Thursday, June 28, 2012

I Can't Believe I'm Admitting This...

   So, as many of you know, I spent about 2.5 years living in a little town in western Minnesota while working as a law clerk for the two coolest judges imaginable.  Being the self-proclaimed city girl that I am, I spent a good chunk of that time irritated and uncomfortable because rural life just doesn't work for me.  I need a Target within a 10 mile radius.  I need there to be more than 2 stop-lights in my town.  I need to go to the grocery store and not run into 3 people that I know.  Driving to Alexandria from Morris just to shop is unacceptable.  I escaped nearly every weekend to the Twin Cities, and I couldn't wait to escape the small-town feel of it all.  Then finally, the day came when I was offered a job back in the metropolitan mecca I'd been lusting after for nearly three years.  I moved back to St. Paul, and thought I'd never look back.  Until today.

   Last night I had a very vivid dream that I moved back to Morris.  To my old apartment.  And I was ECSTATIC about it.  I remember thinking the move was so easy because I knew exactly where to put all my furniture.  I even remember planning out how I was going to surprise my Morris friends with the news that I had returned.  What.  The.  Fork.  This is not me.

   My apartment in Morris was certainly not the newest or most desirable living situation, but I made the place my own, and actually grew to like my surroundings (despite my creepy neighbor...).  It was quiet and it was cute, and I was actually proud of the home I'd made there.  I had some great times in that apartment, and met some of my closest friends there.  Its no wonder that now I dream about it and remember it with happy memories.  So, as evidenced by this blog post, my dream got me to thinking today.  And thinking led to realization.  I realized that I actually *gasp* LIKED living in Morris.  And that I actually *DOUBLE GASP* miss it.  Yeah.  You read that correctly.

   Now I'm not saying that I am going to run out and move back.  I have a great living situation right now with an awesome roommate, and I have a new job that I like, and I am working toward a(nother) graduate degree, so things are going pretty well right now.  But I just can't help but wonder what it would have been like had I stayed...  It was chatting with a good Morris friend this evening that kind-of brought out this nostalgic moment.  To my ladies from Morris, I just want you to know that I love you all, and you made my time living in your town more amazing than I ever could have expected.  I really want to make it a point to come back and visit a bit more often, and partake in the exotic wonders that are rural Minnesota life... freezing cold holiday parades, bar hopping in Lisa's camper, wrangling feral cats, duck farts, kissing random Coborn's cashiers (You know who you are, M), and having sidewalk parties in front of my apartment at 3am. 

   So really, this little epiphany has made me learn something about myself.  I've realized that I tend to yearn for the future, and don't focus on the awesome things I have in front of me right now.  Had I changed this attitude during my time in Morris, I could have saved myself so much frustration.  I had it good there.  I had a good job, amazing friends, and I earned quite a few ridiculous stories along the way.  So here's to focusing on the present, and learning to enjoy what I've got.  And to all you Morris-ites out there, I miss you and we need to plan a Morris-extravaganza soon.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I am not dead yet...

Holy absence, Batman.  Yes, I realize I haven't posted since freaking JANUARY.  But full-time work + crazy idea to go to grad school in my "spare time" kind of monopolizes my attention...   Anywho, I am still alive, and I am going to try (try =/= promise) to do a bit more posting here.  So the topic of today is... drum roll please...customer service.

Tonight, I went to an eating establishment that serves primarily pasta dishes in a fast-food manner (I'll let you come to your own conclusions regarding what that establishment is).  I ordered a lovely pesto dish with grilled chicken on top (to-go).  I was handed my much-anticipated dinner in a brown paper bag, but something -- call it a sixth sense -- told me to double check my bag to ensure that the establishment's fine staff properly fulfilled my order.  Much to my chagrin, as I opened the nice warm bag and peeked inside, my dinner was sadly poultry free.

