You may have been missing out! Fireside Chat moved! Check out the new "chat" here.
Before I begin my new "blog" which I've appropriately labeled "fireside chat ... with Meghan" let me say how happy I am to introduce this new blog to you, my loyal reader. For so many months I've been trying to "fit" my blog in where it didn't belong. Now finally, the blog has found an appropriate home. Ah yes, home sweet home.
Typo Warning!! Although I try my best to make my site typo free, unfortunately I'm far from perfect, which means that my webiste is also far from perfect.. Please forgive my many typos! On a side note, the worst typo to date was when I wrote an important letter to someone and misspelled "public." I'll let you figure out which letter I left out!
One more note: my friend informed me that I spelled "website" wrong above. She thought it was on purpose. Sadly, it wasn't.
Catastrophe after catastrophe
i.e. -- lost house and car keys with no copies, car broken into AGAIN, almost got kicked out of apartment, high speed car accident, and other fun! Yes!
First, let me share with you this video I found on YouTube. I'm going to call this the "prologue." Yeah.
This is not my landlady but she's a darn close proximity! Ha! Only my landlady said, "Get out! I don't want you here anymore! You leave foam pieces in the hallway and on the street and I've had it!"Yeah, that's right, foam pieces. I'd taken out the trash at 4 am and didn't notice that some of the cardboard let loose some microscopic foam packing material. Thankfully my landlady is a good person at heart (despite the aneurysms she must be causing herself and her insane perfectionism for keeping the endlessly soiled Greenpoint sidewalk clean) and called to apologize later in the day saying I'm a good tenant etc. Thank god! There's no way I can handle moving right now.
Dear blog readers,
Sorry for the break. My sanity had dwindled too much in the past months to write. Why? Well, because I've been coping with some serious medical issues. Perhaps you will recall my mention of back and leg pain-- the physical therapy-- and all of that. FINALLY after almost two years of constant doctors"I've seen a podiatrist, a cardiologist, a nephrologist, (yes, excitingly enough they all end in IST!), 3 neurologists, a rheumatologist-- and some others that also probably end in ist (I've lost track). So, after some doctors seriously mentioning things such as "MS" and "Lupus" and others telling me to "chill out and do yoga" and suggesting I see a "psychologist Wait, no, someone who can prescribe medication... a psychiatrist," I finally have a diagnosis I have what's called Small Fiber Neuropathy and I got diagnosed via skin biopsy that tests for nerve fiber density (mine is severely lacking) --I have a fun little story about the test that I'll share in a bit.
Here's a fun little description.
"Small fiber peripheral neuropathy is a type of neuropathy . It is also called small fiber neuropathy, small fiber sensory neuropathy (SFSN), and C fiber neuropathy. Small nerve fibers are the nerve fibers near the skin's surface, which is why the symptoms deal with sensation. Usually the symptoms start in the feet and lower legs. The symptoms are insensitivity to heat and/or cold, tingling, numbness, muscle weakness, cramps, pain, and other symptoms. People describe the pain as an ice pick being poked into bone, like an electric shock, or walking on broken glass. Sometimes the pain causes a loss in the ability to feel when injury occurs, so one may be bleeding or have a skin injury and not even know it. Unfortunately it is a disorder diagnosed by ruling out everything else. In fact, electromyography (EMG tests), which are good in diagnosing other neuropathies are usually not good in detecting small fiber neuropathies. In some cases it can be diagnosed by biopsy , but that would still not affect treatment of the symptoms. Sometimes the disorder is caused by diabetes or alcoholism , but most of the time it is idiopathic . Since there are no known causes for most cases and most tests do not identify it, not much money is spent on curing idiopathic cases. There is no current treatment to cure small fiber peripheral neuropathy"
The neurologist also said I most likely have what's called autonomic neuropathy.
Fun description number 2:
"Neuropathy is the term for damage to your nerves. Autonomic neuropathy is damage to the nerves that regulate the body functions that you can't control, including the nerves that regulate your heart rate, blood pressure, perspiration and digestion, among other functions. Neuropathies are often due to diabetes, although they also have other causes. Your nerves transmit messages between your brain and your muscles, blood vessels, skin and internal organs. Autonomic neuropathy results in faulty communication between your brain and the parts of your body that your autonomic nervous system serves. Signs and symptoms of autonomic neuropathy vary depending on which nerves are affected but can range from dizziness to trouble with digestion and urination to sexual difficulties. Treatment of autonomic neuropathy involves addressing the underlying cause, if possible, and managing the signs and symptoms."
I've also been keeping a log of what's been happening so I can share it with the doctors. The difficulty is that I also have a problem with the left side of my jawTMJ and arthritis, so it's hard to tell where one problem starts and the other begins because TMJ can cause some weird stuff. This is kind of a summation of what's been going on:
Perhaps you're wondering why I'm sharing this. Well, it's because this has been very hard for me. I'm a tough person and don't admit defeat easily. As a kid (and my mom can attest to this!) I would never admit when I was sick. I would go to school feeling extremely ill and would only go home and lie down once I vomited all over the desk. I'm also not good with feelings. I don't like to talk about them. I'm the complete opposite of a hypochondriac but people who have only gotten to know me in the past year or two think I am! Please believe me when I say I'm not! I've been going through a range of emotionsanger, depression, frustration, denial, and so on. I don't want people to feel sorry for me but I DO need understanding. If I look less energetic or have trouble getting work done on a particular day then this is why! I'm tired of people saying "Well, you look fine." Just because I look fine doesn't mean I AM fine. I'm also tired of people criticizing me for taking a lot of medication. I need it! I'm not a pill popper!
Okay, so that's my sad story. Don't worry, I have some dramatic things to share that are more amusing, albeit ridiculous. Stay tuned! I will also be posting and talking about some new book projects.
Here's another video that accurately describes Greenpoint! This is called "Sumday Afternoon." Word!
Crazy Ol' Greenpoint! I see those "stumblers" all the time.
Things that have happened in the past two weeks:
1) Someone broke into my car and smashed the window while they were at it.
