The Bloody Trash

Why oh why is it that every time I take out the trash, this happens....

I swear! What is it with my luck and trash? The time before this incident, it wasn't the "paper recycling," it was the "cans."

C-A-N-S. Yup, as soon as I got to the second stair, the bag broke. The whole incident was so loud that my downstairs neighbor came rushing of her apartment, bolted up the stairs and huffed–– "Are you okay? Is anyone hurt?"

I just rolled my eyes and said "It's just the trash."


Your name is...

This is pretty funny. Someone posted this little "game" on Myspace. Google -- "Your Name is." I tried this and it's pretty funny.

Meghan is...

Meghan is a delightful 27 year old young lady with Williams syndrome.

meghan is bored,

But that's okay...because meghan is a trooper...clearly.

MEGHAN is yanking furiously at the turkey, wrenching plastic wrapping...

One more donor must be found, very soon, if Meghan is to live.

Meghan is only allowed 1430 closely monitored calories each day...

Then Meghan is told that the dead girl who looks so much like her had a piece of...

Meghan is an- (insert a bad 3 letter word)- wipe MEGHAN is COOL!!!

Greatest fears- Meghan is afraid that her ex is right- the only way she ...

Meghan is convinced that 'Zercher" must have been a torture specialist in ...

Meghan is wishing she had gone to kickboxing this morning.

Meghan is now the keeper of our master calendar.

Meghan is too damn funny sometimes!

Meghan is ____. ˘ If I were alone in a room with Meghan I would _____. ... Worst thing about Meghan is _____. ˘ Best thing about Meghan is _____. ...

Meghan is solely responsible for the formation of A Thousand Times Yes.

Meghan is as sweet as she is beautiful !!


Will I actually do some public speaking?

I told my friends that I agreed to speak at the Rhode Island School of Design alumni/parent weekend this fall. In the auditorium. With a microphone. Maybe a spotlight. Good lord. My friend Christina wrote "Will Meghan talk or will she be a Meghan in the headlights?" So much faith, my friend has. Let's just HOPE she isn't right!!


Further procrastination...

Yup, I'm great at it. I'd called my mom to ask for a recipe because I'd decided to host a dinner party. It would be grand. I would be making Margaritas and serving food. Fabulous.




I put exclamation points after "July" because that's my form of yelling at myself for not getting enough work done lately. I will now talk about the 4th of July and then backtrack. I must show the picture of my friend chasing a duck because that's ESSENTIAL.

So, yet another 4th of July has passed. It's disturbing that you can rummage through this blog and see what I said about the 4th last year. Scary! Time is scary!

So, on Monday, the 4th, I had to work. I got to work a little before 11 am ( I was early! Go me!) and there was a crowd waiting to get in. I said to the security guard "Don't these people have anything better to do... like maybe go to the beach or a BBQ or S-O-M-E-T-H-I-N-G?"

She said "I know! Exactly!"

I hadn't really spoken to the security guard before, but I think we had a "moment."

Anyway, I got out of work early so that I could hear Yo La Tengo in Battery Park. But did I get to hear them? Noooooo! I even paid good money for Cheez-its to share with the group and I NEVER buy Cheez-its because they cost over 3 dollars. But alas, the people never got to enjoy my Cheez-it box. Heather, my super organized friend was setting up camp very early that day. She was saving me a space on the blanket. Unfortunately, the cops wouldn't let me in. It was "too full." How can a park free to the public be too full?!?

Anyway, I went to a rooftop party that evening to watch the fireworks. It was crazy. There were SO many people on that roof! I, of course, had my camera. Although it was PITCH black, I was determined to take pictures and promptly began looking for a place to set down my camera for the time-lapse shots. I found such a spot on a long black smoke stack that was slowly letting out warm steam––good enough. I then moaned and said to my friend Christina "Can't I ever relax?"

She said "I've never seen you relax."


Anyway, my friend Jay stepped in something and freaked out. We all tried to see what it was but couldn't. Too dark. Too mysterious. We all leaned way over and aimed our eyes at the dark rooftop.

Then Natalie, Christina's sister/ twin said "Use your flash!" so I did. I took a nice big picture of the "thing" in question.

What could it be?

"It's poop!" exclaimed someone.

I said "Damn! I think it is! Gross Jay! You stepped in poop!"

I think Natalie was the one who suggested zooming in on the photo of the "thing." Of course! So, I did. We all gathered around my camera's view finder to watch the zoom-in action….



Then, we watched the fireworks. Here are some pictures.


In the shot above you can get a good idea of the amount of people on the rooftop. Being the negative person that I am, upon arrival I immediately said "Wow, this roof might not support us all… we could all perish to our deaths," and then I proceeded to cautiously hop a few times to test it out. I think people are used to my comments so no one said much or even amused me with further discussion. Every time I get in a crowded elevator I make the comment: "Hey, what would happen if the elevator got stuck. It's kind of cramped in here." That's why people really LOVE me, I think.

I did other things during the long 4th of July weekend. My friend Sheila invited me to her mom's house in Weschester. The house is situated on a golf course and we had free access to an array of tennis courts, swimming pools, etc. I was most excited, however, by the makeshift badminton court I created on the quiet drive in golf land. I just happened to have lots of rope in my car so I used that to make the boundaries. We pulled out Sheila's mom's dog fence from the garage, which housed the Porch and Audi. That was the "net." Too bad the "net" was only 3 feet high! I was really proud of the whole set up. People in little white golf carts stared as they slowly drove by. Some chucked. Some made scornful, scrunched up faces. One old man yelled "Nice court." Linda, my opponent, said "Meghan, this is really ghetto." I said "Exactly. Isn't it great!" We also played a rousing game of croquet. The day was very relaxing. I made two miniature hambergers. The others ate hot dogs. These comments are frivolous.


Pre- July in the park


A few weeks ago I went to the park with some friends in the evening. There was a duck on the lawn for some reason and he looked hungry. I began tossing him cheese doodles. I think the duck really liked them and I was pleased to see that it was *me* who was filling his empty stomach. I got a little nervous, however, when the duck looked like he was choking on one of the cheese doodles.

I think it was my sister who said "See, you're not supposed to feed ducks cheese doodles!"

Someone else said "Geez, he's really choking!"

Another said "Could we do CPR?"

"You can't do CPR on a duck."

"Oh my god, I killed him!" I cried.

The duck proceeded to flail his neck about and look absolutely ill.

Everything turned out okay in the end. The duck wasn't choking. He was simply enjoying the cheese doodle to the fullest extent (at least that's why I think happened). Below is a picture of my friend Christina chasing him.

Christina was actually trying to get close to him. We were seeing who could get closest and "befriend" him, as I recall. After feeding him cheese doodles for a bit, I don't think he had any interest in going away.

We eventually left the duck and proceeded to go to dinner at the BEST CHINESE RESTAURANT IN NYC! I call it the BEST because the dishes are only 6 bucks and you get *free* wine all night long! What's better than that? Below is my mostly eaten dish of food.

The restaurant was really funny because it was so crammed with small tables and dozens of people. The employees had to keep rearranging things to accommodate more diners. They looked like they were playing Tetris. And every time we asked for something, a mysterious disembodied arm would appear from around some dark corner and place the requested item on the table. I couldn't figure it all out, but I was fascinated.

Silk Road Palace - Chinese - 447 Amsterdam Ave, Ę New YorkĘ10024 Btwn 81st & 82nd St Phone: 212-580-3465


Boring Work Stuff


Last but certainly not least, I will briefly babble about my latest projects.

The first thing I've finished lately is the snowflake for Robert's Snow (cancer research auction). www.robertssnow.com _ You have NO idea how awful it was to create what I decided to create! Aaaah! I shutter just thinking about it! I wanted to do something *great* for this auction… better than what I did last year. I wanted to outdo everyone. That's why I decided to make a box. Easy enough, I figured. Well, I figured wrong, wrong, wrong! What was I thinking? I didn't own a saw and I had to cut wood...


more drama later ---



Oh yeah, it's May.Taxes are DONE, the book is MOSTLY DONE and I'm free from projects galore. Well, sort of... not really. I haven't done anything for a week and a half. By "doing something" I mean work-wise. I've checked my emails twice a day or so and THAT IS IT. Oh, the freedom! Of course, I can't do nothing for long….

Painting catastrophe again

My first "restful" project involved attempting to finish my first painting in the "warped series." (sample found somewhere far below - I'll post a more finished version soon). I, for some reason, thought it would be great to work on this large painting in my living room, on my rug. Well, as you can imagine, that WAS NOT a good idea. I was working on Elizabeth Taylor's eye, when the incident happened. Nothing major mind you… I simply dumped a whole dirty purple-black container of water all over my nice rug. So, that was the end of painting. My rug got a nice soapy bath, as a result, and stayed soaking wet for a few days. There were a few nervous moments when I wasn't sure whether the "darkness" was a giant stain or just a wet patch. (On a side note: ever since I did a bad impression of Elisabeth Taylor from her "white diamonds" commercial, I have NOT been able to rest. Everyone keeps asking me to imitate her. Well, I will n-o-t. Get that through your heads fellow friends.

at the deli

Since I"ve had so much time to think and whatnot, I have ended up thinking more while buying bread and milk and snack items across the street. I've been trying to memorize what random items are behind the register, way up high collecting dust, almost undetectable amongst the clutter. I've been trying to remember it all. I'll say to myself "Now Meghan, DO NOT FORGET that the deli sells Wite-Out and DO NOT FORGET that they also sell 4th of july streamers in case you ever need them and that they also sell plastic spoons and small bottles of WD40… that way you won't have to go waaaay out of your way," I remind myself "to CVS because the deli has it right here, across the street." Then I giggle at the other random items that are on the shelves that I don't think the owner could even reach.

my new story idea

So, I had a new idea last week. Actually, it's been bouncing around in my head for a while, but I thought it was finally time to get it out. I typed for about ten minutes, doodled a little bit, and then decided watching Starting Over was more important. The good news is that Liz (last name will not be named as per last entry's explanation) said she called out from work and caught part of the Starting Over. Finally someone else has seen it! Now she knows what I watch…how I can be pulled into that emotional vortex… or…maybe not. She said something about it being ridiculous and that was the end of that. Hmm, I was going to talk about my new story idea, but the heck with it. I don't feel like writing any new stories. I think I'd much rather be on reality TV or join the circus. I have been practicing my juggling….

running to a new level

Last week I saw I sign up in the basement of B&N. It mentioned something about "joining the Barnes & Noble team" and something about "corporate challenge." Sooo, after much debate, I GUESS I signed up to run JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge and I'll be representing B&N! Wow, that was a dorky and weird thing to do. I guess I am dorky and weird. Here's the big problem. Since my knee went from annoying to worse, I decided a few months ago to run a few laps around the reservoir in Central Park because it's dirt and flat––better for the knees. I hate to admit this, but heck, I'll fess up. I only THOUGHT I was making laps around the reservoir. My excuse is that the east and west sides look the same… and there are two almost identical buildings at the reservoir… and blah blah blah. In my normal space-cadet fashion, I THOUGHT I was making two laps that would equal a little over 3 miles. Well, turns out I wasn't. I think I just hoped it was that easy. The rational part of my brain, last week, finally told myself the truth. It said "Meghan, you big dumb fool, you've only been running 1.5 miles… you haven't been making laps AT ALL. How dumb can one individual be? How did you graduate from college? How do you tie your shoes?" Yes, my inner self can be quite brutal, but the self-abuse was rightly deserved. So the problem is that I'm not in shape to run a fast 3.5 mile race. I CANNOT run a race unless I run under 8 minute miles. That would just be embarrassing. I just can't do it. And my knee won't let me run past the 1.5 mile mark. It locks and swells up. So, I guess come race day you are all welcome to watch a disaster unfold.


