Sunday, July 30, 2006


I am such a slacker! I should be switching laundry, cleaning the kitchen... or the office. But instead I am parked on the couch watching TV. Still. I did lots of picking up today, around the whole house, done abut 5 loads of laundry, took a long bath, painted my toes... but I also successfully watched the movie "Star!" (Julie Andrews) and "Dark Passage" (Humphrey Bogart/Lauren Bacall.) followed by Malcolm in the Middle, King of the Hill, n\and the Simpsons.

Ugh. I can hear the jeans tossing around in the dryer.

Someone needs to get salt for the water softener, and someone needs to check the mail. I did eat fish and veggies for dinner, but I am already thinking about ice cream with raspberries on top, mmmmm. PMS will do that to a person. As soon as I finished supper, I wanted pizza. Damn Commercials!

This weekend, I didn't do a whole lot. Friday night I was here... Went to bed fairly early because Saturday morning I had to wake up at 7:30- I agreed to accompany Anya and Ava to Stockton so that I could watch Ava while Anya got her hair done. It was a good ride, and Ava was super cute as usual. When I got home, I was so tired, I slept from 3:30 till 7:30. Then I talked to Carrie for a while. Then Evan brought me a Culver's Cashew Chicken Salad for supper (mmmm) and then I watched The Incredibles and The Bourne Supremacy.

I keep seeing those new Nike Commercials where the people are all confused looking and they say "I've never run this far before." Hmmm.... maybe if I had new Nike's, I would also be motivated! This is something to think about! I need to sew the skeleton doll and the coffin lining this week. I meant to do it this weekend, but it's already 8pm, so the weekend is almost over!

NOOOO! No Monday.
Did I mention it's hotter than hell? Tomorrow is supposed to be 115 with the heat index. Today, was 104 with the index. I went outside once, at 7pm, for about 15 minutes.

It was too much. At least I have only wore pajamas today. That makes me happy. Off to get ice cream with raspberries!!

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

New Burn Ordinance In Wyanet

For those of you who know the Neighbor saga, this should be interesting....

This morning, I am upset. Okay, I am pissed. And I am pissed at Major John Gordon in Wyanet, Illinois. Why? Because I see a new burn ordinance has showed up in the post office. Why am I pissed at the major? Because he signed the thing. Should I be pissed at him? Probably not. But can I stop being pissed at him? Uh-No. Will he EVER stop being MAJOR? He's like 900 years old now. I plan on scanning the ordinance in and attaching it to this post.... when I have a moment.

The most pissed off that I am about this whole damn thing?

Item Number 1. The Location of all Burning Barrels Should be placed fifteen feet inside your property lines. Yes, well. In theory, it sounds good. But what the fuck are you supposed to do when A) you really don't know where your property lines are, because no one has ever told you, and your neighbors seem to have their own plants, dogs, and lawnmowers on my property, so I don't even know where the actual line is because they can't respect our property and stay the fuck off it. or how about B) It is wonderful in an ideal world, where you HAVE 15 feet of property between your house and the property lines. But what about if you don't? What about if your property lines are closer to your home and garage than that? What if the only place on your property where you have 15 feet of fucking privacy is in your front yard? Do they want me to put my burn barrel in the front yard? Please. I plan on totally discussing this with my town board members. I would like their opinion on how I should handle this.

Number 2. All Burning should be done between sunrise and sunset. Um. Okay. So in the fall, when it gets dark at 5pm, and I work till 6:30 or 7 pm, I would have to wake up AT SUNRISE and do my burning, and then go get cleaned up for work? Because I can't burn between 5pm and 9pm? Why not? What's the deal with that? And before, I tried to burn around 11:30 or 12pm, because neighbormom is allergic to leaves *cough cough* and she leaves for work around 11:30pm. So I would always burn stuff after she left, because I am all courteous like that. What now?

Number 4. All items allowed to be burned are non-recycleable items, including organic materials grown on the subject property. Could someone please explain this to me? I do not get it. I mean, right now I was under the impression that we could only burn paper and cardboard. But you can recycle paper and cardboard. So it's like, what are they talking about? I can burn anything that can't be recycled but I can't burn paper, cardboard, or newspaper? WTF? Am I totally uneducated when it comes to burning? I don't GET IT? And what's with the fancy words? Did they hire someone from Chicago to come write this thing? THIS IS WYANET. SAY IT IN GOOD PLAIN ENGLISH.

Footnote (Typed in giant letters and underlined {in case we didn't see it}) There shall be no burning of leaves in city streets and alleys. Um. I hate to tell them, but the entire goddamn town rakes their leaves to the little gravely area between the road and their property line, or into the edge of the alley, and burns them. So, why is that bad? Is the road gonna burn? Is it? I don't get that one either. Really. Is that necessary? I usually burn the leaves in my ditch, since we have the wildflower and prairie grass plot and all.... but really... not everyone has a ditch. Sometimes I burn in my driveway, but besides that, I don't know what everyone else will do? Makes no sense. It says yard waste doesn't have to be burned in containers, but it can't be burned along the street either?

So. It pretty much sucks. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Here I am supposed to have my burn barrel 15 feet from neighbormom's property line, but neighbormom's dog can shit in my driveway and her cat can nap on my swing? Doesn't seem quite fair, does it? Can we post a "no roaming animals" Ordinance? And a "Know and Respect Your Property Lines Ordinance?" Please?

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Matthew McConaughey's Corvette Auctioning on eBay

If I were loaded, I would totally bid. I love his little paragraph, and of course, "just keep livin" - That's Matthew, and Dazed and Confused, all the way.

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Altered Trading Cards.... and more!

Last night when I went to Jessie's to pick up my new Stampin Up Book (view online here), she showed me her latest and greatest, and among her projects were altered trading cards. Now. I have seen them before. I get the concept, but I was always like "why??" Hers were super cute (of course) and when she participates in a swap they have a theme.... one was teddy bears, which I am not a huge teddy bear fan.... but then I got the new SU book, and made my wishlist today, and the two things that I was like "hmmmm" and ordered today? Sets named Trading Collection and Open for Trade, which are essentially backs for trading cards. Yeah. I had them on my maybe list.

Then I got onto Swapbot (my newest weakness) to see the activity on my current swaps, and I saw a NEW swap (why do I even look??) with Altered Trading Cards... and the theme? Woman. Yep. I am intrigued. I thought about it, for about 10 minutes. Then I joined. The great part? I have to make 9 of them, with at least 3 different layouts, and they don't have to be sent until August 31st! Plenty of time! Plus I have two crops/scrapbooking deals to go to on August 11th and 12th, so that will give me something specific to work on, and plenty of time to get them done. Yee!

So let me tell you why swapbot appeals to me so much. Humor me.

I love to craft. I love to scrapbook and stamp. But I have a hard time staying on task. Really I do. I have a hard time figuring out where to start, or being patient with myself while I figure out what I am going to do. So when someone gives me a definite assignment, with a theme, and allows me creative license, and a deadline, I excel. It's like art class all over again. I need direction (when it comes to crafting) or I have a bazillion little projects that I don't finish.

Examples: The 4 year blanket, the half-painted sewing/craft room, this "almost" finished basket and empty scrapbook albums.

And although I sometimes follow projects on my own, like many other baskets, this pillow, the moopy, these bookmarks, and this bulletin board....

I do much better with a class or on task with a deadline and a purpose! Like 20 very different Christmas Cards, An altered tin, a Squash book, this packet of 5 matching cards, this gift baby scrapbook, or mother's day cards.