Is this a surprise? No. Of course not. How could it be? For whatever reason, I haven't yet cleaned up the glass. I'm leaving it. As a memorial. I have no idea why. (I apologize to the friends who have had to sit in the backseat... either beside or on top of the glass) Perhaps I'm leaving the glass pile as a reminder to myself that there are evil, evil people in the world.
I made a comment to a friend of mine that I wanted to poison the person who did it. I envisioned leaving a sandwich in the car, which of course he/she would eat (HE... let's not kid ourselves here), and it would be contaminated with embola. Then I mumbled about the other incidents and how they were most likely done by homeless people and how I'd like to poison them as well.
Well, my dear readers, my friend took this to heart. She told my other friends that I hated ALL homeless people and wanted them ALL dead. And then my other friend implied that I'm prejudice against the homeless. Great. Why the *** can't I complain? Don't I have a right to? Why does this make me some sort of evil "Republican" who wants to rid the world of homeless people? (PS - I am NOT calling Republicans homeless haters!) Why does this make me prejudice? And prejudice against whom--People who break into my car and steal stuff and sometimes even THE CAR itself?
Okay, enough ranting for now.
2) I've had some annoying chest cold for the past... oh... going on three weeks. My cashier job has caused me nothing but evil looks, as though I, too, have tuberculosis. Perhaps I shall soon be quarantined for 6 months. Hmmm. Actually, six months worth of jello eating and watching cable TV doesn't sound THAT bad.
Perhaps my nonstop running has made my chest clod worse.
(yes, that was a typo... but I'm leaviing it)
I just keep coughing and coughing.
3) My yet-to-be-released book Strongman has gotten 2 starred reviews! Yay!
4) My phone broke. The screen went blank today. Of course I panicked. I mean, ALL of my phone numbers are in there! What's worse is that the ONLY phone number I have memorized is my parents' and that's only because it was MY home phone number since the age of 0. I remember having to write and rewrite that number in grades 3 through 6... over and over again... in case I was kidnapped, god forbid... and had to call home using a payphone across the street while the kidnapper was napping.
So I had to buy a new phone. It cost me a pretty penny since I didn't have a protection plan.
Question: Why am I so enthralled by the little animation the phone makes of a motorcycle driving into the sunset? Why can I watch it for hours? Oh, darn that new phone!
5) I'm planning my book party--it's Saturday so get your butts to it! You can view the invite here.
Of course I'm not obsessing about it. Oh no. Not at all.
What if no one comes? What if too many people come? What if crazy people come and trash the place? What if I get sick and can't go myself? What if I don't buy enough drinks? What if I buy too many? What if I run out of hot dogs? What if no one eats the hot dogs? What if we all roast marshmallows and accidentally light the loft on fire? What if someone doesn't like my play list and tries to mess with it? What if I get really angry and pout in the bathroom until 3 a.m.? What if I get sad and cry in the bathroom until 3 a.m. (unlikely since I rarely cry... not in public, anyway). What if someone eats poisoned meat and and accidentally hits his head? What if he needs stitches and we have to call an ambulance? What if the ambulance doesn't come? What if the person dies and it's my fault? What if an angry mob chases me down the street? What if they chase me into an alley and I get attacked by angry alley cats?
Okay, this is my brain not thinking clearly. Not at all. Not even slightly.
I want to do all sorts of things for the book party like paint sideshow banners and make a giant cut-out of Atlas and make little signs that read "drinks" and "bathroom" and "music and dancing this way." None of this should happen because I have a book due and I’m supposed to be working on that. Sob. I wanted to make those signs, I really did. My editor would not be happy with me if I spent my time doing such nonsense. Oh, but what a wonderful diversion it would be!
5) FINALLY the ants are gone! The kitchen was plagued by evil little black ants. It didn't matter whether there was food left around or not. In they came. I kept killing them and they kept coming...and I kept killing them with poisonous spray (spray which I probably ate accidentally)... and they kept coming in... right in through the kitchen window...like a river of twitching blackness! AAAA!!! Then I read online that ants are innately drawn to the smell of fellow dead ants. Apparently one of the ants' many missions is to collect the dead. Wonderful. So I can't kill the darn things. I did briefly consider building a very large ant farm with tubes and ramps that would fill up the entire kitchen. If I couldn't get rid of them, I figured, could at least make them my pets and get into the Guinness Book of World Records while I was at it. Yeah, that was a good plan.
6) I'm forcing myself to be MORE ORGANIZED. For the love of god why can't I keep my keys in one place? Why do I lose my debit card on a daily basis? Why am I an idiot? Why God, why?
6) I was listening to The View the other day (don't knock it, okay... the political rants are F-U-N) and they were talking about Barbie dolls and what they did with theirs. Elizabeth, I believe, said she didn't like hers and threw it. That reminded me of the time I buried mine in the back yard. Those were good times those were.
7) The doctors told me I have a nerve condition and the doctor wrote to me, in an email, and I quote "It is straight forward - and I think we discussed that with you as well - you have neuropathy caused by a systemic disease - but which one is the question..."
Hmmmm. I don’t know whether I should get worked up about this or not. What do you think?
8) I'm TRYING to get some book work done (I’m so distracted... obviously). Here's a sample from Astronauts: (it's not finished yet)
P. S - I have a good family ant story involving my dad and a blowtorch but I'll save it for next time. I'll need a good many paragraphs for that one!
Oh, I've got sooooo many great videos. I'm resisting the temptation to show them all. Here are the first two.
Ah, the moonwalk.This is continuing with my Michael Jackson theme... I have a few instructional videos for you. The first is cool. If you want to know how to do "the Michae,l" here it is--
And here we have a bird doing the moon walk? Yes, a bird. The woman narrator is PRICELESS.
Um, dogs? Workout? Huh?
If you were wondering if those dog heads looked a little too real you may have been onto something. Nagi Noda said in her "artist's statement" that "she arrived at the poodle concept after noticing that the dogs' hair cuts resembled muscles. She believed that this concept would help her video appeal to people of all ages."