My friend Rennie (lover of Harry Potter everything, not that it matters) writes some pretty funny horoscopes. Since I'm not yet clever to come up with my own, here are a few (a bit had to be censored...sorry Rennie).


Rethink your decision to get that Looney Toons tattoo. Instead, buy $100 worth of pastel-colored ankle socks adorned with pom-poms. Start planning your next vacation to Branson, Missouri before hotels are all booked up.


Reading Shakespeare today would be a bad idea, but going to see that new Ben Affleck movie is an excellent one. A woman with a toy kangaroo poking out of her purse surely means you harm.


Try to keep the word "island" out of your vocabulary today - it will offend a close friend. (part cut out...)


Don't try to act intellectual today, a close friend will gladly remind you of your SAT scores. Be wary of the prairie dog that recently escaped from the zoo - it has a vendetta against Virgos.


You may find yourself nostalgic for an old friend today. Rest assured that they don't miss you and were never kidding when they "teased" you. Treat yourself to some microwave biscuits.


Leave the house 12 seconds later than you were originally planning –– it is the only way to avoid being shat on by a pigeon. Please stop sharing your "poetry" with others.


It's time to retire those roller skates, you look like a fool on wheels. Buy some sandals and paint your toenails a brilliant shade of urine yellow, it'll soon be all the rage.


You'll meet your soulmate if he/she hears your humming "Mrs. Robinson" at approximately 1:38 PM today. Learn to love them despite their overwhelming body odor.


Do not trust anyone you meet today who has a birthmark shaped like Napoleon's head. Avoid the park, squirrels are planning a bloody uprising that you donŐt want to witness.


Get a tan, the mailman thinks you're a vampire.Write a novella about the most frightening flower you've ever seen. Call it "Moby Dick 2". It is destined to be a bestseller.


DonŐt buy any meat from a street vendor today, it could rob you of your spelling skills. Shave your facial hair, you are the laughingstock of your workplace.

Rennie posts all of these wonderful horoscopes on her blog. She urged me to get a similar blog because she thinks I sensor mine too much, or as she put it " Those poor children...so deluded about her true character."



Click here to read previous months of Fireside Chat!


Time to start thinking about Sundays in the park people! All of you who came last year, I'd better see you this year. That is John (aka Studly), Bridget, Natalie, Ryan, Christina (I know you work Sundays, but I say quite the job, will you?), Jay, Kelly, Megan… am I forgetting anyone? Mike, we'll miss you. I wish you'd move back to NY and bring your Frisbee.You're really super at Frisbee. Julia, I expect to see your sorry butt as well. You missed a wonderful time last year. And the croquette was to die for, with the exception of almost getting kicked out of the park for making holes the size of pin priks in the beautiful Central Park lawn. Shame on all of us for making pi- prick-sized holes in the beautiful, luscious, green lawn. How will people ever be able to enjoythe park in the wake of our destruction? Heather, you don't have an excuse not to come either. Heck, just for you we can make it "trivia in the park."

For all of you who would like to join, please let me know. It is every nice sunny Sunday afternoon-ish (depends on when we all wake up and get dressed etc, usually around 4, pathetic as that may be). Bring chips, pizza, a Frisbee, drinks (you know the kind I like).

It's April and the nonfiction book of dread is ALMOST done. Almost, but not quite. The only people I get to see lately are the people I work with. I've been working twice a week at the bookstore, and the rest of the time, I stay inside and WORK. I know, I know, poor me. Maybe I whine too much. But I like whining. It's good to get the whining out, isn't it?

I think today is the first official thunderstorm of the new season––lots of lightening. I'm really glad I didn't try to run in the park this evening because I would have been M-I-S-R-A-B-L-E. I got caught in a storm last summer and felt like a drowned rat the whole trip home. The shirt sticks, the shoes squish…it's just unpleasant.

I finally caved and purchases a tape player. I'd spent so much money on books-on-CD that it was just absurd. The library has audio books… plenty of them… but only on tape. Why on earth the book world can't catch up with the times, I will never know. Seen a music tape within the last five years? Didn't think so.

Anyway, my tape deck on the stereo broke about a few months ago, and believe me, I was lamenting the whole day. How would I play my grunge era high-school memory tapes? The Breeders? The Lemmonheads? Nirvana? Elastica? I was upset for a bit, but I'm over it. I finally went and bought a cheap 15 dollar tape player at Wallgreens. What difference does quality make, I figured. Well, I figured wrong. Sure the sound is bad. NO big deal––I"m not listening to music. But here's the big problem––it is battery operated only! Why on earth would anyone make such a thing? Now I've spent more money on batteries than on the tape player itself! What's worse is that there is no "rewind," just "fast- forward." I'd like to hunt the designer who designed this thing down, and make THEM use it for a month…see how baty they get!

I'm listening to Angela's Ashes right now. I'm loving it, but what a bunch of drunks! I know the stereo type about the Irish, and sometimes I fit the bill myself, but come one, they're bader than bad. Since I didn't get out last week, and all I did was paint and listen to the audio book, the Irish accent was stuck in my head. When I went to work on Friday I kept mumbling about "consumption" and "the drink" and funniest yet, "the excitement." Imagine if that's how we talked about sexuality now?... if we mumbled about having "the excitement"? I think everyone at work wanted me to shut up. I kept speaking in a bad Irish accent. Who I will now call "Lolla" told me to shut up because I was doing a poor job. Well, let me tell you something, I do a darn good Cockney accent, so there!

Listening to the story makes me wish I knew more about my family. I took a folklore class in college and did a paper/presentation on my family heritage. I interviewed and recorded my grandparents. They talked about how they first met and so on…but do I have the tape? Did I get the paper back? Do I have a saved copy on disk? Nooooo. Of course not. My grandfather passed away a few years ago and my grandmother has Alzheimer's. She doesn't recognize me or anyone else. And the stories that my other grandmother told me…well…they're fading.

Still, I remember some. This could be a great excuse, right now, to record what I know. Perhaps at some later date, I can write a serious piece about all of it. But for now, I'll just settle for my immediate ramblings containing typos and all.…

My family history

There are random, odd bits of family history that surely, none of use will forget. There's the great uncle, who was decapitated, after coming up from a manhole cover. A truck drove over his head and it came right off. An even more odd fact is that I found an article about him, in the Providence Journal. I'm going to see if I can dig it up. There's a diagram of a 40s truck with an arrow pointing toward a man's head. It's very odd, indeed.

My father's great uncle died stiff as a board, with rigamortus, while sitting on a bar stool. I don't have any more information about that. Maybe that's for the best.

Someone on my mom's side fell in a vat of beer. I think he died as well.

My great grandmother, a McKenna I believe(?), whom I never met, was afflicted with gangrene. She was sewing and the needle slipped into her arm and traveled through her bloodstream. At least that's how the story goes. I think her arm had to be amputated, and as a result, she was in the hospital for a long time. I'm told that she wasn't the nicest of individuals, but that's a moot point. .My great grandfather was not in the picture, because he deserted the family early on, and as a result, all four children had to be placed with various relatives. My grandmother didn't paint a pretty picture. I'll have to ask my mom for more details about that. My grandmother had so many great and tragic stories. I wish she'd written them down––she had a great talent for writing both prose and poetry.

I never knew my grandfather on my mother's side, Earl Walsh. My grandfather died before I was born and before my parents met. My mom always used to tell me how she wished he could see us kids. She said he loved children. He was a smart man and liked to read books about Mathematics. He worked at Hanley's Brewery, along with the rest of the family. I still have a few Hanley's wooden boxes in my apartment, which I now use as plant-stands.

My grandfather had a kind of cancer, that in the 1940s/ 50s, was not easily diagnosable. My mom told me recently, that he was in excruciating pain for years. The doctor told him that the pain was all in his head. My grandmother was instructed not to wait on him and to make him do things for himself. Meanwhile, his bones were breaking. It wasn't until the cancer had spread through most of his body that the doctor rightly diagnosed him with Osteosarcoma. He died when my mom was still in her teen years.

My grandfather on the McCarthy side had a hard childhood. He grew up in parts of Brooklyn and Queens. He lived in what he called a cold-water-flat. That meant there was no hot water and no electricity. His mother was not in the picture, as I recall. I do remember him talking about his father being "on the lam.".He didn't know what his father was running from, but he wouldn't dare venture out during daylight hours, and would only take the kids out in the dark of night. My grandfather also said that his father had once played opposite Mary Pickford, who was a famous actress of the day. I don't know what happened to my great grandfather, but guess he left the picture, because my grandfather lived in an orphanage for a while.

Later in life, my grandfather joined the Navy. It was on a trip to RI that he met my grandmother, whose maiden name was Murray. It was at a roller-rink that he met her. He said she was amazing, and would twirl around with a great display of athleticism. Even though he was not such a good rollerskater, he must have impressed her because they went on a date the following week. They did have a very old video of one of their early dates. Everyone entertained themselves by balancing eggs on their spoons and racing across the room––some date! There are many photos of my grandfather in a bathing suit, displaying his fine physique. Every time my family looked at them, we would all say "Wow, you really worked out!" And then there was my grandmother, in her short white skirt outfit, looking robust and fit.

Well, I should be working, not doing this, so I'll have to say "to be continued..."



(Weirdo photos at end! Also, my friend mentioned that he wanted to join a dogeball leage in Brooklyn... who'd like to join!)

Well, it's been a while. My work load is so overbearing that I feel like I"m permanently on an emotional roller coaster My emotions are a lot like the weather has been lately––dreary with a splash of sleet and rain, sprinkled with 60 degree happy days for added confusion.