When I am not on task, I end up with curtains like these (unsewn) and never ending projects that take up 2 square foot each, like the guts for my altered journal.

So, essentially, swapbot keeps me on task, allows me to use the multitude of supplies that I have, relax and be creative and excercise my brain, create something for another person (which is an awesome feeling) and receive something neat and crafty in return (made especially for me!) and that is a REALLY awesome feeling too. Swapbot also gives me a project, with a theme, and a deadline, so it doesn't fall by the wayside.

Hooray Swapbot!
Hell-ooooo Altered Trading Cards!
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Question for General Motors

Question. Why on new GM (and some ford) vehicles, do we have a nifty auto-down drivers side window.... but there's no auto "up"?? Is it so that a child doesn't roll an extremity or their head up in the window? Um, if that's the reason, let me just have you consider this...

How many children, too young to know better, should be hanging out in the drivers seat of a car with a key in the ignition, unsupervised? Just curious. Cuz you know if the key isn't in the ignition, the window won't go anywhere... so um... kinda seems a little overcautious.

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Dear McDonalds, Princeton, Illinois

Dear McDonalds in Princeton, Illinois-

Your evil greasy goodness is only second to that of Wal-Mart.

That said, I am very upset about my visit this evening. You see, I follow the South Beach "lifestyle" because of health issues that I have. I purchase alot of your salads and fruit and yogurt parfaits, along with your overpriced bottles of water. Every now and again (once every 2-3 months) I get a craving for your french fries and perhaps a burger. Tonight was one of those occasions.

I waited in the drive through line for about 10 minutes. I placed my order. I was salivating over the thought of my burger and fries. When I finally got to window 1, (which amazingly was actually staffed!) I handed the girl in a visor my debit card, to which she replied "It isn't working, I can try it though." Uh. Okay. Why don't you then. Either it's WORKING or it ISN'T.

I said "I hope it's working because I don't have any cash." and she swiped my card, thew up her hands, and said "Nope, not working...." then handed back the card and stared at me blankly. I said "So no food for me? It's my problem then, not yours?" and she said "let me go check" (bounces away... bounces back) "yep, there's nothing we can do about it."

Okay. Let's revisit that sentence. THERE'S NOTHING WE CAN DO ABOUT IT.

Let's go over a few options:

1. You put a sign, even a handwritten one, taped to the drive through speaker dealy, that says "We apologize for any inconvenience, but we are unable to process debit/credit card payments at this time." (feel free to insert your own McD's slang language here, if it better suits you...)

2. You give me my food for free, because you do it for that guy you went down on in the parking lot after your shift was over.

3. You give me my food for free, with a manager's override, as I have seen you do before, because it's your problem not mine and I want my fucking once in a blue moon burger and when I am hungry it get cranky.

3. You fix your goddamned machine so that this isn't the third time this has happened to me at your establishment in the last two months.

Just a thought. Or two. For you to ponder. Yeah. Go sit on that for a while.

It is with deep regret that I inform you, your business went to Burger King instead. I didn't wait in line, my food was hot and fresh, their debit card machine worked, AND I was told THANK YOU by a smiling woman in a uniform 100% less greasy than yours.

Dismayed Customer,
Meagan Johnson
Wyanet, Illinois

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Danger in My Own House

So apparently ya'll hate me, or perhaps you are just SOOOOO Busy.... because I am bloggin my lil heart out here... and **echo**echo** no one is here. So sad. Damn July! Just wait till winter! You'll all come crawling back to me! I hope!

Welcomew My newest tenant, Whatcha Tawkin Bout! Love her blog, please go check her out!

So, what's new. Hmmm. My medication is working. I am feeling better. I Have increased my dose without side effects and I will increase it again tonight. That's good. I got my annual bonus at work today.... if the company makes a profit, we get a percentage of our salary last year, as a bonus. That was a nice surprise. Money to cover my plane ticket that I already bought (lol.)

Anya and Ava are home, and I have seen them twice, talked to them more than twice. It's good to have them back. Ava has gotten bigger still! The best part is that her motor skills are getting noticeably better, she is holding onto things and reaching for things.... pretty much everything she touches goes right into her mouth! Anya passed along a great recipe for a Spaghetti Bake last night, I can't wait to try it with whole wheat spaghetti and fresh canned tomatoes from the garden!

Tonight I picked up my new Stampin Up Idea book. I missed my class on Saturday so I didn't get a new book. I perused it tonight, and can already see my mind analyzing which stamps are must haves.

I worked on the skeleton doll and her casket, for the coloriffic swap-o-rama, which I have to be ready to Mail by August 4th. I have all the stuff gathered, I just have to make the handmade item and I am ready to roll. The skeleton's head still has me baffled. I have a few options but am not much thrilled with any of them at this point. I have been crafting several different heads and when I position them atop the body, they just aren't right. Oh how hard it is to be a perfectionist. Husband said that the first skeleton head was the best, so I think that's the one I will go with. Tonight I measured and cut the padding and soft binding for the insides of the coffin, they are all cut and ready to sew.

Ummm so today I wore all black. A co-worker asked if I was going for Stevie Knicks. I had on black knee socks with black mary janes, and a black hankerchief hem skirt that is like calf length, a black tank top with a bell sleeved, black, crocheted sweater over it. Dark. Mysterious. Except for the freckles and reddish blonde hair that is. lol.

Today at work I got to carry two pagers. That's always fun. But miraculously, neither of them went off. At all. Yeah for me.

Occasionally I am starting to feel like I might want to cook again. But then I remember how much it costs to buy ingredients for healthy food, and how it is cheaper to buy a salad that someone else made.... and I seem to stall. It doesn't help that the things that I want to cook are like PASTA, and BREAD, and BROWNIES.... all major South Beach no-no's. I could make them and not eat them, but what fun would THAT be? No. I'd rather just not.

Major news: I have bedbugs. Sunday night I put all clean sheets on the bed. Monday I woke up with three bug bites on my left side in a row, and two on my ankles. Strange. Annoying. Itchy. Husband did a check of the bed last night. He declared it clean. When lying in bed I remember that he didn't check under the bed and I picture bazillions of tiny biting bugs under there waiting for me to fall to sleep. Tuesday morning (this morning) I have a bite on the back of my right thigh, two on my right toe, and a GIANT one on my stomach. Holy shit - What's eating me? Tonight, I am afraid to sleep. I inspected the bed. Husband said "spray lysol" and I am like "the SHEETS are CLEAN and lysol does not kill BUGS just germs! Hell-O?!"

Please pray that there are no new bites tomorrow.

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Monday, July 24, 2006

For the Love of Animation!

I love cartoons. I have always loved cartoons. Even in high school and college. I loved cartoons. I have always watched cartoons. I collect all kinds of dolls and action figures. When I met my husband, it was a match made in heaven. He also loves cartoons. Although I find that we have some similarities, he tends to like Japanese Animation and samurai cartoons (Ruroni Kenshin, Trigun, Dragonball Z) while I like more silly stuff.

Some of my favorites? Well, Old school, I liked Anamianiacs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (which will totally be a movie on 03-30-2007, be sure to go watch the trailer, it gave me goosebumps!), Batman, Transformers, (also a movie on 07-04-2007 that I can't wait to see!) He-Man (circa 1983 - Masters of the Universe, and Princess of Power), Spy vs Spy, The Simpsons, and Pee-Wee's Playhouse. As a little kid of course it was Rainbow Brite, Care Bears, Smurfs, The Getalong Gang, and Strawberry Shortcake, with Kids Incorporated and Romper Room and Friends thrown in for good measure. Although I think that Romper Room sold as was a local show to public television stations, I was actually ON Romper Room once. Our hostess was Miss Peggy. Yep. I was On TV- and we have the episode on VHS. My mom watched it when she was a kid, with a different hostess of course!