In other Chat news, I have to plan a speech. Me? Speech? Yes, again. It will be caledl, appropriately, Fireside Chat With Meghan. Hmm. I wonder what the vict...eh-hem, I mean listeners are in for? I actually don't know. I have some plans which involve showing my life in 30s, 40s, and 50s cartoon form. I want it to look like this, only with me in it. Won't that be charming?
(I beg you to read the cartoon in its entirety)
This is a piece I did in college. I want it to have that feel to it... minus the gun. You can clearly see my love for that 50s style.
It will be fabulous. And speaking of fabulous, soon CROQUET IN THE PARK will be back! Perhaps this time I'll post pictures. And as you can see, I'm spending waaay too much time not doing what I should be, which is working on books. Woops. I've also been meaning to make a music page. Soon, dear readers, soon. In the meantime, enjoy the videos! I know I do. I love YouTube like I love my car... and you know what that means. I was going to say like my mom but I don't want her to be offended.
What else am I doing? Going to the gym. I've paid for a personal trainer. He thinks I'm pushing too hard. He said something like "I saw you on the treadmill the other day and when I came back a long while later you were still on it." Then he noted my little pain problem and said "Why don't you try the elliptical instead... no, actually, that's not good for your back either. Do the stationary upright bike like that guy," and he pointed to some old man (all alone mind you because no one wants to use those boring things). Nooooo! I won't! Little did people know that when they suggested the treadmill because it has a lower impact than a road that I'd find a way to ruin myself on it anyway. I set the speed really high and won't touch it unless I feel some vomit coming on. I'm also super competitive and must make sure that my treadmill is on a higher speed than anyone near me. Okay, okay, I may almost be as crazy as my marathon running sister... but not quite. Not yet anyway. The trainer did say he's impressed with my strength. He said "Wow, I didn't expect you to be able to lift that much. I mean, you look like you're in shape but... but..." I finished his thought by saying "You think I'm gangly and scrawny looking." I think he nodded a little when I said that. That's okay. As my friend always says "Meghan has super human strength. I saw her move a log attached to two cement blocks just so she could park her car there." I love it when my actions get turned into tall tales!
MORE FOR MARCH 07...
I've found some good videos to share. Check back often because I'm going to add them little by little. Here's the first, which in my opinion is laugh out loud funny.
And here's one that... well... those people are out there and I've met them at the check out counter! Doing customer service jobs makes one realize many things....
Stay tuned for more. On the Blue Rose Girls blog I posted two great art videos. One is a very strange animation and the other is an erase board animation that really displays some crazy dedication! Check those out here. You might have to scroll a bit but it's worth it.
What am I doing otherwise? I'm working on my Astronaut book and making a crazy 80s/90s cheesy hip hop mix. That's right, CHEESY. This is a taste of what's on it so far
The Power by Snap!
It Takes Two by Rob Base and DJ E-Z
Rock Box by Run-DMC
Whatta Man by Salt-N-Pepa
Bust a Move by Young MC
Fight the Power by Public Enemy
Shoop by Salt-N-Pepa
Funkafied by Da Brat
Mama Said Knock You Out by LL Cool J
Groove Is In the Heart by Deee-Lite
Straight Up by Paula Abdul
Back to Life by Soul II Soul
Summertime by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
Basketball by Kurtis Blow
I'm going to make a wonderful cover for my mix and anyone who wants a copy can have one. Just let me know. No one may want this... or perhaps plenty of people will just for the sake of nostalgia.... I don't know. My next mission is to make a cheesy metal/rock mix with the likes of Def Leopard and White Snake. Yeah. It's going to be great!
What, I suppose, are you wondering, does this have to do with books or my life or anything else? Well, I get inspiration in odd ways. Things always come full circle. Maybe I'll make a kids' book about hip hop. That would be interesting.... or not.
My novel will be sent out soon! I wrote a summation of it. I won't share the whole thing here but I'll give you the first paragraph:
THIRTEEN is about a young girl who is raised, until the age of 13, in a factory, conceived in a test tube, genetically altered, and schooled and monitored under close supervision for the express purpose of being the perfect child. Perfection is everything to The Factory and the to The Center (a mysterious cult with ulterior motives unknown to the rest of the world). Their plan: to create perfect children void of "messy" human characteristics and to match them with perfect host families for the express purpose of a higher calling.
I HOPE I can someday say "Find it in stores soon!"
Pet peeves of the day
I can't stand it when people say "I could care less." It's I COULDN'T care less," short for I could NOT care less.
I can't stand NYC milk. It goes bad in two days! AAA! Back in good ol' RI you could keep milk for WEEKS.
Also, I bought macaroni and cheese in a box a few days ago when I was late for work and didn't have time to cook. It had maggots in it! Come on deli owners!!!! Take those year old boxes off the shelves! That box had probably been siting there since 1999. I went to work hungry.
That's all. I feel better.
I've been stuck on the couch all day because my evil, evil leg pain has gotten to the point of no return. I now have a newer and more exciting pill container that looks like it should be for horses. Honestly though, I'm sick of whining about this. I've joined the gym in my attempt to regain normalcy. Better yet, I'm paying for a trainer. I'm going to be in the most amazing shape of my life. Ha! That is... if I can walk to the gym. I just hope that I don't try to lift too much and end up in the hospital. I have weights at home and I've promised myself I won't touch them again.
Anyway, my time on the couch has caused an epiphany. Who wants to hear about me all day when I can talk about more exciting things. What things you ask? Well, like this--
Oh my gosh, yes! It is an Indian version of Thriller! What could possibly be more exciting? So this is the new plan dear readers--I will 1) add funny or amazing YouTube videos whenever I please and 2) I will talk about things in the news that I think are funny and somehow related to me and/or new york city...such as the rats in KFC/Tacco Bell...so stay tuned.
Sure, I'll still talk about myself a bit. I only do this as some sort of therapeutic purging. Get your vomit bags ready.
On the work side of things I haven't done much. I will though! I swear! I have taken a little bit of a vacation I will admit. One good thing is that my novel will be sent out very soon. I am determined to become a novelist!