Since I'm so compulsive about certain things, even though I have too much urgent work to attend to, my brain keeps telling me that I must do other, less pressing things, just because they need to be done. They don't, of course, need to be done. The blog is just one of those things. Then there are the music reviews. The keycahins I must make to send out. The running that I keep telling myself I'm going to get better at. The car that needs washing. The closets that need rearranging. The bathroom that should be painted a more pleasing, fun color. The plants that need watering. The fact that I want to buy new clothes. The latest music that I want to catch up on. The friends who I haven't kept in touch with. And so on. There's lots to be done. None of which matters since I have two books due almost simultaneously.

My bazaar emotions had caused me to start the blog in the below manner. Upon reflection (meaning a day later) I can see why some people may find me a bit odd. This is how it began:

This is what my journal entry would look like if I were stranded in space because I may as well be.

I interject here because I must say… huh? Space?

Day 22 - I haven't gotten out or spoken to anybody this week, except for exchanging emails. I am floating and restless and my sanity is dwindling.

Day 22? What WAS I thinking? I am not an astronaut and I am NOT on the Star Ship Enterprise!

Day 23 - I still haven't seen human life. I am covered in paint.

Day 24 - I spilled paint all over the floor of the space ship today. I still haven't seen human life.

Day 25 - I don't know if there's any end in site to this expedition. I wish I could turn back or choose a new career path, but I fear it's too late for that....

Okay, this excesses is a bit odd, I admit. I've been listening to ENDER'S GAME while I paint, so my mind is obviously thinking science fiction right now.

Yeah, Ender's Game is a good excuse for this odd behavior. Rrrright. Then I wrote the "horror version" as if I were in THE SHINING. Again. Huh?

Here's the horror version.

Day 22 - All work and no play makes Meghan a very dull girl

Day 23 - All work and no play makes Meghan a very dull girl

Day 24 - I think Im going to see what's in the big walk in freezer since I haven't been to the grocery store in a long, long time.

Day 25 - I put Irish Cream in my coffee this morning and I've come to a new discovery. I like Irish Cream in my coffee. Who cares if it's in the morning? I think I'm going to go wander my small hallway with the dull lighting and then get back to writing and painting and being dull.

Day 26 - I was caught in the hallway carrying a sharp knife. Nobody but me knows it's because it's cold in the apartment and I was using a knife to break into the locked box where the thermostat is. Oh well, let them all think I'm up to no good...

Day 27 - All work and no play is making me angry.

Hmm. I think this truly shows that I"m losing my mind. Don't you think?

So I don't know what to make of myself. If anyone reads this and can properly explain my odd thinking, please enlighten me! Clearly, I am more sane today. Or am I?

I have been listening to a lot of audio books lately, to keep my wandering and impatient mind busy while painting… mostly panting green aliens and walking space-vessils. A book I loved was METAMORPHOSIS. Another, which I just finished 15 minutes ago is ENDER'S GAME. Listening to it makes me want to take another stab at writing a science fiction novel. I know it's in me. I just have to concentrate enough to get it done… and done well, of course. No time for that now.

I am now listening to KNOW-IT-ALL. I was only 20 minutes into it when I decided to take a small break to write this. The book is really funny, so far. Also, the narrator/author reminds me of myself. I often seem to come up with insane ideas––such as reading the entire encyclopedia Of course, I never follow through on the big projects. But just give me 5 more years and I very well may come up with something equally nutty.

Because of the late night painting sessions, I often don't awake until noon time. That is, of course, the very time that THE STARTING OVER HOUSE is on. Yes, people's jaws drop when they hear me say that I watch it. But so what? I do. I have a nice cup of coffee (now decaffeinated due to my stress and erratic heartbeat) and watch the ladies complain about their life traumas. I also, for relaxation, watch AMERICA'S NEXT TOP SUPER MODEL. One can only imagine what deep physiological trauma the two programs can cause. There are other programs, too. Oprah, Extreme Make Over, and the like. I will now recreate a telephone conversation with my mother, that pretty much exemplifies my new mindset.

"Mom, I think I know why I have such an inferiority complex."

"What's that?"

"Because, you know, I have one."

"I know."

"Well, I think it's because I had all of those attention problems in elementary school. And you know, they put me in that special class for kids who couldn't do math…"

"Yes, but they figured out quickly that you didn't belong there. You just had a different way of learning."

"Yeah, but my point is that I always felt stupid. Do you know what that's like?"

"Honey, you are not permanently scared because they put you in a special class for a month…"

"But… yes I am! I felt like the stupid kid all the time… and I could never concentrate on books and…" Then, in my mind, I pictured one of the ladies from The Starting Over House. I was there! In the chair! And the Iyanla was telling me that it was okay to cry and that I've had a hard life and that I needed to let it out and…

"Meghan, you're a smart girl. Nobody treated you like you were stupid…"

I didn't want to listen to reason. Iyanla would have told me that I was permanently scared. An d Oprah would have, too! I'll never forget all the times when my music teacher hit me with a newspaper for not paying attention. She also used to call me meatball head. I don't know what that meant, exactly, but I didn't like it. And my sixth grade teacher always gave me evil stares. I was not an evil person! I have feelings!

The conversation with my mother ended because I think my mom got sick of me. I may very well have too much time to dwell on things while I paint. Perhaps I am being silly. Am I also silly for wanting an absolutely perfect figure? America's Next Top Model has driven me to perfection .Therefore, I have made a chart on my chalk board. Each square must be checked off four times a week. There's the running square, and the crunches square, and the leg lifts... Clearly, being held hostage in my apartment, without much human contact, has caused me to go overboard in every sense of the word. Therefore, I am BEGGING any of my friends who happen to read this, to please make sure that I get out at least twice a week for some social interaction.

On another topic, my work pal "Lolla" (I won't give her last name because she'd like to maintain her anonymity… especially because she has a prominent publishing position and is secretly moonlighting at B&N) invited a few of us fun B&N workers over for dinner last week. We all had a few drinks and so on... and then it was… gasp… truth-or-dare time. Okay, I have not played that game since I was in 7th grade! Perhaps none of us had. I guess that's why we were so enthusiastic about it. Since I"m such a daring type of gal, I ended up washing my hands in the toilet and asking some downstairs neighbors for sugar at well past midnight. Here's a reenactment:

Good old Linda knocks on the door.


She knocks again. I timidly stand holding an empty measuring cup… a cup that would soon be used for nothing but lies lies lies! I wanted to back out, obviously.

Knock knock… this time, the door opens a crack. A man's eyeball peers out. "YES."

"Ummm… " I say.

"It's Rennie and Meghan!" Rennie chirps.

I groan.

Linda bolts. All I can catch are her shoes flying up the stairs.

Chicken, I think.

"Yes," the man barks again.

"Um… um… my friend upstairs is baking a cake. And, you know, she doesn't have any sugar. We can't very well bake a cake without sugar… and well, that's why I was hoping that you would have some."

The eyeball stares.

"So… uh… do you have any sugar?"

"No. We don't use sugar. We use Splenda."

"Oh, I see," I said. "Thank you anyway."

"Have a greaat night!" Rennie chirpes.

We both run up the stairs like little school girls.

"So?" "Lolla" asks. "Where's the sugar?"

I shrug. "They only use Splenda."

The problem is that I am waaaay past those school age years. And weren't pranks supposed to be more fun and clever ? I'm too old for that. I am in my mid twenties! No, wait, oh gosh, I am in my late twenties. I will conclude the story with that that depressing thought.

And now, for fun, I willl show you all series which I fondly call "Who's that cute little mouse?" Please note that the title is dripping with sarcasm. Sorry Kate. Love ya.


Here, we can see Kate putting on the head.

I don't know why, but this is attempt number two. Look at that FACE!

Kate puts on the hands...

Uh... something funny is going on here....

Super Mouse and Rennie. Aw, look how cute.


And, since I"m doing sho- and-tell here… I just can't resist!!!!

Above are two shots of my sister, aka Squishface. She will KILL me when she sees these! Ha! Dearest sister, if you don't want weirdo pictures of you on the web, then don't let your sister photograph you.

Clearly, my month of isolation has driven me to extreme immaturity.




Well, I've been a tad busy as of late. There is lots of book work to be done!

Christmas came and went.… I got stuck driving back home in a large snowstorm and thought I was going to perish. Of course I didn't, since I'm writing this now. I couldn't see out of the windshield for about 100 of the 150 mile drive. My wipers kept getting frozen snow on them and all they did was push a bunch of water around. Every time I had to stop or slow down, I"d have to down shift ( I drive a stick) and then the car would go off the road when I put the clutch in. Anyway, great fun. I highly recommend driving in a snowstorm 20 miles an hour on the highway, at night, while being tailgated by cars driven by drivers who clearly had the last lobotomies done in America, just to get to a job the next day that doesn't even pay the phone bill. I will note that the fools who drove too fast all ended up in a ditch. Serves 'um right.


I got a surround sound DVD player unit for Christmas, so that got me inspired to hunt down my childhood favorites. I am one to buck the new technology, I will admit. I remember when the switch from tapes to CDs happened––I was the only one trying to hunt down tapes while everyone was buying CDs. I still have a vivid memory of standing in the store and asking––" What happened to the tapes?" An employee pointed to a corner of the store containing ONE row of tapes. The rest were sent back. When the stores stopped carrying them entirely, I gave up the good fight. The same thing is true for DVDs. I think it's kind of silly to put movies on disks since the scratch so easily. A skipping song is one thing, but a skipping movie? That's why I was refusing to switch. The problem is, there is some stuff that just isn't released on tape and I was tired of watching stuff on my computer, so I caved. Okay, my parents bought me the DVD player, so I guess they caved.

So, to get to my point, I am now hunting down movies from my childhood. Great and crazy strange movies! Anyone remember the TV movie KONRAD, about a boy who came from the factory and was shipped in a can? It was a PBS Wonderworks production. Great stuff. I wish they didn't stop producing that series.

So here is a list of the movies I"ve found (skip all of this if you have no interest... well, obviously. Oh wait, I know, I'll put all of this in another color, let's say blue, and you can skip the blue if you don't care about my childhood video memories):


THIS MOVIE IS INSANE! A movie about a boy who loses his hair after seeing a ghost, then proceeds to come up with a solution to grow back his hair, which turns out to be magical. Then, the boy gets kidnapped by a painter who cuts the boy's hair and uses it to make paintbrushes that paint magical paintings that you can walk into. Yes, the movie, or my memory, is bizarre. I saw it when I was no older than ten. The movie gets more bizarre when the painter guy kidnaps a slew of children and makes a factory full of slaves to make the magical paint brushes. Anyway, I put these words: paintbrush, peanut butter, hair, painting, kidnapping, magical, and movie–– into the keyword google search... and guess what? I found the movie! It does exist! I'm not crazy! Every time I've tried to explain this film to friends over the years, they just look at me strangely and say "uh-huh." Well HA-HA! I was right! Go to amazon to read the many comments by other obsessed viewers. The movie is called THE PEANUT BUTTER SOLUTION. Bizarre, bizarre, bizarre.