Later in life, I have loved Pokemon (although I am tired of that now), Family Guy, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Wonder-Showzen, STILL Pee-Wee's Playhouse, Winnie the Pooh, Spiderman, Drawn Together, etc.

Can I tell you how excited I was when Adult Swim started playing the mysterious commercials for Pee-Wee's Playhouse? All there was? A black screen, with the music for the playhouse, and nothing else. Then just the words "coming to Cartoon Network on (date)" and I was instantly like "Pee-Wee's Playhouse!!!! It can't be!!! OMG!!!!" and I set the DVR to record them all. It's amazing the things that stick in your head! And the Pee-Wee Website is pretty kick ass, if I do say so myself!

Favorite Characters:
Funshine Bear (care Bears)
She-Ra and He-Man (Adam's) cat Battle Cat (Masters of the Universe)
Spiderman and Venom (The Amazing Adventures if Spiderman)
Pikachu (Pokemon)
Master Shake (Aqua Teen Hunger Force)
Smurfette (the Smurfs)
Dotty Dog (the Getalong Gang)
Pupcake, Custard, Apricot and Hopsalot, and the Purple Pie Guy (Strawberry Shortcake)
Poison Ivy (Batman)
Michaelangelo (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Bumblebee (Transformers)
Pinky and the Brain (Anamaniacs)
Stewie and Brian (Family Guy)
Pooh Bear Himself

Are you still addicted to cartoons? Who are (or were) your favorite characters and cartoons?
Can't remember their names? Look online. It's amazing what you will find!

I still have lot sof my toys from when I was a kid. I know I still have all my strawberry shortcakes, in ziploc bags so they still smell good.... I also have most of my barbies, My Little Ponies, and I have Bumblebee somewhere... Also have my rainbow brites and smurf dolls. AND I have all my spiderman and venom action figures, a huge collection of Disney Dolls, and all my pokemon stuff.

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Killer Vegetation

Things I have been avoiding:
Balancing the Checkbooks
Paying Bills (I have to balance the checkbooks first)
Packing Away My Sweaters (I know)
Unloading the Dishwasher

Just so you know, right now our house looks abandoned. We have this issue with mulberry trees. You see, they like to pop up wherever. I hate the damn things. There have been three of them at our house since we moved in 6 years ago, and they are in awkward areas where you can't get rid of them, so you just keep cutting them back instead, and they just keep branching out and growing more. One is woven inside an old spirea. We can't get it out. The spirea is overdue for it's annual trimming (along with all the others) and the Mulberry is now as tall as the house (okay ALMOST) and it's hideous! There's also one in the hydrangea, and one behind a Euonymus, just outside the kitchen window. Now it is tall enough to look in the kitchen window, and it freaks me out because whenever I walk into the kitchen naked I catch a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye, and it looks like someone standing there and I freak out and jump about 10 feet into the air (instinct.)

Oh and then there's the weeds. In the driveway, they are about 3 feet tall. Everywhere. No lie. We could MOW The driveway. And we probably will. We have been weed-eating it. We desperately need more white rock. I have tried spraying, it does NOTHING. They are worse now then they were BEFORE I sprayed the Ortho Season Long. So don't even mess with that crap. Ortho Season Long Weed and Grass Killer, you suck major ass. Weeds died for about 1.5 weeks and then came back with a vigor that is only seen in tropical rainforests. Yes, it's like Little Shop of Horrors at our house. The weeds in the flower beds.... I have just given up. A long long time ago. There are some flowers under there, and I don't even give a shit. Instead of stopping more weeds, the compost mulch just encourages them and they grow on an average of 8 feet per week. My green thumb has finally turned against me. So you can't even SEE any flowers or the foundation of the house, for all the weeds. Oh and did I mention Corn? Yes, there are like 3, 5-foot corn plants growing up alongside the house. Who cares. It's been too damn hot and for the one weekend that it wasn't (last weekend) I went fishing. Screw You- you Rapid Growing Vegetation!

Did I mention that I bought a man? Weeks ago? And It cost me $50?? And I should be making him do all this work? But I don't know his phone number and he just fell off the face of the earth, and I feel like he might never do the work I paid for, forcing me to give them a $50 donation instead of purchasing 3 hours of man-labor at an auction? Maybe they should do this thing where you don't pay them until the work is done, eh?

So yesterday I told husband that our yard was pushing me over the edge and I would soon be having a heart-attack/nervous breakdown/conniption fit/PMS induced rage. Every time I pull into the driveway, I keep my eyes closed until I find the door, so that I don't have to look at the place and get pissed off. I pretend like I don't live here and I have no reason to be concerned.

Ahhh.... pride.

To make myself feel better, I will pretend that I am Poison Ivy, and that I love all plants, good and evil, and that our house is my evil lair surrounded by all sorts of killer vegetation. Yes, my pretties.... growing just for me. Hmmm.... Maybe I can be Poison Ivy for Halloween this year!

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I love magazines. Husband does too. But since Martha Stewart kinda bores me now (except her holiday special issues), and Better Homes and Gardens innundates it's readers with WAYY to many index cards and pharmacy advertisements... I thought to myself, let's try some new magazines? Shall we? So I ordered Redbook. I like the copies that they have in the breakroom here at work. Then when I ordered that they had the Hearst Magazines specials where if you order more than one, you get a better deal, so I ordered Oprah at Home and Country Living. I have always loved Country Living. So. It's a done deal. Goodbye Better Homes and Gardens!!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Dear Better Homes and Gardens Magazine-

Stop. Just Stop. Stop with the fucking index cards inserted into my magazine every 3-5 pages. Stop with the pharmeceutical advertisements. Ambien. Tavist D. Zoloft. Cialis. I can not take it!

I have not been paying for your magazine in over a year yet I still receive it. And it pisses me off so bad that I almost want to send it back. If I had the TIME I would rip out every reply card, every drug advertisement, and mail them back to you in a giant envelope each month. Why do you have to innundate me with all your crap.

What I love most of all? That your advertisements and "postage not necessary" cards are jammed right between an article about relaxation, labyrinths, natural healing, and treating yourself to a relaxing spa day or a long morning in bed.

You contradict yourself. And I am sick of it. You have lost all of my respect.

Meagan Johnson
Wyanet, Illinois

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

I'm Too Trendy....

I can't believe it. I bought gauchos. Not the slim, tailored, dressy ones that you see chicks that work for pharmaceutical companies wearing with suit jackets and over the top pointed heels.... but the flowy knit ones that you see teenage girls wearing with tank tops and flip flops. Yeah. And today I have them on. With tank tops. And Flip Flops. A army green and black tank top, layered, as is my signature style, with black gauchos and Old Navy Camoflauge Flip-Flops. It's happened. I. Am. Cool. And I SWORE SWORE SWORE that I wouldn't ever wear them. NEVER! NEVER I tell you! If I start wearing jeans zippered at the ankles, ever ever again in my entire life, or you see me with my hair in a ponytail on the side of my head, SOMEONE please STOP ME!

I also discovered that if you take a shower, leave the towel wrapped around your wet hair, and make your lunch.... your towel can very conveniently be a napkin if you find yourself in a pinch. Wipe your fingers, sticky with the sauce from your South Beach Szechwan style pork on your head! How cool is that?

And Now, Back to your regularly scheduled programming....