And now my dear readers, I must share with my my FAVORITE COMMERCIAL OF 2006/07. An easy chair with wheels! Yeah baby! If I could put the song on a disk I'd listen to it all day.
You make me luv youuuuuuu. I really, really want to score me one of those! If I did I'd be so ever grateful. I'd take it with me everywhere and video tape the whole thing. Below is what I'd probably do with it...
Almost lastly--movie night is coming soon! I need good, classic films to play on my wonderful projector. Once I aquire them, it's on! Any and all ideas are welcome! Email me!
Lastly, it's music rec time ya'll
Music from the past
So shoot me, I bought the Crash Test Dummies off of ITunes. Not ringing a bell? Remember the Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm song? Yeah, that's them. Make fun of me. I don't care. I'm reliving the past.
This week I also bought The Red Hot Chili Peppers - Blood Sugar Sex Magik (their best album, in my opinion and the only one I'll listen to) and... yes... James (that Laid song). The 90s had some good stuff! ITunes is going to own my first-born child soon. All I have to do is hit a blue button and PRESTO! The music is mine. Dangerous. Very, very dangerous my friends.
Speaking of music...
I'm about ready to launch my very own MUSIC PAGE... full of crappy music I made myself when I should have been working. In the meantime, here's a new song I've put up. I have to re-record the guitar because quite frankly, I don't know how to play it... or any instrument for that matter. Oh well. I'm doing it anyway. Lack of talent be damned!
I'm deep into my research for book number one million and four. It's actually for book number 8, I believe, but it may as well be that first number.I'm exhausted! Doing nonfiction is really odd. I always end up finding out more than I want to know. For example, did you know that astronauts put on diapers before trying on the space suit? Yup. That's because it takes so long to put on/take off. Then there's the fact that in space they drink their own pee... or rather filtered pee turned into water. Then there's the good ol' camera at the bottom of the toilet to help the 'nauts aim so that the undesirables don't float off. (That's what I'm going to call the astronauts from now on--the 'nauts. Oh boy, I'm losing my mind again...)
Isn't this appealing? Don't you want to just grab a magazine and settle in? I won't even mention the attempted kidnapping astronaut story, although it's quite fitting.
The physical therapist who has been helping me for my perpetual back/leg pain problem, which I've concluded will remain with me until I'm at least 57, discovered my blog.
She said "I saw that bad thing you wrote about me on the blog, Meghan."
I said "What bad thing? I didn't write anything bad."
Of course, my mouth said that but my mind was racing through about 6 months worth of text and trying to think if perhaps maybe I did say something bad! I don't know what on earth that would be but I tried to imagine it anyway. She was of course kidding... but now she's getting her wish!
Sarah is terrible! You hear that Sarah...
t e r r i b l e !
This is what she did to me last Tuesday.
She said something like "Do you mind if I tape your back?"
I said "Huh?" or something equally spacey.
She then explained that it was to help me correct my awful posture and persuaded me to wear tape on my back for the rest of the day. I agreed, god knows why.
Within minutes the whole atmosphere smelled like antiseptic-shot-type liquid...and there was the tape...and more tape...and more tape... Basically, dear readers, she duct taped a giant X to my back. She may as well have glu- gunned a rod to my spine because that's what it felt like. Okay, okay, there was no duct tape involved but medical adhesive and tape is the same thing.
A note to my editors: This is why I can't complete my books! Because of things like the above mentioned. How can a poor author/illustrator work under such duress?
Back to my touching tale--
So I hobbled to the reception area to pay. While removing my credit card I dropped a quarter.
I said "Oh, damn, I can't get that. I'm just going to have to leave it there."
The man who was waiting in the chair looked puzzled.
"My back is taped up," I explained.
The receptionist laughed, as she always does with my predicaments.
I continued to stare longingly at the quarter and sighed...
Finally the man in the chair got up and gave me the quarter.
"Thanks...I didn't know what I was going to do!"
The receptionist said, "Oh, you were serious?"
I nodded. "I don't know what I'm going to do for the rest of the day..." I moaned.
Eventually I figured it out. Whenever I dropped anything it was to stay there. "I'll pick that up tomorrow," I said to myself.
My friends thought my situation was quite amusing. "You're very tall now," said my one friend, while we were sitting at a restaurant.
"Yeah, look at that posture," said another.
Side note: I admit that sometimes I slouch a bit or stand leaning forward because compared to everyone else, I feel quite tall. Too tall. Not one of my friends is above 5'7 and I'm 5'10 (a height only good for models). I also feel like a giant in the subway and quite frankly I don't like it! I just want to fit in. Sob.
middle one is me now, minus the baldness... and the right one is me
when I'm talking to a bunch of short people)
So I sat poker straight throughout the whole meal. Getting up to go to the restroom was a challenge because I was trying to look normal about it... only no normal person slides out of a booth sideways, almost tips over, and then proceeds to stumble away like a drunken, perfectly postured person.
When I stumbled back to the booth and sat down my friend said, "Guys, I have some news..."
There was a pause.
Normally at this point I'd slouch or fidget or something but the tape prevented that.
"I'm getting married."
SHOCK AND HORROR!
The normal me would have put my head on the table momentarily to regain composure and to disguise my contorted facial expression. But NOOOO dear readers. There was nowhere to hide! I couldn't bend over! I had to sit there and let my naked expression show to the world!
"I knew Meghan would take it the hardest," my friend said. She later added that I was to be the "class clown" at her wedding and that my friends had to help "dress me" properly.
No need ladies! This is the keeper!
That night I tried to get the cursed tape off but couldn't---imagine a GIGANTIC centipede when you'd only previously seen worms... then imagine GIGANTIC tape in the shape of an X compared to a minuscule Band-aide. So I gave up and went to bed with it on. I tried to sleep but couldn't with that infernal tape on..
I began to pick at it.
"Ow...ow...ow..." I said quietly.
I was getting irritated.
I pulled some more.
It didn't come off.
the crazed Meghan took over...
I ripped it off in a fit of anger and hurled the tape across the bedroom.