Of course I continued typing in my random memories into google and I found everything I was looking for! Google can take my random thoughts and make them work!

I wanted to find the Narnia series that was broadcast on PBS in the mid 80s. I found that too! Turns out it was a BBC made for TV series. This movie, from what I can recall, was EXCELLENT! Get it for your kids! Get it for you!

WIND IN THE WILLOWS - 1983, directed by Mark Hall. This was a stop-annimation film. Toad had a bad attitude and a wonderful British accent! I loved it!

THE ELECTRIC GRANDMA - Here's another really weird one from my childhood. This was based on a Ray Bradbery story. I just remembered some robot mother pouring milk out of her finger... not much else came to mind, including the title, but somehow I found this one too!


Gosh, I do love PBS and the BBC. I wish they'd replay some of these films!!!

Here are some other films that I highly recommend that my parents DO have on tape for my viewing pleasure. All of these are adaptations from book classics

ANNE OF GREEN GABLES PBS series. The acting is brilliant. Everything about it is brilliant––great for kids and adults.

A LITTLE PRINCESS PBS series. This one really expresses the pain and suffering well––also great for kids and adults.

A SOLDIER'S TALE -Directed by R.O Blechman. A brilliant animation to Stravinsky's music…hardly any talking, but the silence leaves room for the violin to tell the sad tale. Great stuff!

THE DARK ANGEL an adaptation of UNCLE SILAS, a French novel. This was a BBC production. I wouldn't recommend this one for young kids, but all adults who like creepy movies should get it now! Peter O'Tool plays the creepy uncle... and boy is he creepy! He's the subtle, seemingly nice at first kind, who makes the movie all the more alarming.

Here are three films that are not childhood memories, but worth noting because they've definitely stayed with me:

THE LITTLE FUGITIVE - 1953 (this one I first spotted in my adulthood sometime last year... but I have wanted to see it again ever since! It's great and really is chock full of good ol' NY footage.

DAVID COPPERFIELD - another BBC production staring Daniel Radcliffe of now Harry Potter fame. I saw this one a little while ago on PBS, but wasn't able to stay up all night to see it finish! What I saw was wonderful!

THE OX - 1991 (English subtitles). There is no speaking through almost half the film... it's very powerful and worth hunting down. This one would bore kids to death, but it's great for the patient adult.

So of course after all of this searching, only some of these films can be purchased and only some are on DVD. Back to the old tried and true VCR!



Okay, so I also promised that I'd divulge more of what is going on in my "professional book life." Now, I"m not sure if I'm putting those words in quotes because I don't believe I am a professional, or because I think it's a joke, or because I just enjoy putting things in quotes. Perhaps someone else can enlighten me here. Anyway, if you all must know, today I had one of those why-am-I-doing-this thoughts. I do tend to have those a lot, but today was a particularly bad day. I don't know what caused this––perhaps it was the stress, the tiredness, the contract negotiations, the two books due at once, the lack of fabulous attire and jewelry... who knows. But I had this thought all day. I think I"m really burned out, is the problem. Of course, I won't easily admit this. Instead, I just continue on working until ungodly morning hours, not having human contact most of the week, and then when I do see a friend or two, I go all wild and crazy (good thing most of the human population didn't see me New Years Eve).

I really identify with Judy Garland. I saw a special about her on PBS last night... how she was so overworked and crazy and took lots of pills.. .and I thought––I'm just like that! Well, minus the large amounts of money and the pills. And minus the fame. And minus the wonderful talent. Please make note: I DO NOT TAKE PILLS OF ANY SORT. I even stopped taking my migraine medication when I started college and never looked back. Oh, the freedom. Oh, the headaches.

My embarrassment of the day is when I was paying a visit to one of my publishers.... someone was apparently having a "conversation" with me. Yes, this time, I know why I put that word in quotations. I spaced out on the entire thing! I hadn't the faintest idea of what she said, and had to admit so. I think when I'm stressed, my attention problems get worse. Oh dear. I joke a lot about my ability to pay attention, but I think that's to mask the fact that the problem really embarrasses me. I'm truly an embarrassment to myself. I should hire someone to BE me, only hopefully they can do a better job... perhaps they can be a tad more glamorous and wear a cape, as well. Oh, how I do wish I could wear a purple cape and get away with it. Hmm, I digress.

Back to the book talk.

So I"ve been researching ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING that is at all related to the 1930s. 1938, to be exact. This is for my book ALIENS ARE COMING! of course. It takes place in 1938 so it MUST be accurate! I know I paint little cartoon people but I really want these little cartoon people to be wearing the appropriate clothing. Did boys then wear pants? Knickers? Short-pants? What age wore what dress? Did woman wear hats? What kind? And what did the cars look like? And the radios? I've been going INSANE trying to figure it all out. I have some magazines dated from that time period, but then I thought Oh, but magazines only show the IDEAL... that's not accurate! But what is accurate? I can find photos of cars made in 1938 but is that accurate? Surely the people back then, like myself, drove OLDER cars. But how old? 5 years? 10? Hmmmm.

Well, that's enough rambling for now. Let me part with this: if you happen to meet me and I'm wearing a purple cape (with a broach made out of pearls pinned to the front), don't laugh. It will someday happen.

Oh, one more thing... my New Year's resolutions:


1) Run a marathon. I don't care if I have to be hospitalized afterward. I'm doing it! Nobody has faith in me, and that's why I have to prove them wrong. It's like the day in college when I said I wanted to make a giant pencil out of a tree. NO ONE said I could do it, so I promptly marched out the door and cut down a tree, carved it with an ax, and made a beautiful 10 foot tall pencil. I got an "A" on that baby, so ha!

Lately I've been limping a lot, and even limp-running if there's such a thing, but I'll just cut off my leg and run with one. This year will be my "preparation year." Next year, will be my year of running greatness.

I'd also like to lose all of my fat. I don't want ANY body fat. I want to be a lean, mean, running machine (This goal seems unlikely).

2) Get over my fear of public speaking. I've gotten good at faking it, but can I ACTUALLY enjoy it? I'm not there yet... not by a long shot! I haaaaaaate it.

3) Continue to be a wonderful person (is this one a joke? Hmm)

4) Write a novel this year that will SELL. I mean it. I'm sick of being "the illustrator." I want to be "the writer." Somehow, I find writing far less stressful than painting. I can't explain it, really. Besides, that would be a great excuse to buy a laptop. Working in the park would be cool... I can't paint in the park!

Also, I think people consider writers to be smart. People consider artists to be born with something that they can do in their sleep…don't know why, but that's what people think. Also, I think writers can get away with wearing capes. An artist wearing a cape would be labeled "crazy."

5) I'll think of number 5 later. I just thought there should be a "five."

Wait, wait, wait, I just thought of two more!

6) BE ON TIME! For crying out loud, why can't I be on time for anything??? Why??? I try… I really do. It just doesn't work out.

7) Learn how to spell words like definitely without having to use Spellcheck.

Come to think of it, I'm really quite imperfect. There are a lot of things to fix. Sigh.

Oh, and I SWORE there would be less talking and more pictures in this section. Where are the pictures? What's with all the talking? I promise I'll work on that.




So, I'm back on the horse people! I'd fallen off for a bit, but I've saddled up, and now it's time for work, work, work!

I'd stopped writing in my little fireside chat for several reasons:

1) Because I wanted to move it to a new location…. I wanted to create a separate website where I'd put this chatty thing, music reviews, art book reviews, snapshots of the month, and so on. Okay, what was I thinking? I don't have time for that now!!! Sometimes I'm all or nothing. If I can't do something perfectly, I don't want to do it at all. So I abandoned ship.

2) I was afraid that fireside chat was going to get out of control. There was the presidential election and I was all fired up! I don't want to discuss "racy" or "controversial" subjects on my website, since I'm a children's book author and all, and I was afraid that I was going to do so anyway! Well, our president has been picked. I've calmed down. Sort of.

3) Does anyone really care about this thing? I was concerned about that. But believe it or not, I have gotten occasional e-mails from readers who've said that they have enjoyed this segment of the website.... So for now, it's staying! I've noticed that many writers and even an agent (!) are making blogs, so perhaps it's all the rage––I don't want to miss out! I want to be all the rage too!

What I thought I'd do is talk more about my "book work" here, since I think that may be of interest to some of you. Oh, where to begin!


All summer long I felt pretty much unemployed. I toiled away here at home, painting walls new colors… I frolicked in the park… I decided to take running more seriously and injured my knee…and I ran out of money. Yeah! I love running out of money! My anxiety level had pretty much reached a peak when I used my credit card to pay the rent. If anyone wants to know how much a children's book author gets paid, I can tell you now… not that much! Not only that, but the money doesn't always come when ya' need it ! Ah, the anxiety.

Anyway, fall came around and I finally got paid. Good thing.

I still felt unemployed, so I decided that I was going to take up painting again. It would be great! I'd make a series and have a gallery opening! I'd make millions! I STARTED this painting: It is NOT finished.

This is one of what I wanted to call the "warped series." I put approximately a half-day's worth of work into it but am now too busy to finish.


Halloween came and I agonized over what to be. For work, I put on a ten gallon hat and a fringe vest…anything to wear jeans and defy the dress code! For the nighttime parties, I opted for the old "glue the half pencil on the head and paint some fake blood on it" trick. It worked better than expected.

I worked all day on Halloween Saturday. We had a special Halloween story time. There were spooky stories, face painting, and more. I should NEVER be allowed to get involved with the face painting. Out of boredom, I gave all the employees realistic looking bruises, cuts, and severe wounds. I even dipped into the medical kit for some gauze and such. Some customer asked me if that was "appropriate." He suggested that the fake wounds might scare the children. I said "No way! Kids love blood!"

So then I traveled home that night, only to come home to a screaming landlady, yelling at my roommate….

Brief description of landlady: Mid 70's, short, blonde dyed hair by own admission, NOT even-tempered, yells in Polish, yells a lot, yells all the time… Small soft spot that comes out once every 6 months.

So my landlayd was predictably yelling. She shouted "I don't need your money! I don't need it! Get out! Get OUT!"