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Friday, July 21, 2006

Festival 9 3/4 Photos

So I have already bought 6 wands. Yeah! I started to think that if I don't buy the wands ahead of time, they will be totally sold out. I also took photos of store fronts.... some are still decorating, and sadly several Princeton Businesses appear to not be taking part. But here is my Festival 9 3/4 Photo Gallery, and although I may not get to blog about it late tonight, I will upload pictures as soon as possible!

You are a Gryffindor!
Take this quiz!

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Festival 9 3/4 ~ Harry Potter in Princeton Tonight!

Wow! Today I feel SOOO Much better! I left work early yesterday (couldn't do it anymore, too icky feeling) and slept from 2pm-5:30pm and never moved once. When I woke up, the meds were out of my system and I felt so much better. I took the second one at supper and once it got into my system I was feeling really really sick again, and it scared me. Poor husband. Trying to make me be calm and sleep. Well, finally I was able to be calm, and I slept from about 11pm straight through till 8:30am. And when I woke up I felt great. My body must be getting used to the meds, and it appears they will probably be okay. It will definately be difficult to increase to 4x my current dose, but feeling good today has given me a better feeling about it. So I feel optimistic!

I have lost another pound today, which is good.

I am super super excited about tonight! It's Princeton's Festival 9 3/4, the Harry Potter Celebration. They take 3 blocks of main street and close it down, and turn it into "Diagon Alley." Each storefront is decorated and they all sell Harry Potter merchandise (wands, candy, etc) and they have special stations and activities.... like Quidditch practice and a Owl/Pigeon area where you get to see live birds and learn about them. They will have the knights bus, potions and divination classes at a Hogwarts' Extension Campus (matson Public Lbrary) and a house of moving portraits (where you get your official picture taken) as well as the Moaning Myrtle Dunk Tank. There's also an outdoor movie at 9pm. So. That said. I am trying to figure out if I will be wearing a costume, or not. I am, after all, just a big kid.

I am looking pretty punk rock today, all pink and black with the top half of my hair in pigtails and my chuck taylor's on... and layered pink and black tank tops. So maybe that will be funky enough and I won't have to venture into the heat of the attic to find me a witch's hat. Although I have a pretty kick ass feathered witch hat....

I am renting children for the night (LOL) so that I can fully enjoy the Festival 9 3/4 with them. Come to think of it, I should go buy wands today, so that we don't have to worry about them all being sold out.
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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Good Freakin Morning HNT

Well, first order of the day, here's me with my oatmeal at 5:30am. Except I only ate two bites.

So I started some new medication last night, and it fucked with me. It still IS fucking with me. I was so tired I was asleep by 11pm, which is UNHEARD of for me, if you read here you know that. Then at 1am the dogs started going all apeshit, barking. Hadley especially was in "defend and attack" mode. I yelled at him but he didn't be quiet, so I knew that he wasn't just defending his food from Boyd's potentially evil glances.

So When I wanted to move, My arms were all weak and it hurt to bend my elbows, like I had been asleep in that position for months, not two hours. When I was finally able to get up, I felt a little better. I went pee, then looked outside, Hadley was having a heart attack at a bucket truck that was backing up on the road outside the house. It was Corn Belt Energy (local power company) and they were parked with two wheels in the yard in front of the house, kinda sitting along the road. Hadley hates loud vehicles and he will freak out at them, and anything/one that comes out of them. This goes doubly for vehicles with lots of lights, that show up after dark. I went outside in my PJ's and sat on the step. Nothing happened. I took their picture. Nothing happened.

I was dying to know if it was JH or SO. You see, I know lots of linemen for Corn Belt. Ava's dad (Anya's husband) Brad is a lineman for Corn Belt. So is his friend JH and his other friend SO. SO was the DJ at our wedding reception and also DJ's at the Clover Club in Mark. There's also IC who is a lineman and a friend of Brad's. And then, to top it all off, my husband's Uncle MN is their boss. So I was sitting there in my PJ's wondering who was in the truck, when another Corn Belt truck went by, honked at the first truck, and the bucket truck out front honked back. Now that sent Hadley into another tirade. Anyways, I went back to bed.

The dogs consistently woke me up again at 4am, and at 4:45am, and then every 10 minutes until 5:30, when the storming started up again and I had to just get out of bed for the day. Also strange, if you know me you know I don't get up till 9:30 on a weekday. But the dogs, the medicine, everything was fucking with me. So I was hungry. Made oatmeal. Ate one bite. Sat down to blog, the power went out. The power came on. Ate another bite. Didn't feel good (damn meds!) and then the power continued to go off and on while I got ready for work.

Last night pulled in the driveway, home from work, and I walked out and watched them crop dust the field that is practically in my backyard. This picture was taken from across the road to my house, because I could see him pull up over the road better, without the power poles in the way. He ran out of juice, so he flew away before he got right on top of me, but he came back later. Same plane each year. The best part is watching the people driving down the blacktop freak out when a plane flies like 10 feet over their heads. They all either duck, do a double take, or slam on their brakes. After that I went right inside, put my pajamas on and watched TV in bed, and made a skeleton head. Keep in mind that there is only like 3 hours of time between when I get out of work each night and when I try to go to sleep. And I was asleep by 11. It was nice. Strange, but nice. I hope I start to tolerate the new meds better, because I have to increase the doseage 4 times what I am taking now. But I have to get my body tolerating it first. Look for a lot of strange sleep patterns apparently!

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I dream of Jeannie Greeks and Gasoline

I have been having strange dreams again. Sunday night I dreamt that I went to get gas and it was like 2.92 (which did happen to me Saturday) and I decided to wait (in the dream, in real life I filled up) and then (in my dream) when I got up the next morning the gas was $5.05 and I was PISSED. I dreamed about the price of gas. Yeah. Nightmare? In real life I found out it did go up in most places to $3.07 on Sunday/Monday.

Last night, I dreamed about a bad greek man. Now first let's say that I have no prejiduce or racism. I love Greeks. I love everyone usually. There is a wonderful Greek family that runs the Red Apple here in Princeton, the wife is so so nice and her sons are so handsome, it makes you swoon. Seriously. The dark hair and eyes, strong chins and olive skin.... they are so hot. And I think greece is a beautiful place.

That being said, when we were kids, there were lots of greek hunters that would show up on the farm, wanting to hunt. My dad was always at work, and my mom would tell them no, that they had to talk to her husband and they would always have a hard time understanding her (or at least pretend that they did) and their thing was that they would drive around in white "pedophile" looking vans, with sliding doors and no windows, and shoot deer and doves from the vans. Without permission of the landownwers. Possibly without proper tags or FOID cards, we don't know. But they would shoot from the road, obviously driving with loaded shotguns. Then they would (sometimes) go ask your permission, saying that the deer they had shot had run onto your property and they needed to retrieve it. But really, they shot it on your land from the road, without permission.

So anyway, once when I was young (like under 10) there was a greek man with a gun who parked out in the road and walked to the house. When mom told him no he just kept walking closer like he was going to convince her, but she just kept saying no. At the time, we had a dog. A beagle named Duke who was super super smart, as beagles tend to be. That dog had never ever barked or showed teeth at anyone, and when that greek man walked into our yard and my mom kept telling him no and he kept advancing, the dog stood up and all the hair on the back of his neck stood on end and he started snarling and barking and showed all his teeth. He put himself between us and the "hunter." He was acting like he would attack that strange man. The man said something like "nice doggie" and my mom said "Don't come any closer. It's time for you to leave" and the man left. Mom and my little sister and I were home alone. That freaked my mom out but we were happily surprised that the dog sensed something was very wrong and acted that way when he had never acted that way before.