Not to be foiled by the lack of fowl in my pasta, I marched back up to the counter with the intention of politely pointing out the mistake and asking for my damn chicken.  So there I stood.  And waited.  And waited.  And WAITED.  NO ONE behind that counter was willing to make eye-contact with me.  Even the malnourished 16 year old Bieber-haircut ignored my scathing gaze as he walked right past me.  Not any acknowledgment from anyone of my presence.  Really??  

FINALLY, the girl who took my initial order (not 5 minutes earlier) deigned to look at me and inquire about my prolonged presence.  "This was supposed to have chicken", I said.  And with a completely blank stare she asks, "grilled or crusted?".  YOU TOOK MY ORDER 5 MINUTES AGO.  This isn't rocket science.  Sigh.  I don't expect the fast-food staff to quote Chaucer or vomit out physics equations, but you can't remember my chicken??  Sigh.  I weep for the future.

Perhaps I am being too hard on these employees.  Perhaps I know nothing of the rigors of the restaurant biz.  But what really grinds my gears is the intentional and calculated ignorance of my presence as a customer that requires someone's prompt attention.  People make mistakes.  I get that, but DON'T IGNORE ME.  No one puts Megan in a corner. Or at least standing like an idiot next to the noodle counter.  Next time I'll take the bottles of Siracha and start squirting the employees who ignore me.  This will only burn for a second...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Yessss.... a New Year. FINALLY.

   Happy 2012, world!  After having rung in the new year like the old person that I am, with a few appetizers and some "Planet Earth" with a good friend, and then in bed (by myself, don't be gross) before midnight, I have to say that I am probably one of the happiest people on the planet to see 2011 go.  I won't go into a ton of painful detail, but I think I can honestly say that 2011 will go down in my history book as pretty much my worst year to date.  Riddled with a death in the family, significant personal drama that pretty much destroyed me, and a host of other crap-tastic events, I am very happy to see that as of today, a new year has begun and I can start fresh and hope for a better year ahead.  And, let's face it, it won't take much for 2012 to be an improvement on 2011.

   So with this background in mind, I am not going to list off resolutions or anything (mostly because I think resolutions are largely forgotten and swept under the carpet by about January 24 anyway).  But I am going to be a bit corny and sentimental (which I know is a little out of character for this blog, so you'll just have to deal) and talk about the things for which I am grateful and for which I am looking forward to in the coming year.  So, Ninnymuggins, quit gagging over there and embrace the mushiness...

   First, I am eternally grateful for the love and support of my family and friends (most of whom I consider family anyway).  Without them, I am sure that I would not have survived 2011 and all of its atrocities.  I think that I would likely be just a pathetic mass of carbon-based material sitting in the corner of her apartment, rocking back and forth and chewing on her hair.  So thank you to everyone who helped make sure that I was still breathing and surviving when I needed that help.

   Next, I can honestly say that I am pretty stoked about going back to school in a couple of weeks!  When I graduated from law school, I vowed to NEVER AGAIN enter into an academic institution for the purposes of learning.  I was convinced that I was done with the whole world of universities, and since graduation caps look RIDICULOUS on me, I would never don one again.  Well, guess not.  I have finally figured out that I don't want to be a lawyer when I grow up (nice realization after having attended LAW SCHOOL, right?)  But that law degree will not have been earned in vain as I have discovered that instead, I want to be a law librarian when I grow up.  Seriously.  At age 29, I feel that I finally have the right answer to that irritating question of what one wants to become.  However, this does involve (you guessed it) MORE SCHOOL.  Although now that the pain, humiliation, and eviscerated self-esteem from law school have mostly healed, the idea of heading back to academia seems fun and exciting again.  My textbooks for spring semester came from Amazon the other day and I just about squeaked with excitement.  Long story short, I'm going back to school and I'm proud of it.  Bring on the homework.  Let the dorkiness prevail.

   2012 is also about bringing back something that I lost over the course of this past year.  I am regaining control of my own life.  In 2011 I lost control over just about everything.  My finances, my health, my self-esteem, and my relationships.  It is amazing the havoc that one individual can wreak on a girl's life.  But now that the destructive catalyst has been removed, I am taking my life back.  Period.  In every respect.