Ooooh, that was baaaaad! You see, my roommate decided to throw a Halloween party. I told her it wasn't a good idea. I believe my exact words were, "The landlady will go crazy." My roommate did it anyway.The landlady went crazy.

I had my own Halloween plans… I had parties to go to…. The good thing about my living situation is that my roommate is more like my neighbor. We are "separate but equal" as I like to say. I have my own bedroom, living room, and studio/dining room. She has the same on the other side. We only share the kitchen and bathroom. So at least the party was confined to "the other side." I looked like the good guy. When I walked into the building and saw the landlady yelling and my roommate frozen in fear, my landlady yelled "Meghan is good! SHE wouldn't throw a party! She'd never do such an awful thing!"

So anyway, that was an interesting Saturday––one to be remembered. I came into my kitchen to a hoard of scared looking party go-ers They all looked like they'd seen a horrible monster. I guess they had. That monster was my landlady! So I rounded up the whole party and took carloads (back and forth) to another party. Big props to my friend Jessie for letting me crash her party! Love ya.

As a side note: The next week my landlady pulled me aside. She whispered loudly:

"Some of those people at your roommate's party looked trashy…they looked like hookers!"

"Um…" I began "It was Halloween. They were wearing COS-TUMES."

"Ooooh," she said.

So I'm sure you're wondering––what does this story have to do with book work? Not much. I just wanted to tell it. Well, I guess there's a point…that weekend was sort of the end of my "unemployment." Suddenly, I feel very employed again. The summer fun is over.

So, what have I been doing? Let's see…I helped set up a show at TheSsociety of Illustrators for Robert's Snow (www.robertssnow.com). That whole thing took a while… I kind of feel sad because the auction and the shows are almost over. I feel like I'll be losing a family member. I'm going to be sad to see it end.


Lately, my brain is a lot like a city traffic jam. I keep getting a million ideas at once. I'll be in the kitchen washing dishes, and all of a sudden I get a book idea and run to the computer…only to be interrupted by another thought––I MUST clean the bathroom… then I'm doing that and I get a great promotional idea for one of my books and I start working on that…only to be interrupted by a new novel idea that comes to mind. Well, you get the point. There's lots of stuff going on but I'm getting nowhere. The yellow taxi cuts off the red sports car only to be cut off by the big city bus. This is partially due to my little A.D.D problem, and partially do to my obsessive problem. Both don't mix well. I can also be a little hyperactive. Perhaps medication is the way to go here.

The thing is, I like being able to tune people out. I've done it so well my whole life. In class, the teacher always sounded like that Snoopy guy. I got a lot of doodling done! Here's the problem: I thought I was doing such a good job fooling everyone, until I told my friends about six months ago that sometimes, I have trouble paying attention. They all said "Yeah, we noticed that. We see you drifting off!" I said, "Really? You can TELL? I thought I hid it well!" Well, it seems that everyone agrees with them. Now my friends go out of their way to "bring me back to reality" when I drift off. Thanks a lot, guys.


What else have I been doing? Let's see… Keychains, ah, keychains. If you go to my free stuff section, you'll see that I'm giving away free keycahins. Well, I got the brilliant idea to offer some to my publisher to give away…only they asked for more than I expected. 500 to be exact! What a nightmare. At first it all seemed so simple. I'd just cut and glue and stick some images in plastic.

Then I got a phone call. It was my sister. "Meghan, that keychain you gave me broke. I dropped my keys on the street and the plastic broke right apart. I want a new keychain.This one is defective."

Uh-oh! Were my keychains going to be defective? I couldn't let that happen! What would people think? They'd get a deceptively nice looking keychain promoting my book, only to have it break immediately! They'd come to the conclusion: That girl's keychain is cheap. Her books must be cheap also. No! I couldn't have that! So I started experimenting with different glues. I tried crazy glue. Didn't work. I tried epoxy. Didn't work. I tried tape. Didn't work. AAAAA!!! I was going crazy!! I HAD to find a good glue! I settled for plastic model glue.Only problem is, plastic model glue is extremely stringy! It gets stuck all over the plastic! Then the keychains look bad! Aaaa!!

After being sort of back on track, and having made fifty or so already, I felt good…I felt confident. But, as the days wore on and as my neck ached, I was covered in glue and my apartment was covered in pieces of paper, I realized that I took on a very daunting task. I became whiny. I became tired. I was SICK of keychains!! That's when my editor took pity and offered to help. I went to my publisher one rainy evening, and together, with the help of my designer, we cut and glued pieces of paper together for a few hours. I am really glad that I got the help. And how many editors and designers would offer to do such a thing?...after hours?... Only the best of people, which they both are. But anyway, we had only really made about fifty or so…and only the paper cutting portion, not the plastic gluing!

I'll conclude my little keycahin story with two thoughts: 1) don't do anything crazy like that and 2) (this is more of a cry for help than a thought) please buy my book and tell me that the keychain you saw on someone's key-ring while you're vacationing in New Mexico helped. Pretty please? I have completed 250 plus keychains. I have not made 500. Maybe I never will.


So besides the keychains, which I'm done with for now, I'm working on Seabiscuit (for Knopf), Steal Back the Mona Lisa! (for Harcourt- Gulliver), and I've come up with an equally tedious and time consuming promo idea for Seabiscuit––a flip book. Why do I do this to myself? Oh, and I'm working on a graphic novel idea….

Anyway, I will put up some new music recommendations and new snap shots shortly. Stay tuned....

p.s: I have not yet gotten fired from my bookstore job! Yeah! In fact, I received a 50 cent raise! 50 cents! Wow! What is better than that?



Oh joy, it's almost September. What do I think about September? Hmm, not much. I'm just glad I'm not in school!! Ha ha kids in school! At least there's something good about pushing 30! (please don't think I'm imature..well... perhaps slightly. But you can't fault me for being in touch with my inner child! I need my inner-child to write wonderful books! Well, that's my excuse for today anyway). Okay, I'm not at 30 yet, but my sister––2 years my junior at age 24––likes to say that I am. It's not about the age for me, it's about TIME. Time is just flashing by and it's freaking me out! AAAAAA!!!

Anyway, I promise to not get all depressing... so... moving on... to the Republican National Convention––Yeeeee haaawww!! Put on yer spurs because the big guys are a' comin in! That's not depressing, right? Oh, I try so hard not to say anything controversial or political... or even anything opinionated on this blog or on my website in general, because I'm a kid's book author and I don't want to offend. But that's why the blog is moving! So I can say how I really feel! Oh joy! (Hmm, what could my real opinions be?) Ut ut ut, I won't do so yet. Anyhow, I have some photos of the major Bush protest that happened this Sunday. I was there as a bipartisan photographer only! Please don't send political hate-mail!

But, before I show the photos, let me talk a bit about the NYC climate here in what I will entitle "The Terrorist Target Zone."

Let's put it this way: paranoia has hit home hard!

So here's my tale for the month. I call it:


I was working at B&N on Saturday, as I always do, and at this particular hour, I was eating cake, as I often do. Why cake at work, you ask? Well, it has become tradition in the kiddy department to have a cake for happy occasions, such as birthdays. It just so happens that there are enough employees on the 2nd floor to finagle a cake eating ceremony about once a week. Thank goodness for birthdays! Well, I won't name names, but one of us has turned 30 and she WASN'T happy...so it was an UNHAPPY birthday cake-eating-ceremony.Well, I was happy! I had cake! (P.S––I'm enjoying exclamation points today).

Anyway, in came Heather with an announcement that almost made me choke on the creamy frosting. Union Square was being taped off and people were instructed to evacuate the area. What did that mean for B&N employees? Snow day! Or rather, Sun Day! Get out your parasol!

Within minutes, an announcement came over the loudspeaker.... "Attention customers. Please exit the store immediately..."

Without even a moment's thought, all the B&N employees were high-fiving each other like dumb school children and beaming from ear-to ear. There was a buzz of excitement––what would we all do with our newly acquired sunny Saturday?

Confused customers began the mass exodus. An irate woman demanded other exit options,besides the escalators and elevators, as she described as "too crowded." Right.

Soon, the customers were gone. All who were left were the pathetic employees. Happy to be leaving pathetic employees, of course.

Soon came another announcement: "Employees please come to the first floor music department." I was soooo sure we were going home. Not so! The store manager said "If you are REALLY scared and REALLY need to go home, then you can…but we'd prefer it if you didn't."

I heard a sea of moans. I moaned the loudest.

Back up we all went, back to the "kiddy department."

But what, we all wondered, was the commotion all about?? We all scrambled to the front windows, to see what was happening. All of Union Square had been quarantined! Yellow "DO NOT CROSS" tape stretched across the street, and basically blocked off B&N from the rest of the world.

A man in a big suit came waddling down the road, toward the front of the store!

"What if there's a bomb!" one employee said.

"What if we blow up?" said another.

I think we all silently came to the same conclusion. I shrugged and said "Nah. But I really wanted to go home anyway."

"Yeah, me too," said someone else.

After about ten minutes or so, everyone became restless and bored and began milling about. Some read magazines. Others read books. The rest gossiped as usual. I, on the other hand, wanted to know what was going on!

We were not allowed to get near the front entrance on the first floor (in case a bomb went off, of course!) but no one was watching me on the second floor! Ha ha ha!!! So I climbed onto the windowsill to watch the excitement unfold.

The man in a green space suite seemed to be "the all important man." He was the one inspecting the area. The EMTs, the police officers, and all other official were behind the yellow tape. The lone puffy space man continued to waddle back and forth, back and forth.

I still couldn't see what he was doing.

Then, a breakthrough! I saw the space man drag a small blue backpack into view. He poked. He prodded. Then, he left it lying on the side walk and wadded back toward the yellow tape. Was it really a bomb? If so, everyone inside B&N was sure to blow to smithereens. I couldn't help but giggle.

Finally, Space Man came back. This time, he had a long poker stick thing. He got closer and closer to the backpack. Then, he sprawled out onto the cement and reached toward the bag. He pulled it toward him and sloooooowly unzipped it. Oh, it sure was getting exciting!

The first thing to be pulled out of the bag was a flashlight.

Then, something that resembled a big keychain.

Then, a tee-shirt.

Then, another tee-shirt.

Then, a ball of wrinkled papers.

Wow, that unibomber sure did hide that bomb well! I was impressed!

I waited with bated breath for what would come out next…. Slowly, slowly, the puffy gloved hand reached into the bag and pulled out a…

Sandwich! Wow, a really big sandwich!

By the end of the "investigation," the sidewalk was covered in STUFF. It was strewn everywhere.