So in my dream, a bad greek man dressed in all black had snuck into our house (my house, now) in the middle of the night, and I can't even remember the whole dream now, but it was super scary and Evan was not in the dream and I couldn't find him.... I woke up with a start, but I know for a fact that my dogs would never let anyone get in the house. They are protective and territorial have a shit-fit if anyone even walks or rides their bikes by, let alone steps foot in our They have scared the paper boy on many occasion. When we had this incident and another incident shortly thereafter, the dogs (Hadley especially) were barking a mean and scary bark and they probably woke the whole neighborhood. But still, dreams like that are scary!

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Baby Coons by My Car....

When I left Work tonight, there were three baby raccoons in the storm drain right next to my car. I was the only one in the parking lot, and being the blogger I am, I just happened to have my camera with me, and I took their pictures. I got close enough to be within arms reach of them. Aren't they Cute? See LOTS of pictures of them on my Flickr....

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Skeleton in Progress....

Just imagine the surprise of the little old ladies in the Wal-Mart fabric department when I explain that I am purchasing all this funky fabric to make a skeleton, a skeleton kitty, and a lovely lined coffin.

For my current swap-bot swap, the partner I have been assigned loves Skeletons, Tim Burton, and Emily Strange. Her Favorite Colors are Red and Black. There has to be one handmade thing in her packet, so I decided I would make her a girl skeleton doll (softie to you crafters) with a red tulle skirt, and perhaps a cape or something. She will have a pet kitty, who will of course ALSO be a skeleton, but a furry black one. They will live inside- what else.... a lovely coffin.

Tonight I found the box to turn into the coffin, and some red quilted fabric to make a lining, which will be edged and decorated with red blanket binding and black bias tape.

I cut the leg off a pair of black pants that the zipper broke in, and used white Slick Tulip Fabric Paint to freehand a skeleton on the leg. Tomorrow I will cut it out and sew the back to the front. The back will not be skeleton, too much work I decided. Just the front will show her skeleton body and the back will just be solid black (unless I get unreasonably ambitious soon.)
I will make her skirt out of red tulle (assuming it looks good) with a waistband of this red ribbon with white edges. I hope to make her clothes removeable so you can undress her to see all the bones underneath. I might sew a little punk rock appliqued pocket onto the dress, with like a spider or something. Not sure what I will do for a shirt. Might just leave her topless and add a cape of this shiny spiderweb material. I also bought black "pleather" material, to make SOMETHING, perhaps her shirt? I dunno. I still have to make her head, I see it looking a lot like Jack Skellington's. I bought furry soft felt to make the backside of the kitty, and then will use the same black with a kitty skeleton painted on for the frontside of the kitty, who she can hopefully hold in her arms with some velcro or something. Or maybe I could make her a leash with some of the black ribbonlike elements I have. The riveted leather ribbon is for the kitty's punk rock collar.

Here's what her body looks like so far:

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Figuring out what to do with your pet when you travel can be complicated. Not anymore! Keep your pet fresh and safe at home with the Cryo Kennel.

Want a gadget that is "impossibly practical" and allws you to reheat your food from the comfort of your couch, or your desk at work? Get yourself a MicroMitt, the Microwave in a Mitt!

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Baby Chucks

Converse dudes
Originally uploaded by Terrablu.
How cute are these? A picture that I found on Flickr of twins Quinn and Cooper. Now I know that my kids need to have Chuck T's some day!

But since I don't have kids, I went ahead and ordered the pink ones you see here and shipped them directly to Cara Stokes. I hope she loves them!

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Self Exploration, a Fantastic Voyage...

Firstly, let's welcome Laci and everybody go on and visit her at Long, Slow, Beautiful Dance. I am enjoying her blog. And how much she uses fuck. A girl after my own heart.

Now. To begin today's post, I am going to talk about Ego. My Ego. Which is apparently getting bigger. This morning, when looking in the mirror when I was ready to go to work, I was like DAMN! You are freakin CUTE! You are AWESOME! and I wasn't trying to pump myself up either! New clothes! Wearing my army green khakis and an adorable black shirt with a big scoop neck and puffy babydoll cap sleeves. It has really cool side panels that are attractive shaped. And black mary janes..... And LOOK at my breasts! I love them! How could you not love them! Husband loves them! Stealth Bombers Love them! Online Friends Love them! The Irish Love them! I love them! How did I ever ever ever get so freaking lucky? How many of us are born to have an overflowing D cup? Isn't it magical? The more weight I lose, the better, the BIGGER my breasts look! It's great! I love it! I can't get enough!

So I am feeling good. I am catching glances from men, more so than when I was carrying around a few extra pounds, and it reminds me of the good old days. Lately I have noticed there are several men at my place of work, who normally say hi to me every day, unconsciously? doing the once over and then getting that *look* on their face, and pausing before they say Hello. By the tone of their voice, they might as well be saying "Helllooooooo Nurse (anamaniacs reference)" But I don't think they realize that I can see right through what they think they are hiding.

Example.... a while back, I caught a male manager looking right down my shirt. I was working on a computer, bent over, and I said something, and he didn't respond, and so I looked up to see if he heard me, and sha-zam if he wasn't all busy gawking right down my shirt and apparently rendered speechless. He stumbled for some words for a few seconds, caught red-handed. I wasn't upset, it was really comical. It's powerful. To know that once glance at the goods can render a man speechless. It lets me know I am still attractive and it is encouraging me to continue to lose weight. It could be seen as a little creepy, but men are gonna look, and if women know what's good for them, they will use what they have, and indulge in a lil eye candy now and then too. Whew. Those links men. Are Hot.

When I was really young I was pretty naive, and thought that all the hugs that I got were friendly ones.... but as I have gotten older I am starting to understand a "cop a feel" hug a little better. Older and wiser.

So speaking of ego, as I lose weight I feel more in touch with, and in love with, my own body. I don't think it's a bad thing. I don't really think of myself as egocentric. But I am happy to have a better body image and more body confidence. I know how far I am from perfect in many ways, but it helps me to feel good about myself. I like to have confidence in the fact that others can be attracted to me. That my husband is attracted to me.

One thing I can guarantee, I will never turn into one of those "sleep around with everyone because now I look good" chicks. I wasn't that way when I was skinny and young. Sure I love to flirt, but I wasn't a tease and I have never ever cheated on a boyfriend. (If it's a girl, it's not cheating right? JUST KIDDING!!!!) So I am a honest, loyal partner and wife. That's my gig.

I told my friend Kreg, my goal is to be a MILF someday, but instead of using HM to get that title, I plan to use personality and perhaps my breasts. Is that a bad thing?

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Monday, July 17, 2006

I am SOOOOO ready for this....

Well I couldn't very well blog about one pirate and leave out my favorite pirate, now could I?

Now this is something I would be looking forward to (even if he is 43), and do you suppose they'll need extras?

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The Girl is "super" and she's got mad skills!

Well, I was certainly on a roll last night. I got everything picked up, massive amounts of laundry done, cleaned off my dressing table.... remember this? Yikes! Now it looks like THIS! Yeah Me! Much better. I love to be organized. It gets me all happy. But sometimes I feel like it is an endless endless uphill battle. Well it is if you have as much stuff as I do!