There were red marks on my back the next day but I was happy to have the bloody tape gone.
And what about that car story? Ah yes, the car story. Don't worry; I'll get to it! Stay tuned just a bit longer....
p.s- Yeah, I don't know what kind of analogy that was about the centipede but learn to love it. I know I do.
P.p.s -- congrats to my soon to be married friend who I shall not yet name! (C- I was only kidding about the horror part... not so much about the shock part but I'm getting used to it...)
P.p.p.s -- I have awful posture. Er... DEFECTIVE posture???
JANUARY 07 BABY!
This is what I did when I was bored the other day.
You know what my parents put in my stocking this year? I light, thin blue container with giant letters on each compartmentS, M, T, W, T, F, Sthis is in case I can't remember to take my medication."Oooh, a pill container! This is what I've always wanted," I said with a tear in my eye. "Thanks Mom," I said as the tear dribbled to my check. "Thanks, Dad," I said as the tear melded with the moisture on my lip.
I have avoided the blog for quite some time, as you may have noticed. Why? A series of unfortunate events occurred, which put me in
NOT IN BLOG WRITING HUMOROUS GOOD OL' HAPPY COMPLAIN-A-LOT MOOD.
Event number one
I will call this THE FOREWARNING
or foreshadowing? Eh, whatever.
It was late in the eveninga workday. I was doing what I always do during a work day, which is place plastic wrapped square items under a scanner and then say
"Do you have the membership card ?
Would you like a gift receipt for that ?
Do you want a small bag or a shopping bag?"
Could you please swipe your card again?"
Thank you and have a nice day."
It was my break time. On that particular day, I got a nice 45 min. Out I went into the cool night. My mission: the car. I was going to check on THE CAR. Why, you ask? Because I have bad car luck (see previous posts spanning the many years).
Off I skipped into the dewy night air (okay, I didn't really skip. I'll admit this). Off I speed walked, weaving in and out of annoying, slow moving people to properly use up my 45 min. to its fullest, toward THE CAR.
When I arrived on 19th street I noticed something. There were no cars driving along. There was no honking. Oh no, dear readers, there were none of the normal goings on. Instead, dear readers, there were many, many bright flashing lights and men wearing yellow pants wandering around the street. One large red truck blocked one end of the block and another was guarding the other. "Hmmmm," I thought. "Hmmmmmm." I stepped closer, wondering how I would get my car off the street. The further I walked on 19th the more I gathered. Soon, I realized, that my car was not visible. What was visible were many firemen standing aroundÉ (let's guess what it was, shall we?")
I walked closer to one of the firemanthe one who looked differently dressed and more authoritative. "Excuse me, but um that's my car," I said as I pointed toward the large mass of suited men.
"Um. Should I move it?"
He nodded again."Yeah, that might be a good idea. It's on top of a gas leak."
You can perhaps imagine my surprise or lack of (the non-norm seems to be norm for me). "Oooooh," I said.
"Yeah. We can't get at the leak with your car parked over it."
I laughed. "What. Is my car going to blow up or something?"
The fireman didn't laugh. "Maybe I can get one of those men to move a truck so you can get it off the street No, wait, that won't work. We can't move the truck. We're waiting for Con Edison. Why don't you park there," he said as he pointed toward a big fat sign that read NO PARKING TOW ZONE. I KNEW what would happen if I did that. I'd park the car, go back to work, then find that my car was towed by the NYPD after the fire drama ended and the street opened up.Ê I shook my head in distress. "I can't park there," I said, sounding horrified.
"Okay," he said. "Just stick around for a while then."
This, dear readers, was a problem. My 45 minutes was down to 15. I had to go tell the boss. In I went to the store and slowly approached the manager. "UmÉ I began. (I'm always paranoid that they'll stop believing me because my excuses are so bizarre.) My car is parked on top of a gas leak and the road is blocked off and there are fire trucks all over the place and the fireman told me I need to stay near the car until Con Edison comes and that could be all night," I said. "I have bad luck," I added.
"You do have bad luck," she said, and let me go sit at the car.
Dear readers, that, I call, the foreshadowing. Or is it forewarning? Whatever.The point i,, what happened the following Saturday was FAR WORSE.
Stay tuned for Part Two soon! In other news, Christmas came and went. HighlightsMy mother and two sisters did an "interpretive dance" to one of my garage bands tunes called Pale boy (DON'T ask. Yes, the fam mocks me plenty but wait until I get on American Idol! Then who will have the last laugh, hmmm?) and I got two extra large boxes of cereal and toilet paper my parents hid for me in the basement. In other news, I''ve stopped running in a desperate attempt to fix my back injury but have been working out the arms in an equally desperate attempt to stay in shape and have thus hurt my shoulder. I have also been generally CRAZY. The book creations are fast and furious. I'm drowning in disorganization.
Next blog post for Part Two I willperhaps give you a rundown of a "typical day." I have also been doing a few home improvements so perhaps I'll update my "see inside the studio" bit. My latest obsession is buying containers. I want LOTS OF THEM and for EVERYTHING. I know, I know, no one cares about this but me. I have dreams that I own striped ones and dotted ones and silver ones oh my!
In addition for Part Two of my drama, I will soon be posting a few garage band creations I've made. Perhaps you will want to do an interpretive dance as well or even more fun, you can guess which song it was that my nut job of a family did it to. I will also be posting Aliens On Audio soon and be sure to check out the photos I did this Christmas holiday while I was bored at 2am, which I fondly call WHAT LURKS IN THE NIGHT.
Check back this month!
You won't regret it.
Hugs and kisses,
Forever with love,
p.s - my sister bought me one of those red playground balls for Christmas. Kickball is ON! This spring we're having a tournament, whether you all like it or not. I donÕt care how injured I am. It's ON.