   Finally, I am just grateful to have found myself again.  I didn't recognize the person I had become in 2011.  She was not the girl I was raised to be and certainly not the girl that I wanted to be, but yet she crept in and took over anyway.  She was definitely a dumb girl that wouldn't stand up for herself, and couldn't recognize bad things and warning signs around her.  But through the help of the above-mentioned family and friends, I do believe that girl has left the building, and I have returned to myself.  It took seeing one of my best friends for the first time in more than a year to shake me out of my stupor, and (figuratively) slap me around a bit to get me to wake up.  To this friend, you know who you are, thank you for saving me from drowning.

   So enough of this serious, mushy crap.  Bottom line is that I am excited to be rid of 2011 and for the fresh start that 2012 is bringing.  This year will be an amazing year and I am excited for its possibilities.  2012 is the year that I will begin my Master's program, the year that I turn 30 (and have a huge party to celebrate), the year that I reach certain health goals, and the year that I re-find and re-become myself again.  Happy new year!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


   It's that time of year again.  The time of year when my mother and I mercilessly harass each other with a small, dollar store, ceramic moose figurine.  If this seems at all ridiculous, read an earlier post that I wrote a while back explaining "moosing" in some detail.

    I feel sort of bad because last year there was not a whole lot of moosing going on between my Mom and I because I was a bit preoccupied with various personal things, and our tradition sort of fell by the wayside.  I realize now that I was letting things that were very important to me slip away in the name of something new and exciting, but the new and exciting isn't always what it's cracked up to be.  It is very important that you keep special traditions alive, no matter how ridiculous they may seem.  I've learned that over this past year.  When the new and exciting doesn't mesh with the old and traditional, then perhaps there is a problem.  I am not willing to let a special (albeit insane) tradition with my Mom slip away, and I feel that last year, I was too close to forgetting what was important.  There are certain things in life that cannot be replaced, and should not be forgotten, and for me, moosing is one of those things.

   So with that lesson learned, and a renewed vengeful spirit to have the ultimate moose prank this year, I am planning early.  Moosing is fair game from Thanksgiving to Christmas Day, and since it takes a plane ride for my Mom and I to be together, then my prank time is limited to the days I will be in Nashville visiting for Thanksgiving, and the three days that I'll be there again for Christmas. 

    Naturally, I cannot divulge my evil plans here, as the enemy (my Mom) is a reader, and we cannot ruin the element of surprise.  But consider this your warning, Mother.  I am heading down to Nashville fully armed with all kinds of sneaky tricks up my sleeve.  Beware.  You never know where the moose will reveal himself.  BWAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Demon Birdies

   As a former world-class late sleeper, I am not particularly tolerant of what most people would consider minor annoyances waking me up in the morning.  As anyone who has shared a residence with me can attest, I am not the most pleasant person in the mornings.  When woken up by something other than an alarm clock, it could be said that I am something less than charming to interact with.  There is usually some kind of growling, hissing, and throwing of objects when I am woken up by someone or something not of my doing (alarm clocks hold a slightly different rank of hatred in my world).

   For instance, I was informed that while living in a flat with 5 other people during a study abroad program in London, that everyone was terrified of being the one who had to wake me up.  I apparently instill that much fear in my roommates upon awakening.  Also, there is something about the last 10 minutes that one gets to sleep in the morning.  That time is sacred.  It is as if you are cheating the world by lying in bed when you technically could  get up, but you just don't feel like it yet.  Damn the man!  I cherish these minutes so much, that I purposely set my alarm at least 40 minutes early so that I can hit snooze several times, and exacerbate that feeling of getting away with something illicit...

   With this background in mind, consider my reaction when I wake nearly every morning these days to the incessant chirping and rustling about of birds, INSIDE THE VENT in my bedroom.  Right above my bed.  Seriously.  I'm surprised I haven't found feathers and bird excrement on my bed.  I've been awoken in such a manner an average of 3 mornings per week for the past 5 months.  The birdie awakening instills in me an instant homicidal rage that is very difficult to shake when that is the very first emotion I register in the mornings.