July Goals:

Paint the last 1/3 of the sewing room
Make Curtains for the sewing room
Make a skeleton softie who holds a skeleton kitty softie and make a coffin for them to sleep in (swaporama stuff, I know it sounds creepy, but I have my reasons)
Pack away my sweaters (I know, I know, It's July)
Get rid of the dead plant in my dining room instead of ignoring it for another 4 months
Make a payment on my lawayay on time (he he)
See My Super Ex-Girlfriend

August Goals:
Don't forget my dad's birthday, or Anya's... since they are the same day
Celebrate 1 year wedding anniversary without watching TV in my underwear
Take in-laws out to dinner
See Talledega Nights: The Story of Ricky Bobby
See more Johnny Depp. I don't care how. I don't care where.
Score some of Jackson's vegetables (and I don't mean his cucumber)
Make August 11th-13th a Total Scrapbook Weekend!
Get my movies back from Brandon Barton
Prepare and Pack for my trip to Utah
Lose 5 more pounds by incorporating excercise!

Fall Goals:
Plan a kick ass halloween costume and find some cool friends who love costumes too
Make Caramel Apples with lots of nuts and chocolate chips
Visit Tanner's Orchard Early as husband suggested!
Take lots of walks in the leaves
Buy chunky sweaters in green, orange, red, and brown.
Carve Pumpkins
Get the Scarecrow Out and the Corn Shock Up In the Yard
Burn the Ditch before it snows
Think About where in the hell I will put the Christmas Tree!
Get up earlier so I can be home at night and enjoy the nice weather

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Dirty Men can be So Hot....

You know, the rougher they make him look, the more valiant he looks, and then all I can think is that he deserves a good shag.

Go ahead ladies, make it big. (the picture I mean. Click!)

I think that most men (my husband included) completely underestimate the power that a working man has on the woman's sexual excitement. Nothing is hotter than a man at work. You know, the rippling muscles, smudges of grime, even the dirty clothes. My dad is a working man and my sister and I were raised to admire someone who can fix things, lift things, and generally take care of things. I guess it would just be a natural instinct that we look to couple with a working man... I find my husband the most attractive when he has been working all day or even after he mows the yard. Usually when I try to touch him, he's like "Don't, let me shower." I appreciate his concern for personal hygiene, but it isn't always easy to wait! There's something about a man at work... that will curl my toes.

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Productive! Finally!

Well, if this hasn't already been a fabulous day!

This morning I wrote my letter to my secret swap buddy Eva for the "letter #2 Swap" on swapbot.

I started out by picking up in the bedroom, bathroom, and living room. Then I vacuumed bedroom/bathroom/living room/dining room/front porch/kitchen. Dog hair BE GONE!

Then Evan helped me move the coffee table so I could thoroughly vacuum the rug underneath, and helped me pull out the couch and loveseat so I could wash them each down with leather cleaner and apply leather conditioner to keep them soft and prevent cracking. Quite the undertaking! I even vacuumed under them and behind them and the end tables. Ahhh.... feels good!

I had a nice conversation with my friend Carrie and got the whole scoop on her labor and c-section delivery, on baby Cara's progress, and how things are going for her now. We talked about our upcoming travel to see her, and later in the day my friend Angela showed up on my doorstep (surprising since she lives almost 2 hours away (with traffic) in the suburbs.) Angela and I called Carrie, and got online and purchased our airfare tickets to Salt Lake City for a long Labor Day Weekend, where Carrie and Cara will pick us up and we will spend 4.5 days. I can't wait! The three of us are like the Three Musketeers. We have been friends for Years and Years and Years but we are only all able to be together like once or twice a year.

Evan helped me move all the furniture back, and he brought my a Subway wrap for lunch, which I actually ate at about 4pm. So this leaves the rest of the night for me to do my 10 thousand loads of laundry, and unload and reload the dishwasher AGAIN, and do whatever else I can to make a house feel like a home. And prepare myself for work tomorrow, and Hopefully walk... whether it be after 10 pm when hopefully it isn't so hot, or inside on the treadmill.

Yesterday Evan and I went to Peoria around 5pm, ate a nice salad bar dinner at Ruby Tuesday's (Yum yum yum!) and then went to the Grand Prairie Mall. We got some MUCH needed new clothes, since I have lost weight my pants keep falling off, and I haven't bought new clothes for myself since about 4 months since we got married, which would be about 15 months ago! At Old Navy we hit some great sales... I got 4 tank tops, two pair of flip flops (one for only $0.97!) and two pairs of khakis for work, and 1 black top. Evan got two pair of shorts, and 3 t-shirts. I got a brown sleeveless shirt on clearance at Eddie Bauer (what is WITH their funhouse mirrors by the way?) and I got Evan a cool hat at Pac Sun. I also got 2 sleeveless shirts (red and blue striped) on clearance at Shop-Ko and some scrapbook embellishment letters for my rainbow swap pal for August. while we were at the mall, we went to the candy store (yum!) and bought scoops of tasty candies. Gummy Bears, Sour Path Kids, Rock Candy, Tart n Tiny's, candy stars, and candy legos. YUM!! I will send some of the colorful candies to my rainbow swap buddy too.

So all is well. Ahhh.... laundry! Hope everyone else's Sunday has been great. As great as it can be considering it signifies the end of the weekend!

:) Meagan

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The waterpark capital of the world- practically in my backyard.

Just woke up. I wasn't awake enough to function, so I turned on cable. They had a big thing on Wisconsin Dells. What is crazy, is that I never really realized that we are pretty lucky to have something so big, so CLOSE to us. Probably many people around the US have no idea what they are missing. SO I am just curious, Have YOU been to the Dells, how many times, and where did you travel from.

The dells is only like 5-7 hours from us (traffic can get bad up there in the summer, and travel around Chicago area can be busy too) But I have only been there once. I have driven past the dells many times, on the way to Eu Claire, Menomonie, or Minneapolis/St. Paul. My husband's best friend lives in Menomonie with his two daughters. We spent a weeklong summer vacation in Menomonie about 4 years ago, and made a lil trip to the Mall of America in Minneapolis/St. Paul, also took a walk along the Menomonie River Walk and saw the Devil's Punch Bowl, right there by Menomonie.

I also went to the Mall of America again about 3 years ago, for a conference for work. We stayed for about 3 days in a hotel right by the airport and the mall was basically across the street. THAT was fun! I got a shopping bag charm for my charm bracelet at the mall. I found that it's almost difficult to shop when you get there, it's so overwhelming. The second time I went, I got much more shopping done. I loved that there was an FAO Schwartz there. And a HUGE Old Navy!

Sadly, I have only been at the Dells ONCE. When I was about 15, I believe it was the summer before my sophomore year, we went to the Dells for our Church Youth Group. We had SOO Much fun. We spent a whole day at Noah's Ark (the world's largest water park) and also went to Big Chief's Cart and Coaster World and played mini golf and drove go carts on the world's largest multi-level go cart track. (now Big Chief's has been remaned and expanded, it's now Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park, located with Treasure Island Complex, see below)

I LOVED the water park, even though I can't swim and am afraid of water, once they got me started, I had a ball. I would love to be sitting on an innertube on the lazy river (Aka endless river) today! I also loved Congo Bongo and of course the two wave pools.

The cool thing is that now there are so many new things that go up in the dells. They have 18 indoor waterparks in the Dells. A big thing for families now is to drive to the dells for a long weekend in the winter to stay in one of the huge complexes like Treasure Island where there is a multi-level indoor/outdoor funland attached to the hotel. Dry rides and Water Rides. I know that a co-worker took her kids there as a Christmas Gift. There's even an indoor water park/fun park on I-80 in Iowa.