Below is what I saw on my way back from court in good ol' Brooklyn. (the court story can be for another day). Don't mess with the green car yo! You mess with it, you get get oh, I don't knowsquirt gunned yo! Buckle up. This is my dream car. I'm having fantasies about it right now
I've decided to write a memoir about my life after college. Why? Because clearly I think I'm special and EVERYONE is going to want to read about me. Well, no well, maybe Anyway, The Blue Rose Girls encouraged this new obsession, so blame them. Here's the intro of my book to be, which (lets not kid ourselves here) will never get published. Only in my dreams does my book get published AND my intro becomes a reality. Here it is
"Life after college was planned out. I was to become a well-off, if not wealthy, artist. I was to own a fabulous loft overlooking a glistening body of water, with a large sitting area connected to a Sinatra-type wet bar. Perhaps a Lazy Suzan would reside atop the wet-bar that would be remote controlled, although that detail was optional. Large paintings would hang on the walls, accented by the ever-present yellow beams of light that would streak through the open windows between the hours of eleven and four exactly. I was to also have an able bodied, attractive, scathingly funny boyfriend named Liam or Sean but not Mark, John, and definitely not Bob. Together, my boyfriend and I would host lavish dinner parties and would host movie nights utilizing my state of the art projection and surround sound system.
My delusions were shattered. I will never forget the exact moment."
Dear readers, if you care to read the rest of my monumental memoir, please stay tuned. Perhaps if I can't get it actually published, I can publish it here, on the good ol' Fireside Chat-o'licious. (I will be adding "o'licious to random things that suit my fancy from now on) And now, dear readers, it is time to continue where I left off with what I will now entitle
WEIRD O'LICIOUS PHOTOS OF FAMILY MEMBERS WITH MY SISTER'S CURLY BROWN HAIR
I was in RI last month for my little sis' graduation and I got to see my mom's family, which I always enjoy and think we should get together more often (hear that family MORE OFTEN!) anyway, Here's a shot of my uncle with the crazy hair (if you don't know what this is all about please scroll down)
And now I must complain about my awful Saturday night.
1) I had heartburn or something that I thought was heartburn because I had a sharp pain in my chest and I thought I as having a heart attack
2) My friend said to meet at the ORCHARD bar when instead he meant ORCHID, which meant I wandered around aimlessly looking for the wrong bar (coincidentally there IS an Orchard bar miles away) with the ever present feeling of a heart attack that was probably only heartburn
3) A taxi or people getting out of a taxi or a man on a bike hit my car while parked, which would have never happened if I went to the right bar. A sizable dent is now present. I was/am pissed. I have terrible car luck. Clearly.
The stupid, stupid guy on the bike made it worse by saying "Hey, at least you don't have to fix a bent bike rim. How am I supposed to ride my bike now?"
I politely said "EXCUSE ME but I think your BIKE RIM will cost FAR LESS than my SIZABLE dent. Would you like to give me a thousand dollars?????? I then grumbled to my friend "I want to go home. I'm depressed. I don't want to go to the bar." I whined like a two-year-old."Things will only get worse."
She said, "You need a drink more than ever. It will cheer you up."
3) 20 min. later I was in a bar and my bag disappeared. I said "Oh my god, oh my god, this can't be happening! Where is the bag? Oh my god Oh my god. Oh my god," I muttered over and over again." I then ran to the bar tender.
"Have you seen a bag?"
She shook her head.
"No," she said.
I moved back to my friend. "Oh my god, oh my god, my bag is gone. I can't believe this. I can't!' I wailed. "I can't!" I felt like I was reenacting a scene from the Wizard of Oz when the witch is melting, only I didn't do anything bad and she did. Lots. Lots of bad things. I felt like I was melting anyway. I finally retrieved the bag but all my money was missing and my credit cards were strewn all over the dark, wet floor AND my UMBRELLA was stolen.
Here's what I want to knowÑWHY do these thieves have to take things that are of no use to them? It WASN'T raining and hadn't rained in weeks. Do they do it because they have some sick sense and know which thing you JUST PURCHASED? Do they know what thing YOU CHERISH WITH YOUR LIFE? (Okay, I don't cherish the umbrella that much but still.) I had put it in my bag THAT VERY DAY with this thought in mindÑI said "Meghan, you are going to turn over a new leaf and this umbrella will represent that. You will be organized, put together, and you will never get rained on again. You will keep this highly expensive, extremely small umbrella in your bag ALWAYS. It is the NEW YOU. This will foster more great things to come. Soon you will not lose your car keys or your shoes or your socks or your money or your credit cards or your thumbtacks or your medication again. This umbrella is the start of all things great." OF COURSE the thieves knew this. They are mind readers. EVIL EVIL MIND READERS. My dreams are once again shattered. I will NOT be organized or put together and I will not stop losing my keys or my shoes or medication. Sob. What a world what a world what a world
4) Later that evening I got a text message that said--
»Texaco STEP ASIDE) Encore Clean Energy (ECLN) expected to jump 225% in next 3 days. Get on board now."
First of all, WHAT ARE THEY ADVERTISING? HOW DO I GET ON BOARD?
What kind of stupid spam says something can jump MORE THAN 100%? What is 225% supposed to mean? What happened to 100 %meaning the whole pie? It also irks me when someone says, "Give 110%" but that's a complaint for a different day.
(Texacoæ STEP ASIDE) Encore Clean Energy (ECLN) expected to jump 225% in next 3 days. Get on board now.
I read and deleted it.
It came again.
I deleted it.
It came again.
This time I wrote back "Please stop sending me spam. This is a private number. I will report this."
Then I got a message from my own phone? It said (Duplicate) then my phone numbethen Delivery Error)
I deleted them
It came again.
I deleted. It came.
I hope you can now imagine my frustration.
This went ON AND ON AND ON!
I shut off the phone and hoped that the evil, evil spam would stop.
I went to bed.
All night long I had dreams of men on bicycles and taxis denting my car and dancing umbrellas and spam messages accosting me. When I awoke, I tentatively turned on the phone.
A million of the same spam messages blitzed my sad little phone.
By the time I called Verizon I was absolutely exasperated. I said "I I I'm being spammed. You you you must stop this awful thing!"
"We are aware of the situation, ma'me," said the man on the other end of the phone. "A team of investigators is working on it. We will alert you when the matter has been resolved."