  Upon further investigation, I have seen the rotten little buggers flying in and out of the soffit of my apartment.  From there I'm sure they have tunneled themselves into the heat/A-C vent and essentially into my bedroom where they become the incessant-morning-awakening-committee.  I am really not sure how to remedy this, but I am hoping that once the heat comes on, they will either figure out that it is time to fly south for the winter, they will refuse to go in the vent because it is too hot, or they will become little birdie BBQ in there and I will be able to sleep in peace.  I'm hoping for the latter...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Everybody is Still Alive

  I posted a few weeks ago about my new plants and my fear of unintentional herbicide.  I am happy to report that my fears were unnecessary and all three of my botanic acquisitions are alive and well.  Here is Petunia:

   She's gotten a bit scraggly in her old age (old = 1 month), but she is still alive, which in and of itself is a minor miracle.  She clearly doesn't like me though.  She constantly turns all of her flowers away from the patio window and out facing the parking lot (it's not my fault that is where the sun is...)  It's not very nice to constantly sit with your back turned toward the person who FEEDS you, Petunia.  Learn some manners.  For this picture I turned her pot so she would be facing the camera.  Notice how all the flowers are facing the same direction?  She is like a petulant child.  I just think of her as the crabby old lady who lives on my balcony.

   Next up, we have Viola:

   I feel kind of bad for Viola.  Apparently my apartment was not her favorite place because all of her pretty purple flowers shriveled up and died... so I decapitated her.  I cut off the stem where all the flowers were because it looked icky.  Aesthetics are important to me.  I suppose it was something akin to rhinoplasty.  But at least her leaves are still growing very nicely.  I also noticed today that she is growing a few new stems with tiny flower buds on them, so really, she's more like a flatworm than a houseplant... just regenerating pieces of herself that I cut off.  Creepy...

   Finally, my favorite child, Tom!

   Tom is, in a word, awesome.  If you compare his photo from a month ago to this photo, he is clearly the botanical superstar of my house.  He has kicked both Petunia and Viola's butts in the dramatic makeover category.  But more than that, Tom makes FOOD.  Behold:

    These are the latest of Tom's amazing sustenance providing talents.  I already ate the first tomato that he provided (see my other blog; Tom's offspring were included in the Spinach and Ricotta Agnolotti recipe, appearing in the role of TOMATO SAUCE). 

   So all in all, my plants are still alive and well.  We have the cranky old lady out on the balcony, the decapitated violet in the living room, and Tom the Amazing Tomato Sauce Producing Prodigy!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Green or Black Thumb? Time Will Tell.

   I decided recently that it was about time I got over my phobia of killing green things and get a few plants to have at home.  I have a bit of a bad history with being able to keep plants alive... I distinctly remember moving into my first apartment on my own with about 5 houseplants.  Within 6 months I had no houseplants.  That clearly makes me a serial plant killer.  But I am hoping that my days of unrelenting violence toward foliage have come to an end. 
    I bought three living things yesterday to bring home, enjoy, and (hopefully) keep alive.  I immediately named them all as well.  I am a strong believer that houseplants require names.  It makes them feel included.  In college, my roommates and I had several plants around with lovely names.  We had a spider-plant named Spike (Spike subsequently had babies that I believe may still be living to this day); and we had an ivy plant called Medusa (and when Medusa died at my hand, we got another one named Medusa Dos).  So now to join that illustrious group are my three new babies:

Viola (my new African Violet):

Tom (my cherry tomato plant):

And Petunia (my Petunias - clever, I know...):

   I think of the three, Petunia has the best chance at survival.  However, according to my aunt, African Violets are difficult to kill (she has several that have survived for years), so I am going to hope she's right and my bad history with plants ends today.  Maybe Viola stands a fighting chance...  Tom, I just don't have any idea about.  I'm going to have to Google "how not to kill your tomato plants" today to make sure I'm doing everything right.

   So here begins my new botanical adventure.  All three specimens survived their first night in my care.  Here's hoping for night 2.