I personally would love to go do some more relaxing, adult-like things in the dells, before we have kids. I would LOVE to stay in a cabin. Tour or hike the outdoors scenery, spend the day at the spa... I could easily distract myself. Honestly, My ideal vacation is close to home, enjoying the outdoors, in a cabin by the lake, fishing and swimming, reading a book in an adirondack chair.

So lat me know, how many of you have been to the Dells, how often, and where did you travel from? What did you do, what did you see?

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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Meagan 2, Treadmill 12

How can it be that I am so stupid when it comes to excercise equipment? That damn treadmill had me fooled AGAIN!

Remember when I hated the treadmill and then one day I had a revolution that I was walking on the steepest incline? And then I figured it out? and Vowed to walk every night? Yeah. Well that was like may 1st, and apparently the last time I walked on the treadmill. I walked at night outside for most of June, but then I had a week of feeling really icky at the end of June and haven't gotten back into it yet. Bad Bad Bad.

So today I thought I was going to get on the treadmill again, because my recent excuse is that it has been too damn hot to walk outside (which it has been, and incredibly humid.) So when I go to unfold the damn treadmill, I can't get the incline right AGAIN and so I thought, hmm... why not consult the manual. And of course, I learned something else. The reason why the electronic console doesn't work? Um yeah. Dead. Batteries.

Who would have thought that when you plug the treadmill into the wall, it would STILL need batteries for the console to work? Oh Jeez! So I rob the batteries from the rabbit, and it's like WHOA! I can check my pulse! See how many calories and Fat calories I have burned! See how fast I am walking! See how long I have been walking! See how many MILES I have gone! So I just walked 15 minutes, .8 mils, at between 3.5 and 4 mph. I am happy. And sweaty. Because the AC is running now but it's still 79 in here. It's too damn hot to wear the M&M Suit so I opt for a sports bra and track pants... which were ALSO too hot. I also walked with the iPod, which was grand.

Can I walk again soon, or will I be writing another post in September about how I haven't walked since JULY?

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Did I mention how freakin spectacular I am today? It's 12:20pm and I haven't brushed my teeth or my hair. I pulled a red cotton tank dress out of the laundry hamper (it was on the top of the pile, I totally just wore it on Thursday) and threw it on so I could let the dogs outside. No bra. No underwear. And really, I am comfortable. Really comfortable. I am so un-freaking-motivated it's comical. Yesterday I had lots of labs done, so they drew lots of blood, like 6 or 7 vials, and I hate needles and do terrible with blood loss, so after I finally ate after 17 hours of fasting, I was wiped. I laid around in bed all of last night, except for one adventurous trip outside.

Today when I woke up, it was hotter than hell (this was 11am) in the house because the AC kicks off (I have to reprogram that goddamn electronic thermostat.) and it was 85 in here. I padded out to the Thermostat and decided that I should FINALLY reprogram it (it's been this way since December when the remodeling finished) and then I sucessfully locked the damn thing so that it was set on 85 and wouldn't move. I was getting more pissed off every second as I tried to reset it, and it wouldn't reset, I could feel myself starting to sweat, which pissed me off even more. So I woke up my husband. He padded out and squinted at it. He couldn't get it fixed, so I got the brilliant idea to trip the breaker and cut the power, so that it had to reset itself. Mission Accomplished.

I do have the dishwasher running. I looked through about 10 catalogs. I am a catalog shopper. I need nothing. Yet I receive more catalogs than a 75 year old lady. Serious. So I did the obligatory Eddie Bauer, LL Bean, JC Penney, Lillian Vernon, HP, Office Depot, Domestications, etc. lookthrough while lying on the couch. Then I thought. "I should do something" so I ate the rest of the sliced turkey from the crisper, gave 1 piece to each dog, went pee, and I even flushed the toilet (how's that for ambition!) and now here I am. Cleaning people come back on Monday. Thank God. We are drowning in dog hair, and I can't do anything about it, since the vacuum is in the closet and I would have to open the door and get it out if I wanted to vacuum. Nah. Cleaning people come on Monday.

I have so much laundry to do. But I am waiting for the dishwasher to finish (good excuse, eh?) becuase if I run both at once, it costs more money because the hot water heater can't keep up, and the dishwasher has to heat the water itself. I don't really know if it costs more money, because the dishwasher is electric, and the hot water heater is gas, but I don't want to wrap my head around that anymore, so I just say "can't do it. conserving." and that allows me to look at catalogs, blog, and think very deeply about things like which lunchmeat to eat... instead of taking a much needed shower or doing luandry. And see, that will be my next decision.... do I shower and make myself presentable (complete with apron and Donna Reid Pearls?) or do I start laundry (it's the water thing again.) and really, I know that if I take a shower, I won't ever do the laundry. So I had better keep on wearing this fabulous dress and work on the laundry next.

Please don't ever visit me unannounced. You don't know what state you will find me in.

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Nightstand Drawer, and other Tales from the Bedroom

I must be in the organizing mood tonight. I rebuilt the sidebar on the blog, and made everything collapsable. This made it much neater, although I feel like no one may ever see anything over there again. Oh well. Not the end of the world. Looks better anyway. Try it out. Let me know of any problems. Of course IE is still all fucked up, I think ginger went AWOL on me, and I don't blame her. I don't know how to fix the damn thing, and believe me I have tried... and so has ginger. So hopefully you can all read via RSS Feed or upgrade yourself to Firefox, where the happy people are.

After cleaning up the sidebar, I decided to clean out my nightstand drawer. It's been a while. How do I know that? Besides that I just KNOW? Probably the bath and body works coupon for free lip gloss that expired in December 2004. Or perhaps the empty birth control pill packets when I haven't used the pill as my form of birth control for 13 months... and there were like 7 empty packets in there.

I found 13 of my 957 misplaced chapsticks, LOTS of dead batteries *cough* and bobby pins, paper clips, meltish vitamin C throat drops, blister packs of Claritin D, Vitamins I gave up on... it was interesting what all I found. Three pairs of fingernail clippers, 1 set of toenail clippers. Four nail files. Buttons. Pens. Pencils. 4 Yellow Highlighters. A dolphin... *cough* Sticky Notes. Bookmarks. Hair Clips. The remote control to the window AC unit that we used last summer during remodeling and has been in the garage for the past 11 months. 1 stray maxi pad (Un-used of course!) Scissors, a pink rabbit, *cough cough* Band-Aids, Wal-Mart receipts. Matches. The lid to a ball canning jar. Cephalexin. Nabumetone. Flashlight. A Hot Heart Massager. 2 Empty Tums Bottles. A winning Sprite cap. Handheld Electronic Blackjack Game. Tape measure. All in 1 drawer. You can't make this shit up.

So. Now it's like "where do I put this shit?" I mean obviously it doesn't all belong in the nightstand drawer. Although I could apparently balance the checkbook, take phone messages, indulge in a little self-gratification, self-medicate, perform manicures, drink free Sprite, measure *something*, perform first-aid, almost can vegetables, play blackjack, cut and style my hair, and give a massage... all without leaving the comfort of my bed. I've always been a multi-tasker.

So, um, speaking of the bedroom, does organizing turn you on baby?

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Real Beauty is not High Maintenance

So, as I am about to embark on my post about high maintenance (in this post to be known as *HM*).... I think "I know I blogged about this before" and so I started to look, and low and behold, I did. But I am going to do it again, from a different perspective, and do my best to not repeat myself. And I am not even going to link to the old post, so that if I do repeat myself you will have to find it in order to prove it.