Then, Space Man stood up and waddled back to the yellow tape. Someone announced something, a police officer yanked on the "do not cross" warning, and a sea of people came flooding into Union Square! Within minutes, things were back to normal. People trampled over the bag's contents, without a care in the world.

I of course had to go back to work. I was sorely disappointed.



I've decided to change this section a bit. More photos, less talk! That's what I'm promising. So here we go! Enjoy! These are some photos from my travels last month. The word "travels" is used loosely... really meaning in a ten mile radius from where I live. Some are from the Siren Festival on Coney Island, where two of my favorite bands played––DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE and BLONDE REDHEAD––yeah!

Here's the talk part:

First, in keeping with this forthcoming "chat" check out this link!

Jib Jab studios

It's a very funny, extremely well done animation, all about our election! Go Bush and Kerry!

Although I have some strong political views, I've yet to voice them on my website. I think that doing so could only be a recipe for disaster. However, I stumbled upon these lovely playing cards (see the ever-so-happy glowing Bush head floating on a playing card, below).

Perhaps you are wondering––are these cards serious? Are they a joke? I myself wasn't too sure. They're not TOO over the top to be real comedy since there are cards with Powell and Rice accompanying serious notations, but yet none are all that serious either.

(This one is pretty silly)

I decided to get to the bottom of the situation, and went to the website that sells them: www.presidentialdeck.com

This blurb on the website immediately caught my eye:

"These are issue flash cards which can really help people articulate the issue(s) in this most important election." -A.J. (Customer from MD)

Hmm, that sure peaked my curiosity! Do these cards articulate the issues? This is the back of one of the cards:

"Compassionate Conservantism... Re-Elect George W. Bush"

Ah yes, compassionate conservatism. Perhaps the "Customer from MD" was right!

I searched further....

"As seen at candidate campaign rallies across the country."

Is that what these candidates and their constituents are doing? Playing cards? Do they smoke cigars too? Do they play for fun or for limbs?

This is what the website says under a picture of a George W. deck: "Playing Cards Supporting George W. Bush Republican Presidential Candidate" When I clicked to buy the Bush cards (don't think that gives away how I will vote!) these words popped into my line of site: "Get a Kerry deck for your dartbarod."

But not so fast! These presidential decks aren't one sided. You can also buy a Kerry deck and get a bonus Bush deck for your dartboard! Better yet, whichever deck you purchase will go toward the candidate of your choice.

So perhaps you think it doesn't matter what deck you buy. Well, think again! This website is keeping track...sort of a mock presidential election.Click here to see who is winning! Who will be our next president?!?!

So I will conclude this little bit with a few questions: Do YOU think that these cards make a mockery of the election process? Or are they in good fun? Would YOU buy a deck to support your candidate or would you buy a deck with your enemy on it for target practice?

One thing is for sue, you've gotta love good old American propaganda and partisan politics! And don't forget to vote in 2004!


I took a month off from the "blog." For some reason, some people think that I put my entire life on this thing! On the contrary. Very little is divulged. However, my 4th of July was well documented with photos, so I will show my entire holiday weekend in pictures (with the exception of the working part...I was stuck inside Saturday and Monday...poor me).

I sometimes have my "what if" moments: what if I became an FBI agent as I'd seriously considered in my senior year of high school... what if I pursued a sport with more gusto... what if I concentrated more on my fine art paintings...and the big "what if": what if I'd majored in photography in college as I'd considered? I do love photography so much. There's something about traveling with a camera––you're forced to look at things in closer detail.

So that's why I've put up all of my 4th of July weekend photos. Of course, I only photograph what I find intrinsically interesting. Composition and color are key factors. I feel that the snap shots of the friends are best left to someone with one of those throw away cameras... I'm not the type to pass around silly pictures of my friends inhaling hamburgers or spilling drinks on their laps. Nor am I one to shoot off the flash two inches from someone's face, cheerily chirping "cheese!" I like the gory. The dirt. Interesting people. Places. Things.

To see all of the "spectacular" photographs, click on the photo below, to go to the "official" 4th of July photo page! (Yes, lately I am excited by the word "official." It makes everything seem so much more important.)

So, my first 4th of July event was at a late night barbecue. Yes, I'm forcing myself to say "barbecue" now, instead of "cookout," because some New Yorkers don't know what a "cookout" is . I've realized that there are certain Rhode Islander phrases (or regional anyway) that the rest of the country giggles at. These include:

bubbler = water fountain

elastic = rubber band

grinder = meatball sandwich

cabinet = a thin milk shake

coffee milk = milk with coffee syrup in it


There are more, but I can't think of them right now. If any of you out there know of any, let me know!

Continuing on. The barbecue on Saturday was low key. I drank some warm beer and enjoyed the equally warm breeze.

Unfortunelty, I missed the actual barbecue part and the fireworks that were shot off because I was at work until 10:30. Ho-hum.

Sunday morning I got up at the crack of dawn.. Okay, 10 o'clock, but to me, that's the crack of dawn! I rushed to Coney Island to witness the hot dog eating contest. I parked pretty far away but still made it there with time to spare. What I hadn't expected was the ENORMOUS crowd. I couldn't see a darn thing! The stage was fenced off and dozens of reporters and cameras were crammed in like sardines. And I thought I was the only one who cared to watch!

I did take some wonderful photographs of Nathan's Famous, but I just couldn't get a good shot of the men inhaling the dogs. I shouldn't say "men" because there was a woman. She was wearing all pink (the rest of the contestants had the official white tee-shirts on). She was wearing enormous 70s sun glasses and she bopped to the music the entire time that she shoved hot dogs down her throat. It was really quite amazing.

Next on my trip was the Coney Island side show.

The side show, or freak show, runs continuously. A man outside tempts the passersby by teasing them with a few stunts, such as hammering a screwdriver into his nose...

What I discovered only after viewing my photographs was that the announcer kept the screwdriver lodged in his sinus cavity for the duration of his speech, which was a good 15 minutes or so.

A one time admission fee of 5 dollars is required, but then you are allowed to lounge inside as long as you'd like, soaking up the atmosphere and drinking beer (there is a bar down the stairs past the stage). There is a "block head," a fire-eater, a girl who eats insects and walks on swords, a boy who can twist himself into knots, and a very tattooed strongman who lays on a bed of nails. They even tempt the audience to come see the "secret room" for one dollar, where you will view an oddity. The oddity this time was a fake fetus––the"results of drug abuse," or so they claimed. The old side shows always faked a few things, sometimes sewing animals together or drawing an extra eye on a man, so I'm glad that they're still continuing that tradition on Coney Island. Of course, there were no actual "freaks"to be seen, such as a bearded lady, a "ten ton man," or a person with alligator skin. Perhaps modern medicine has eradicated these anomalies. But watching the show is still great fun. There aren't many freak shows left, so if you're in NYC, get down there!

For more photos, click here!

Next I speed walked back to the car to make it in time for the concert in Battery Park. Lyle Lovett was playing. I'll admit that I didn't know much about Lovett's music––all I knew was that he has poofy hair, a slightly off centered face, and had dated Julia Roberts. Really though, Lyle Lovett didn't disappoint! His music is very old-school country mixed with a bluegrass flavor, which I loved. Thanks to "Super Heather,"who staked claim hours before my friends and I arrived, we had a supreme view, plus great snacks to nibble on.

I particuarly enjoyed Lovett's little aside about the dangers of NYC driving. He said "Even the little guys nip at your tires." I thought, that's me! I've assimilated, and am quickly becoming one of those NYC drivers to avoid. Perhaps a taxi driving job is in my future? Sadly, I don't even realize my craziness until someone like a country music star points it out to me.

The only downside was that some of the beached viewers were ornery. Perhaps it was the sun, or perhaps it was the bumpy ground, but many breathed fire. True, there were thousands of onlookers crammed in like sardines, but really, there was no need to start throwing things! One man who was seated more toward the back was angry with the people who were allowed to stand up...thus, blocking his view. He was yelling at a security guard, demanding that the standing viewers be removed. I was ATTEMPTING to get back to my seat near the front, but unfortunately, I felt the man's wrath. He threw a piece of bark, or possibly a rock (I'm not sure which), at me. He then proceeded to yell "Sit down! All of you sit down! Sit the hell down!" I shrugged and attempted to explain that I was simply trying to go back to my seat. The man didn't care. Why is it that people like to throw projectiles at me? Could it me my height? Who knows. I am almost 5'10 but I'm not a giant!

Lyle Lovett finished off his performance by bringing in a rousing gospel choir.

What a great finish!

My next trip was a drive to Avenue C, for a rooftop party...only I never made it there. The roads were blocked off and the traffic was unbearable. So, I rushed to my friend's rooftop on 2nd Ave. instead, for the fireworks watching. Not the party I'd planned for, but the fireworks were enjoyable. I also enjoyed a wonderful jaunt down 15 flights of stairs. I childishly said to my friend, "I bet I can make it down to the bottom before you." My point was to demonstrate that stair walking is quicker than taking the elevator. I was right! I waited for at least 5 minutes for my friend Christina to arrive. I thank her for indulging me in my foolish, immature, and competitive behavior.

That concludes my holiday weekend. Please check out my many photographs, which document the happenings. When I develop my 35 millimeter photos, I hope I have a few more good shots to share.

Until then, peace love and happiness to you all.

For previous months of fireside chat, click here!


I've decided to add *more* meaningless matter to this section! I will now include snap shots which I will entitle "snap shots of the month." They will be more likely than not, be something taken from my car window while moving...let's hope I don't crash while taking them.

These are my...


(click on them to see a bigger version)



_ something will be placed here... text, perhaps?_


And on another happy note, I have not yet gotten fired from my job at the bookstore! So feel free to come in and say hi––perhaps I can get you a cookie and frozen "summer drink" at a discount...and maybe even buy some books for you at a discount too. Of course, if I get caught, then I'd surely be fired. That would be a sad, sad day.

One more non-book related announcement. Croquet is coming! That's right, I'm devising a brilliant game of croquet scheduled for next month. Yes, next month! It will be a croquet tournament, complete with wine and cheese and other Sunday festivities. I'll admit that I'm quite competitive when it comes to doing most things. My friends are not. They don't understand the shoving and the hair-pulling. So because of this, I've decided to make the Sunday Croquet a winner takes all (some sort of prize) festivity. That should get um' motivated! If you are interested in this tournament, please send me an e-mail and I'll save you a stick and ball. We will be watching the movie HEATHERS afterward.

There are no music picks this month. Why? Because I'm planning on creating something BIGGER soon, that will encompass music reviews and NYC happenings. Why? Who the heck knows. This has nothing to do with my book work but has everything to do with my brain racing one hundred miles an hour and thinking about a million things at once. Ugh. Sometimes I wear myself out.