For two whole days the gray Motorola's messaging feature had to be put to sleep. I had to live without my beloved text messaging, without my beloved umbrella, and the only gift I had received was a dent that will always remind me of what I will call
PS Is it bad that I'm sickly drawn to that "You maaaaake me love yoooou " singing on that Hoveround commercial with he geriatric people singing in whiny voices?
END O' AUGUST
I have two books due at once. Really tight deadlines. Things could get ugly....
(I'm calling this posting picture galore because there will be lots of pictures this time. Oh yes dear readers, I know you're excited! But please keep hold of the mouse! Hmm, my sanity is really thin these days).
What do I do when I have deadlines to avoid stress? Build things! Here's the first project:
What a bad idea it turned out to be! I was cursing the whole time. Not only did I not have enough space to build them, but I couldn't lift them up! The total contents of the three boxes was over 200 pounds! Stupid me! So there I was with half-finished shelves and nowhere to put them. For two days I had to step over them or rather in them to go anywhere! I have over 25 bruises on my legs from those cursed shelves! Thankfully, my lovely friend Jay came over to help me move them. I said "Jay, they're too heavy for you to move." Then I got teary eyed. "I'm going to have to take them apart and bring them back." Sob. Okay, I didn't get teary-eyed but that adds to the drama, don't you think?
Here's another view to illustrate the enormity of the problem
So Jay came over and promptly lifted them up and said "These are like 10 pounds. What's the problem?" Okay, this is when I hate being a female! Must we forever rely on men to do these things? Can't we women be independent? Apparently not.
So up went the shelves and now they have a happy home, thanks to good ol' male brute strength. Now my books and my files can stay organized in perfect harmony. Forever. Well, that's the plan anyway.
This is how I procrastinate!
Another tax purchase a fancy new office chair that is Herman Miller Eames inspired
(I thought about buying the real thing but it was 1,000 dollars!)
How else do I procrastinate? Going out to dinner and staying out late when I should be working. These nut jobs were no help with the workload
(craaaazyyyy waaaay crazier than me I tell you!)
Here's another fun photo for kicks
Yeah! Go Crooklyn! I love this this city.
And this is a photo from July on the 4th.
Aw, ain't that pretty.
Procrastination #3 THIS BLOG!!!!!
THE VOICE INSIDE MY HEAD RIGHT NOW SAYS MEGHAN MEGHAN WHAT ARE YOU DOING MEGHAN? YOU KNOW WHAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING, DON'T YOU? YOU SHOULD BE PAINTING! WHAT ARE YOU DOING? HMMM, COULD IT BE FUSSING WITH THE BLOG? WHAT'S MORE IMPORTANT? THINK ABOUT YOUR ACTIONS YOUNG LADY. YOU ARE BEING BAD. BAD, BAD BAD!
THEN I TELL MY BRAIN TO SHUT UP AND HARASS SOMEONE ELSE.
(Yes, I've lost it)
Stay tuned for a sneak peak at a few of my new books! This week! I promise!
I missed a month of blogging. This is because for the first time ever I have become absorbed in something other than my work. I've always been a workaholic and now my worries about joining a nursing home 60 years early has finally gotten to me. When I'm in a more joking mood, I'll explain. All I have to say is that I have an amazing group of friends... and a great family.... who are helping through my little medical ridiculousness. Thank you guys! You are the best!
A new and exciting PROFESSIONAL blog!
A group of us book ladies (all SUPER talented) have created a new blog. Sure, we all have our own blogs... personal blogs that are some sort of odd mix of personal and book life. I know I can't figure out what exactly my blog should be, but maybe that's the way it should be! I know I love reading others' blogs which are also an odd mix.
This blog is a collaborative effortauthors, illustrators, and an editor! We will discuss what's on our minds in the world of publishing. How we deal with the book world... deadlines... and lots of hot topics! I will be posting on Saturdays and sometimes during the week. Please visit often... but of course don't EVER forget about the weirdness of the Fireside Chat! (I promise to continue posting on both!)
To be continued...
Lots of stuff has happened, such as my car being broken into twice in two weeks! Good lord! I will post all of the newest news in the coming weeksuch as some book talk (lots of stuff due!), my usual dramas, music recs (I promise!), etc.so check back.
Until then, hugs and kisses - Meghan (that may or may not be a sarcastic comment).
MID JUNE HAS ARRIVED!
Yes dear readers, the blog has remained untouched for longer than I'd planned. Certain incidents got in my way, such as the car fiasco, the mounting book work, and the ever fun doctor and physical therapy visits (although the PT is very nice so I don't HATE going there). What's really useful when determining my health is this blog. I hadn't realized that I'd mentioned my back pain (plus the stupid heavy object lifting competition... yes I'm an IDIOT) and my heart palpitations, but I had. So I can pinpoint when things happened, etc. I don't want to get into all of it but I will leave you with this picture.
This is what I will look like in approximately 2 years!!!!! I could actually use a walker right now. I thought I could hook it up with one of those little kiddy horns and MAYBE I could get extra fancy and put some flashing lights on the handles. If I wanted to be obnoxious I could hook up a mini-stereo system using my mp3 player and some speakers. I think it would be appropriate to play what I'm listening to right now, which is The Jungle Brothers--some good ol' hip-hop. I will have the most kick butt (the real me would use another word here) walker EVER. And as I've also said repeatedly --I think for rest and relaxation I should check myself into a nursing home (I know some of you thought I'd say nut house, but I didn't, so there).
There I will play old maid and eat cookies ALL DAY LONG. No ONE, and I mean NO ONE including my editors, will bring me work when they visit. The visits will be approximately 30 min. a piece and no longer, unless I'm particularly amused and energetic that day. I figure I could do a little watercolor class once a week or maybe glue a recently completed puzzle together on cardboard which I could proudly show my parents (most people would say grandchildren but I don't have any). Maybe I could take swing dance lessons ... nothing TOO strenuous.
Above is the where I will sit from the hours of 2-2:34. I will NOT sit in the sunlight unless I have my sun-hat.
