short hair. We got her the day before Ann was born. She was a good dog that, sadly, we never spent much time with ... I still regret that to this day. She was a born hunter until some neighborhood boys ruined by throwing firecrackers at her just for the sheer fun of it ... idiots! From that point on, every time there was a thunderstorm, the poor animal had to be tranquilized. But she was loyal and sweet and loving, and I still miss her!

Molly the Cat came along just before Tai Li passed away. She was the daughter of my Uncle Tim and Aunt Cheryl's cat Natalia, and we just loved her to pieces. Molly was a very ... how should I put this delicately? She was not at all discerning about who she slept with. She was tagged with the name Blanche from the Golden Girls, as she would make herself right at home with guests in their beds ... crawling right under the covers, if she so desired! Molly loved her some buttered toast, too!

Molly also had it in for Ann. She loved nothing better than to terrorize my poor sister endlessly. We both received handy-me-down Barbie Townhouses, and Molly loved to jump up in that second or third floor and sit, which is all she ever did in my townhouse. However, in Ann's, she managed to chew the fingers off of her Barbie, rendering the poor, plastic creature disabled by today's standards. Ann is still working through the bitterness of those incidents!

Cricket, the Daschund-Chihuahua mix came as Molly was entering her middle ages. Cricket was a precious baby in all of our minds! She begged for popcorn whenever she thought she could actually get the cooker, i.e., my mother, to comply. She was obsessed with carrots, too. The dog would kill for "orange sticks."

Cricket also loved to french kiss you! First thing we always warned guests was, "Careful! She Frenches!" I can still hear her little nails clicking on the floor and see her settling into her nest of blankets!

When I moved out on my own, I lasted only a little over a year before I got my first pet, my sweet Sadie Dog. Never have I met such a sweet dispositioned animal as Sadie. She loved absolutely everyone! Sadie and I did everything together, and she loved nothing better than to travel in my car. It was a sad day when she could no longer jump up in my truck to take a ride.

Sadie loved to hunt for moles, and for all of the ground she managed to dig up in her ten years of life, she only caught one! But she gave the hunt a valiant effort.

One of the hardest things I've ever had to do was to leave Sadie behind when I moved to Kentucky. She'd been with me through most of my adult, on-my-own life, and I wanted to share this new adventure with my adventure buddy.

Maddie showed up on my front porch one morning three years after Sadie came to live with me. I wasn't going to keep her, but she was so pitiful and little and sickly and sweet, I couldn't resist. It was only after she got better that her true colors shone through ... she was the Maxine of the cat world. But she loved Sadie, and to the day she died, Maddie missed that sweet dog. Sadie was Maddie's mother figure, and as a result, Maddie did a lot of dog things ... greeted me at the door ... rolled over to have her belly scratched ... begged like a dog ...

Maddie hated everyone, with the small exception of myself, my sister Ann, and my friend Rhonda. She especially hated my father, and the feelings were mutual.

Maddie and I tried to solve world peace, discussed fashion, hair care products, dating, food and health and a menagerie of other things. She never cared for my opinion, and I never cared for hers ... it didn't matter. We had a mutual admiration society going on.

I don't want to go home to that empty nest tonight. I will miss hearing her little bell jingling as she runs down the stairs to meet me. Oh man! I will miss so much ...

Empty nests suck!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

POWER ON

My furnace has been on for an hour and a half. It hasn't shut off yet. THAT is how cold it was in here when I came home!

WAKING UP TO ICICLES ON MY NOSE

I woke up this morning at 3:30 for some unknown reason.

I looked out my window, and it seemed DULL outside ... like everything was dim.

What I didn't realize at the time was that my street was undergoing a brown out, and that the noises that woke me up were probably transformers or some such stuff exploding.

Good thing it was -2 degrees this morning! Good thing my furnace refused to work in the brown out and subsequent power outage. That was very invigorating ... the whole WOWEEE IT'S COLD ENOUGH TO CAUSE FROST BITE, AND WAIT A MINUTE, WHY ARE THERE ICICLES HANGING FROM MY CEILING FAN!?

I must give a SHOUT OUT to Joe and Erin, who let me come to their house at 6 a.m. (after I woke them up at 5:15 a.m.) so I could get a hot shower. They are the best, and I owe them a wonderfully, home-cooked meal or something!

Now, I'm just crossing my fingers that:

  1. My pipes aren't frozen.
  2. My cat, who is still sick, has enough sense to bury herself underneath my down comforter.
  3. My power is on when I get home.
  4. My furnace wasn't fried ... because it was making a terrible noise when I realized what was going on.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

BEING MEAN AND NASTY

At my complex, I get two parking spots. They're mine. I pay rent that allows me those two spots.

The people across the street get a garage and room in their driveways for two cars. Plus, they have the entire side of a street to park on.

I get so tired of their visitors thinking they can come over here and park in our spots! Tonight, I'd parked in the middle of my spot, because of the snow, and this lazy woman, parked her ram-shackled mess of car RIGHT UP AGAINST MY TRUCK. So, I hung myself out of my upstairs window and shouted, politely, "EXCUSE ME! EXCUSE ME! You can't park there. These parking spots are for this building, and you're parking in my spot. You can't park there."

She was not happy, but too darn bad! I get two parking spots with my rent, and if visitors want to reimburse me for that spot, okay. Otherwise, stay out!

Ahhhh! Feels good to put the parking smack down on these people!

FRUGAL IS SOOOO IN THIS YEAR

I've been lazy. Yes, I will admit it. I've been lazy when it comes to saving money and figuring out ways to save money, for that matter.

My mother and sister are doing the happy dance in their respective seats right now while singing, "I told you so, I told you so," by the way.

But it's true. I didn't want to create a budget because it meant sitting down and ACTUALLY CREATING IT. I didn't want to think about utilizing a bit of discipline because that meant I actually had to use time on that process. Time I didn't have ... time I used for other productive ventures like killing brain cells on Bret Michael's Rock of Love. Yeah ... sad, right?

Then I was laid off ... you might remember that dark period in my history? And well, money was practically non-existent, and because I'd been not frugal to begin with, I ended up racking up some debt ... debt that I still have, three years later.

At the beginning of the year, I decided there were things I wanted to do ... like get my masters degree and get rid of my credit card debt and buy a condo in a nice, gated community and go on a Caribbean vacation and stuff like that, and the only way I was going to accomplish those goals was to SAVE MONEY.

So, when my church offered the FINANCIAL PEACE class, I jumped, okay, hopped slightly, at the chance to take the class. Lessons 1 and 2 were like torture. In my mind, I couldn't reconcile the fact that I needed to actually put time and brain power into this process. It wasn't going to magically materialize on my dining room table, no matter how hard I wished it to be so. However, Lesson 3, when Dave Ramsey introduced forms that look suspiciously like office supplies (which I LOVE), I was suddenly bitten by the bug.

Then, I happened to catch Oprah's show on saving money. A woman took a $127 grocery bill and whittled it down to $37 by using a bit of old-fashioned ingenuity, coupons, and ... sit down for this, mother, time and planning! Suddenly, the need to save money and pay as little for my groceries became a game ... a game I wanted to win!

And so begins my journey down the road of ONE FRUGAL CHIC. My plan is to save a ton of money and have fun doing it in the process.

Mother, are your buttons popping off from sheer pride?

I DON'T LIKE YOU AT ALL, OLD MAN WINTER




I suspect this person is as hacked off at Old Man Winter as I am -- maybe even a bit more than me.