But... I made a mixed CD. EVERYTHING AND THE KITCHEN SINK VOL. 2. This mix has some indie rock and pop, some hip hop, a little Brazilian, a song from Bollywood, a little soul, some "chill music," and basically a sampling from every musical genre. If you'd like a copy free of charge, let me know and I'll see what I can do. Vol. 1 is also available. Volume 3 will be coming shortly.


Until next month, I bid adieu.


Oh joy, the month of April. What can I say about April? It's sunny right now, with a slight breeze... the birds are chirping...and there is a mild odor in the air... actually, it's one of exhaust. Also, a jackhammer can be heard in the distance.


John Keats put it best––

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,

Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;

Conspiring with him how to load and bless

With fruit the fines that round the thatch-eaves run;

To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,

And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core...

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?

Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,––


Anyway, I'm going to write my own poem. Here goes:

Season of warmth and turbulent smells

Pungent steaming rotting garbage

fermenting in the heat

While the is sun gently setting

yellowing the street below

full of oil and rubber-burn-marks

Rain soaked ground

your umbrella died, broken in a gutter

and the landlady yelling

"Where is the rent!"

Where are the songs of Autumn? Ay, where are they?

Think of them.

Or think of summer.

(There could be something wrong with me...plesase send free medication my way)

My addition of the umbrella part of my two-second-on-the-spot poem reminded me of the day I did my taxes. Oh, what a day to be remembered. Where oh where shall I begin?? First, let me start with the previous day, since that actually contains the meat of the story. That day would be April 13th, because I couldn't help but cut my tax preparations too close and inevitably give myself an anxiety attack. It was dismal and raining, of course.

I will now appropriately title this tale...

I decided to drive into Manhattan because I thought it would be quicker. I couldn't find the H&R block so I parked the car and aimlessly wandered about on foot. The bottom of my pants turned to mud, but that really isn't the point. Anyway, after a half-hour of being confused about which way the numbers were going on the street, I finally found the H&R block, only it was the "special" H&R block and apparently I wasn't "special" enough to go to that one. So, I was given the address to another. I aimlessly walked back to the car and drove to what I will fondly call H&R block #2. (now bare with me, this does have a point). I got to the second store and found that there was a long line out the door and it was going on 9 pm at night.

Tax time was a tickin'!

So I decided to wait it out, put my name on the "waiting list" and proceeded to take a seat and settle in for the long night's wait. So I waited until...

Oops! I'd forgotten all my tax information! Just how dumb can one be??

So I moaned, slunk back to my car and proceeded to drive back toward home, to retrieve the tax information, which was waiting silently on my desk to be taken to the overpriced tax people. Obviously, my tax trip was doomed from the start (insert dramatic dun-dun-duuunn music here)

Only (now this is where the story gets mildly interesting), on the way back home to get the tax information, something happened (insert more dramatic music here). I had a green light but had to turn left, through oncoming traffic.

First, let me reiterate the scene: Heavy rain. Foggy. Dark. Wet. And the yellow lines weren't very visible.

So, I drove through the light and tried to get as close as I could to the cross walk, because otherwise I'd be in the middle of oncoming traffic, and angry honking horns would soon follow.

So of course I couldn't go because of the droves of pedestrians. Mind you, NYC pedestrians have a certain attitude, one that displays an air of indignant righteousness. Basically, they think the roads are for THEM, not for the CARS. But anyway, I proceeded to patiently wait for all the pedestrians to cross... only there was a couple––I'd say in their early 60's, well dressed, lots of jewelry, fancy umbrella's in tow––who slowly began to pass by, only... the man stopped in front of my car and raised his right hand, palm outward, as if to say "STOP!" in that assertive policeman-ish way. Well, of course I thought uh-huh, I wasn't going anyway you old coot, so just chill out buddy.

He stood in front of my car, staring. The rain was pelting my windshield, but I could see that he was wearing a tan trench coat and a hat that looked very much like one from the 50s. The man's beady eyes beamed through my windshield like a laser beam, intent on intimidating me with his chivalrous manhood.

I wasn't impressed.

The crowd of pedestrians had already safely crossed the road. The only people left were the couple, who seemed intent on making a drama out of the street crossing procedure. Nonetheless, I continued to patiently wait for the man's wife to walk past my car.

She strolled along, and then passed. The man lowered his hand and proceeded to walk.

Good, I thought, now I can go. Those people were soooo slow.

Only before I could hit the gas...


I'd been hit! But by what, I wondered? Then I saw it...

The whole thing in slow motion. The woman had turned back around and was staring into my car, another pair of laser beam-eyes. Her mouth was curled into an utter look of disgust. Picture an action flick in slow-mo' with the sound slowed and low and gurgling––THAT was the woman. She was mouthing something, only I couldn't tell what. All I saw was her hideously mishappened red doused lips and her running mascara, marred from the heavy downpour. She looked very much like Baby Jane.

POW!! I heard again. And then I realized what was happening. The woman was hitting my car with her umbrella! "F••k you! F••k you!" she shouted, and continued to assault my car with the inanimate object, which could once be considered an umbrella, but was now, just a mere congealed mass of metal and vinyl. "Old ladies use the "F" word? I thought. That's not very mature.

Pow!! She hit the top of my car again. The sound could be equated to a baseball's impact at full-force.

"Oh my God! Oh my God!" I shouted. "Stop! Stop! Oh my G-O-D-D-D-D!!"

At that moment, I feared for my life.

"F**k you! F**ck you!" she said. Pow Pow! Over and over again, she whacked my car, like it was a colorful pinata full of delicious candies.

"Stop! Please stop!" I begged.

The woman's umbrella, once cherry red and obviously well tailored (unlike those one-dollar umbrellas that I buy), was no more. It was nothing but a skeleton. But the woman didn't care! Whack whack! She continued to hit my car, but all I could see were her curled red lips and those droopy black rimmed putrid eyes.

Then it occurred to me... I can just drive away! I don't have to sit here and take this!

So I did.

The woman shouted more profanities at me, but it was too late! She couldn't get me! I was in a car! Ha Ha ha!! I admit that she gave me a BIG fright. My heart was pounding and I felt very similar to the times when I'd been pulled over for going 60 in a 30 mile-an-hour zone (those were youthful indiscretions that can only be attributed to teenage immaturely--please do not judge me by that poor behavior).

To this day, I still don't know what happened or why. The situation makes me question humanity. I mean, there are certain rules to life... you can't go around hitting people's cars with umbrellas for no reason! My only satisfaction is the fact that it was pouring and that woman DEMOLISHED her umbrella. She certainly had a nice WET walk home.


Oh, I almost forgot about the tax part of the story... so anyway, I went back to H&R block the next day...the woman informed me that the tax people (also from H&R block) had previously done my taxes wrong two years in a row...so SHE did them right and I ended up owning thousands of dollars. So that concludes my tax story. The end.


On another note, my sister has introduced me to ping-pong. I was bad at it but am getting better. I still prefer tennis. Also, my friends and I have changed "pizza night" to art night. Now we will be talking about art and eating pizza––not a big difference since we do that anyway (we're such dorks). Also, I want to institute "grill night" this summer, on the roof of my apartment, where we will grill burgers and drink Margaritas in style. All are welcome. If you are reading this and will be in the NYC area, then you are also welcome (except for "umbrella woman"). Grill Night WILL be a community effort, gosh darn it! Send e-mail for details.


And now dear readers, it is time for the music of the month!

My philosophy is that an eclectic music listening palate is best, so that's what I'm recommending, as always.

Tahiti 80 - wallpaper for the soul: indie pop grooves with big band instrumentation and soothing, sincere vocals. This album's catchyness will make you move! A really great album.

The Aluminum Group: this is the brother's second album from their Happiness trilogy. It is wonderful. I highly recommend it. I am also recommending the first part of the trilogy (see my earlier picks). Actually, all of their records are excellent.

Hank Dogs - half smile: the group poses on the cover, with the man wearing a ten gallon western hat and the ladies looking sullen, covered by long blonde hair, as welcome of sorts to their folky music with sweet lullaby vocals. It's a definite throw back to the folk singers of the 60s and 70s, but worth every listening minute.

Evan Dando - baby i'm bored: Now, I know what ya'll are a' thinkin' Ooooh, the singer from the Lemonheads. They had one super album and it was all down hill from there. Well, Dando is still alive and kicking, I assure you. This album contains short catchy songs, with melodic vocals, poppy keyboards and scratchy guitars. Dando is evolving and he shouldn't be dismissed. Don't forget about "it's a shame about ray," but put "baby I"m bored" on your play list as well.

Arto Lindsay - pride: soft vocals accompany heavy drum beats, horns, and guitars, in a well paced electronic, Brazilian influenced sound. This album has been around for a while, but I say if you don't have it, buy it today!

Special note about The Aluminum Group :John Navin, part of the Aluminum Group, wrote to me a while back, thanking me for recommending their album on my site. Gosh, I was glad to do it! Besides, I love the group! Anyway, he invited me to check out their new site...so now I'll invite all of you to check it out as well. Go to:


There are some cool features on there!

Before I end my ramblings for the month of April, I would like to report that I am still employed at B&N! Three cheers for B&N! Also, I have been awarded the prize of #1 bookseller of the year! Please send congratulatory presents my way.

Note: that second to last sentence was a complete lie.



This month has been a month of slave labor, self induced. I literally didn't leave the apartment for DAYS. That can spell trouble for someone like me, who inevitably in those situations goes a little cuckoo, if you know what I mean. Anyway, I turned in my artwork on Friday, the 19th, or something like that. My apartment, during my month of painting, has turned into some sort of inhabitable waste land, with paper and paint and razor blades strewn about like a tornado hit. I've lost track of the days and the time and my only contact with the outside world has been the radio and TV––I have caught up on my "ladies daytime television" (the starting over house is a favorite), I watched my reality TV...though I really listened, not "watched" (go America's next top super model!), and I've listened to enough news and PBS to make me doubt all of civilization...oh, it's ever so dismal. And poor Michael J (not really, but his Thriller album still rocks) and Martha (I actually do feel sad for her).

Anyway, I'm rambling now...a bad side effect of little social contact. But I'm putting on my shoes and my best sparkly western shirt (the western attire may be funny to some, but I take it VERY seriously) and I'm getting back out there, into the world! Yay! My first few stops will be local bars and then it's on to the big raging parties. Perhaps it's time that I took up ballroom dancing...or better yet, lounge singing!