I frequently think about high maintenance. As one of my friends can attest to. The phrase "high maintenance" frequently comes up in our conversations. Not only because we run across people that are *HM*, but because I am always wondering, worrying, am I teetering dangerously close to being CONSIDERED high maintenance? Because I like to get a massage and a pedicure, because I like to have nice clothes and jewelry, because I wear makeup and color my hair? I always worry that people might see me as high maintenance. And my friend always convinces me that won't happen.

My entire existence, I have worn whatever I wanted to. When I was in high school I was often referred to as having a "hippie" style. Funky. Didn't care what was in style because I had my own style. I wore shirts to school that people weren't supposed to wear to school. And while most kids were wearing "Coed Naked" or "Big Johnson" shirts and trying to get away with them, or Budweiser and Marlboro shirts, I never owned any of those. I had my own shirts. But teachers were SOOOO Busy looking for the 'typical" shirts (which got turned inside out before lunch time) they were never looking for my shirts, and so I wore them all the time, without ever being noticed or reprimanded. My "Chronic the Hemp Hog" shirt I wore for two years straight. Never once got noticed. It just looked like a slightly green version of Sonic, right? No teachers noticed that his spikes were really a pot leaf, and his eyes were a little bloodshot. I had a shirt that looked like all the "Mean People Suck" shirts, with a big smiley face. But mine said, "If Mean People Suck, than Nice People Swallow." and I wore that shirt until the day my dad saw it, and it disappeared forever. Damn it.

Well eventually I got into the real world, and while I still have great shirts like "Sleeps Well With Others" and "I blogged your mom" and the cartoon Drawn Together with two cartoon chicks scantily clad and making out.... I don't wear those to work. Ever. Of course. So for years, I have gone as mainstream as I can tolerate on a day to day basis. When I worked in pre-K I wore outfits that made me look like a teacher, although a sexy one. Long dark skirts with slits up the side or back, high heels, and nice dress shirts. I played the part. I was accepted by parents and teachers alike. All teachers are just people. But they all had to play the part. They might be buck naked in handcuffs by the end of the night, but they still have to play the part.

I worked in offices. I made coffee, I took phone messages, I dressed the part.

So one day, probably 6 years ago, I got one of these email memes where you send it out and your friends filled it out about YOU and returned it. I emailed it out. One of the questions was "Describe My style" and I was appalled at the answers. People who had only known me in more recent years had ABSOLUTELY different answers than people I had gone to high school with. My old friends all put "hippie" or "funky" or "individual" and the people who had only known me through work or in recent years had answered "preppy" or "put-together." I was like WHAT?! Preppy!?? Wow. What has HAPPENED to my image? Do these people view me as *HM*??

And then I realized that these new people had never seen me in my tennis shoes with lavendar Care Bear Laces and with Bright Red Streaks in my hair. They had never seen me with my nose pierced (10 years ago, before it was so mainstream.) These people had formed an entire OPINION about me based on my "chameleon" ways, dressing the part of my job. It's the same feeling I get when I walk into Hot Topic at 27, dressed in work clothes or regular bootcut jeans and sandals. I can imagine the punk rock kids in there just thinking "what the hell is that preppy bitch doing in here" and I think to myself.... "No! That's not me! Can't you see?! Don't you KNOW?! It's ME! I am like YOU!"

But actually the last two times I have been in a Hot Topic, I have gotten fabulously treated by all the employees, and they have never ever looked at me strangely. They usually strike up a conversation about whatever I am buying, like how kick ass Sublime is (oh they are so young! It's like they never even KNEW Sublime!) and Family Guy, and Care Bears or Strawberry Shortcake, and I realize, they have to recognize, even just a little bit, that I was once like them. That I am STILL like them! I didn't (and don't) have 9000 zippers on my black pants, but I was an individual and I lived through those cool things and cool times, and I realize that they are just like me. Mostly good kids. Polite Kids. Kids with a job. Kids whose parents don't like the color of their hair or the ring in their nose. And I feel a kinship. And I wonder, can they feel that? Can they SEE that in me? Can they see what really matters? Or do they just see what I am wearing? Where I work. My Wedding Ring?

So how does all this fit in with high maintenance? I firmly hold onto the belief that you can't be such an amazing individual with your own distinctive taste, and become high maintenance. It's just not possible. Because everything you stand for, every bit of being yourself and nobody else, is against the essence of what is "high maintenance."

*HM* is having too keep yourself looking good for the sake of looking like everybody else. For the sake of fitting in and for the sake of being recognized as "magazine/model beautiful." High Maintenance is people having a hard time recognizing the beauty that is individuality. The beauty that is that woman with red hair and freckles and smooth pale skin... who wears no makeup but is fresh and honest and smiling. She is beautiful. If you saw her walking down the street or looking through a store window, you might not recognize it instantly. But the second she smiles, the second she says hello, the second you catch a glimpse of "her" you can't miss it. She is amazingly beautiful. She doesn't look like a porn star. But you like the way her hair flips, the way her eyes sparkle, the way her fingers grasp the hands of her 4 month old daughter. Those are the things that make her beautiful. And anyone in their right mind would be drawn to her. They would feel connected to her. They would want to spend time with her, or just plain watch her from a distance.

Or maybe it's the pretty blonde, she has a nice body, and she has long straight hair. She's wearing makeup and jewelry. She might even be beautiful at first glance, but what makes you look again isn't her body or her clothes... it's something about HER. Something that shines through what you see at first. It's the way her head tilts to the side when she laughs at something a friend said. It's the way she absently twirls her shoelace around her finger. It's the way she picks up her friend's daughter and kisses her forhead and makes her giggle. Those are the things that make her look AMAZINGLY beautiful. It's her personality that shines through. It's compassion and fun and all those personality traits shining through.

And the high maintenance person doesn't see these things, or maybe chooses not to. The high maintenance person is so wrapped up in what the clothes look like, or what the hair and makeup look like, and all the physical appearance, that they completely and totally miss the most important part.

This is what puts the high maintenance person at a disadvantage. They are looking for something specific. They have in their mind exactly what Mr Right will look like, what job he will have, what kind of ring he will buy her, the apartment they will live in. And Ms. *HM* will never even notice when Mr. Right walks right past her. He might turn his head and look back at her but it won't even matter, because she will not be looking back at him. Maybe his profession didn't match her image of Mr. Right, or maybe it was his clothes, or his shoes, or maybe he was missing that chiseled chin that she pictures in every dream. Some people get so wrapped up in *perfect* that a truly perfect thing slips right past them.

High Maintenance people, above all, have an image to uphold. And if someone doesn't fit in with their image, it's difficult for them to look past that.

And I am not saying there aren't some fabulous, fun, and energetic *HM* people out there. I am not saying they can't be funny and compassionate and great friends. But I feel like there's a piece to life they are missing.

Probably my favorite magazine or TV ad of all time is the Dove Real Beauty Campaign. Those women are BEAUTIFUL! Every hair color, skin color, eye color, body shape.... but their personalities are what really show through. Their individuality. It kind of remings me of Benneton Ads from the very early 90's. You know, the United Colors of Benneton? When all the models wore something completely different, different hair, different expressions, different clothes, different skin colors. People. Different People. representing the real beautiful things in life.I guess that my mind keeps turning over in my head what makes someone high maintenance. And there isn't a definition. There never will be. But I have met enough "cookie cutter" people in my life who spend so much time trying to be like everyone else, or like SOMEONE else in particular.... that I really appreciate meeting an individual. A person who has opinions, thoughts, and a personality that shines through. A person who is beautiful in many ways. Who has a good attitude, a positive outlook, and a tolerance and respect for what is different.

What Turns Your Head? Tell me, please?

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