And on the topic of stress, which apparently the doctors seem so concerned about, I will give them the following reasons which I found on the Internet --and this is scary because it's SO accurate! It may as well have MY name in the header which leads me to the question--do I in some sort of twisted way NEED stress? Do I enjoy being hyped up all the time?
Stress is Good 4U! How To Stay Stressed
[Although the University of Vancouver has long been an advocate of stress management, stress, tension, and burnout are still common complaints of students, faculty, and staff alike. On account of this, we have come to the following conclusion: YOU ALL WANT TO STAY STRESSED! The following provides you with a few reasons why...]
STRESS HELPS YOU SEEM IMPORTANT. Anyone as stressed as you must be working very hard and, therefore, is probably doing something very crucial.
IT HELPS YOU TO MAINTAIN PERSONAL DISTANCE AND AVOID INTIMACY. Anyone as busy as you are certainly can't be expected to form emotional attachments to anyone. And let's face it, you're not much fun to be around anyway.
IT HELPS YOU AVOID RESPONSIBILITIES. Obviously you're too stressed to be given any more work. This gets you off the hook for all the mundane chores; let someone else take care of them.
IT GIVES YOU A CHEMICAL RUSH. Stress might be considered a cheap thrill, and you can give yourself a "hit" anytime you choose. But be careful, you might get addicted to your own adrenaline.
What about that stolen car?
Perhaps you're wondering what happened to the stolen car. I know I've been asked that question a lot lately. Well, this is what happened:
I went to see my poor baby at the collision lot and this is a rundown of the damage:
1) every window, and I mean EVERY window, was smashed... including the front and rear windshield.
2) the steering column was broken and the ignition was pulled out. Of COURSE because how else would they steel it?
3) the speakers were stolen
4) the faceplate to the stereo was stolen. Why? Well who the heck knows!
5) The side mirror was broken
6) one whole side of the car was bashed in
7) my 20 year old baseball glove was stolen. Why! Why couldn't they leave me my one memory of when I was a superstar baseball player?
8) my maps of Brooklyn were stolen
9) my map of RI was stolen. What would they do with that? Do they want to visit my parents?
10) My tennis racket was stolen
11) my CD player was stolen
12) my old cell phone was stolen
13) my knee brace and IT band were missing. I suppose I could say "stolen" but WHY OH WHY would they want sweaty running equipment? Geez
14) They left me some empty beer bottles in the trunk. Thanks, guys! You are the best.
The total rundown was 3,000 dollars worth of damage (I'm not counting the stolen items). Gee, I wonder why my blood pressure was 160/100 at the doctor's office that very day?
What's new in work land
Well, my Charles Atlas book (which I guess I haven't mentioned anywhere on this site until now) is supposedly due in a month. I told them that wasn't possible. Then they said 2 months. Still not possible. I actually don't care anymore. It will get done when it gets done. I will NOT kill myself trying to meet crazy deadlines ANYMORE!
Below is the finished cover for the book
I'm pretty happy with the cover, I must say. Now I have to get to the interior paintings. I also came up with the idea to hire a medical doctor to write a bit in the back about eating healthy and staying fit. God knows I am NOT qualified to give anyone medical advice!
I am also working on Pale Male for S&S so stay tuned for some very different and exciting nonfiction material for kids! I'm not sure why I started this whole nonfiction kick, but I think it's my calling. If George Bush can say God told him to be president then I can say God told me to write nonfiction for kids. Oh, I promise that's the last time our nation's president will be mentioned. I should NOT get on some political kick. That's dangerous ground for the innocent ol' blog.
And in family news
A few weeks ago I drove to D.C for my little sis' gradation. The George Washington University graduation was CRAZY. The stage was but a mere dot. My college could have fit in the first row!
We were all shocked when we noticed the program. My sister Kaila got suma cum lade! What? She left EVERY paper until the night of. I just don't get it. Below is our little superstar slacker....
And now I must share with you all how my nutty family passes the time at family functions. I don't know how we got to discussing my sister Bridget's hair, but we did. I said something like "Wouldn't it be funny if we all had dark, curly hair like that." Of course my family cannot just SPECULATE. We must ACT.
Kaila with Bridget's hair .
And Dad with Bridget's hair! Oh yes, this is entertainment for us McCarthy's and Walsh's
I also must give big props to my sister Bridget for running a 3:04 marathon! Wow! For those of you who are not runners, let me tell you that the time is AMAZING. She was also the 2nd female finisher! .Of course, Bridget only did this because I said that I wanted to run a marathon. She knows damn well I can't right now because I'm injured. Well, dear sister, you have won that battle but don't forget that I beat you in arm wrestling!
This brings me to the competition topic, once again. My friends always wonder why I'm so competitive. Well here's a good little tale
I was in RI last weekend on a stop to Boston for an author thing. I brought with me my blood pressure cuff (yes, because I'm 28 going on 70) and guess what happened next? A family competition to see who had the lowest blood pressure and pulse. Who does things like this? Seriously. Bridget won with both the lowest blood pressure and pulse. Her pulse is 40 which is extremely low. The average for a female is between 70 and 80. My pulse is about 50 - 55. I lose AGAIN! I also had the highest blood pressure. Both my mom and dad beat me. This is just plain sad.
POLL: IF YOU THINK MY FAMILY AND I SHOULD BE IN THE LOONY BIN, PLEASE SEND ME AN EMAIL with the word "yes" and nothing more. If you think we're perfectly sane, do nothing.
More silly photo time...
And how I must share with you two more photos. Below is how I "organize." I swear I have good intentionsa folder for each topic, etc., etc,. but all I end up with is a floor covered in papers. I'm so inept.
And here you have a half finished illustration I did in college. I was going through my old work and found this amusing. It's now hanging in the hallway. I can't wait to see what my landlady thinks of that!
My mom said she couldn't see the rug well in the last photo I put up (see below about the great rug my friend gave me). So here's a closer shot
Until I have more meaningless things to say, I bid farewell .
For previous months of "the chat" click here. You won't be sorry!