I also must thank BOOKS OF WONDER for inviting me to their group signing. I had a lovely time. I was a bit nervous when I read the words "author will give brief presentation" on their website, just moments before leaving the apartment, but thankfully, there was no such presentation required. That's a darn good thing because I had not one intelligent remark prepared. I couldn't even think up an answer to the standard "how did you get the idea for your book?" question. I was blank. I signed books and greeted shoppers and someone took a picture of me. Good times, good times.



This is the latest quote from my sister...I thank her for the insightful words.: "Beware of Meghan and her beastly, slanderous spiderweb of a website. She's gone imperial. If you have a website I suggest you get up a standing army before Meghan's website comes to swallow yours whole. I've seen it happen. Its like watching a boa constrictor suck down a field mouse. Disgusting."


So far, I have absolutely nothing interesting to report this month. That's right, no car fiascoes, no bug stories, and certainly no kidnappings. I did get stuck in the elevator at work this week, but the whole thing turned out to be completely uneventful. My friends have had to continuously listen to me go on about how much I would LOVE to get stuck in the elevator at work. "Why can't I get stuck in the elevator?" I would always whine. The way I figured it, I could spend my entire workday there, raking in the big bucks (yes, that was sarcasm) but I would NOT have to deal w/customers or talk to anybody, really. Why, it would be grand...! Or so I THOUGHT. Well, after about the first minute and a half of being trapped, I panicked. Mind you, this isn't easy for me to admit. I do have my pride to think of here. I saw how small the walls were inside, with the beige carpeting and matching boring colored walls. What would I do? How would I get out! AAAA!! So I swiftly ripped my cell phone out of my pocket and called the book store. Yes, I was IN the book store, only in the elevator. I informed the manager that I was calling from the elevator. "Hi..." I said to the manager... "I'm calling you from the elevator. It's stuck. Just thought I'd let you know...you know, in case anyone notices me missing or anything,..." It was all very silly. Moments after the phone call, the elevator ascended up up UP! to the second floor. The door opened. I was released. I promise to never again say that I wish to be stuck in an elevator.

Anyway, no news to report because I have a book due soon and you know what that means! Hermit. I will be a hermit.



CAR UPDATE! <1/19/04> my latest car update is as follows: My old car just got stolen. That's right, stolen. What ARE the odds? Anyway, stupid me, I couldn't get the plate off that was registered to my new car. No, the cops were not happy about that.... Actually, I think I'm suspect now, due to the fact that I'd been to the precinct many times before. Several asked "Weren't you here before? Are you SURE your car was stolen?" It's true, that this whole car saga is a bit unbelievable.

So because I had to report the car and the plate stolen, it looked like my new car was stolen and thus, I was the car thief! Needless to say, that was a predicament. I could have been pulled over and arrested or the car could have been seized or both! This is what the police officer said: "If you get pulled over, keep your hands on the steering wheel, do not move, do not reach for ANYTHING." That caused me to be a tad panic-stricken. I envisioned getting shot. Although, I was looking forward to getting arrested, then I could write these foolish "journal entries" from prison. Wouldn't that be great?? Ah, but it didn't happen. Everything is resolved due to an emergency drive to RI to switch the registration. I however, am not giving up on that old piece of junk...I'm going to go cruising in the hopes that I can find the burned-out carcass somewhere. Since I've already gotten too carried away w/this website, I will post pictures if I find the car. May it rest in peace.




Ah yes, it's a new year. I have absolutely no New Years resolutions. I think I'm perfect the way I am, frankly. No no, or is it that I'm so imperfect that there's not use in trying? I don't know. Anyway, I went to a party on New Years Eve but was NOT the life of the party as I believe I usually am because I contracted the flu that very day. Now I have much partying to catch up on... I am now accepting all party offers.


My family got into a huge debate Christmas night over politics, religion, and the origin of God and the Universe. There WAS shouting.

The big excitement this Christmas season was that my two sisters got all worked up over the fact that they thought they could get Irish citizenship because my uncle said they could. I frankly didn't see what the big deal was, as I have no plans to live and work in Europe...but those two like to fantasize about everything to death (my sister would also like to hike most of the Appalachian trail while disappearing for months and growing dreadlocks, while simultaneously moving to Canada, and to Japan (to teach English––enough said). I did think that duel citizenship could be useful if there was another terrorist attack, but that's another story. Anyway, we CANNOT get Irish citizenship. You must be second generation or third if your parent became a citizen before you were born. My mother did no such thing. Oh well, is all I have to say. My two sisters looked thoroughly heartbroken, however.


Also, I discovered that my father had a new "pet" over the holidays. Does he care one lick about our loving cat? Noooo. He kicks her. What did he care about? A large grotesque brown prehistoric looking insect that resided in the bathroom and had been living there since the summer. The minute I finished my long journey to RI and needed to use the bathroom, I noticed the "pet." My sister saw me looking at something and said "Oh, are you looking at the bug? It's dad's pet." Rrrrright. "Don't hurt it, he'll kill you," she added. What happened the very next day? The insect, or insect carcass rather, was found in the kitchen sink. My mother went to break my father the bad news. He was watching football. He honest-to-God looked teary-eyed. "What…what-what-what happened?" He stammered. Then he became irate––"WHO killed it! WHO was it! Which ONE of you DID it!" My mom had to calm him down, gently suggesting that it probably drowned. He instructed none of us "insect killers" to go near it and insisted that maybe it would come back to life. The ugly bug sat near the sofa, belly up, for the rest of the day. Sadly, my father could not revive it. We all had a good laugh at my father's expense. But really, I think he's "lost."


I am currently reading RUNNING WITH SCISSORS which I highly recommend. I thought people I knew growing up were weird but they pale in comparison. Talk about a bunch of nut jobs!

I just got this note from my sister as a testimonial on the silly "Friendster" list that I can't believe I'm a part of...aren't I too cool for that? Apparently not. Anyway, this is what she wrote––"Every time it snows heaps in the city, I think about the fact that Meghan has three cars and I laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh. Then my stomach hurts, so I take a break. Then I think of street sweeping regulations and snicker a bit. Then I recall that fact that only one of the cars actually runs, the other two being more or less Flinstone-mobiles, and I start laughing again. A real hearty, bellyaching laugh. Then she calls me, as Meghan unfailingly does, to help her push her cars across the street, and I curse all the way to Poland."

Well, no more my dear sister. I have officially junked my already crashed new/old car. Now I only have two cars! Ha! You can mock no more! Besides, I've been pushing that darn car all by myself, thank you very much...and will continue to do so WITHOUT your help.

For two wonderful views of the demolished car, click here If you don't know what the car talk is all about, just read the saga below....


As far as my Christmas list: my mother called my requests "silly." Why can't she take me more seriously? Most people do not understand my sarcasm and take me TOO seriously. My mother does not take me seriously enough...! Where's the cerial, mom?


And now to my music recommendations:

1) The Aluminum group - "Happyness" This group is like a mix between old-folk easy elevator listening, smooth vocals that hum along, horns that trumpet sadly, and electronic beats that really get you moving.

2) Dolly Parton -" The Grass Is Blue" - If you don't like Dolly then shame on you! This is Dolly at her best, getting back to her blue grass roots and there's nothing better than her sweet voice and those happy yee-haw fiddles that make you want to run out and catch that train!

3) Blonde Redhead - "Melody Of Certain Damaged Lemons" - This group has edge. It's melodic and sad but with a whiney post-punk edge that's infectious.

4) Alsace Lorraine - "Through Small Windows" - This is the most lovely quiet indie pop ever recorded. Seriously. It's sweet, soft vocals and quiet layered guitars will transport you to la-la land and have you bouncing on clouds in no time.





My sister was perusing my website and just informed me that some of the articles in the "articles section" are less than exciting. I apologize to anyone who finds them "less than exciting." When prodded, my sister went further, saying that my website is "too much," and she then used some analogy, comparing my website to a vast ocean when all she wants to look at is a lake or a mere puddle, and then called my website an "empire." Please accept my sincerest apologizes to all of you overwhelmed victims of my "website empire."

Moving on...


This is what I want for Christmas in order of importance (mom, if you're reading this, please take note). The following are the things that I currently find too expensive to buy, so will therefore never purchase myself. These things are also not tax deductible:

1) lots and lots of boxes of cereal. No, that wasn't a typo, I want cereal. I haven't had cereal in so very long because for crying out loud, it's almost 5 dollars a box! Hey, that's a weeks worth of food money right there. Give me Captain Crunch, that alphabet stuff, Frosted flakes, Berry Kix, all that sugary good stuff. Oh, and Poptarts.

2) perfume. I ran out and I refuse to pay money to be scented. But I really need some nice scent to bury my face in so that the smelling guy in the subway doesn't get to me. You know who you are, smelly guy.

3) razors - I want the smooth silky ones, not the CVS cheap brand I always buy. Oh, and shaving cream. Nicely scented.

4) socks - the short kind...I don't want anything that will go up past the ankles. I only want white socks. Not blue, not red, and certainly not striped.

5) granola bars... I actually like them.

6) I would also like a cd that I would never purchase myself. That means no indie rock. I want the new Outkast album. It's too popular and funky hip hop get your groove-on thang for myself to buy. Actually, I would buy it myself. I lied.

And that concludes my Christmas shopping list. Dont' worry fellow readers, I already bought myself plenty of "normal" things when I INTENDED to buy gifts for other people. Ooops. All that's left really is the cereal.


In other news: I bought yet another car. So now I technically own three cars while living in NYC, the land of public transportation. It's ridiculous. I will be selling my old junky car on Ebay. The starting bid will be five dollars. Going once, going twice...? Also, I think I spotted the two back tires from my new but not newest Honda Civic that got demolished. They're currently rolling around on Norman Ave. in Greenpoint. I'm not kidding.



Well well, looks like my new car lasted a total of five days. That's right, five days. I think that's some sort of record. Just as I was thinking how "grown up" I was for purchasing my own car with my own hard earned money––kaboom! The car was demolished, while parked overnight. Now I have to sue everybody––the owner, for claiming the car was stolen when it wasn't...her insurance company because they know she's lying...and the police department for losing the police report. That's right, they lost it. Ha ha.

Even funnier, my junk mobile hadn't been junked yet...until it broke down on the Williamsburg bridge at midnight and almost caused a city wide disaster. I thank my friend Christina for enduring the hour long wait on the bridge. Good times, good times. I will update this as soon as I find an appropriate picture of a crashed car from a 1950s magazine. That will make everything better.

Hmm, do I have any good news to report?? Ummm, not really. Oh, my birthday was in November, but that isn't good news...I feel a quarter life crisis coming on! Sky diving anyone?



So, what's new and unimportant this month? Well, plenty of unimportant things.

I just purchased a new, er rather, used car. That means no more pushing that metal contraption every time it rains down the street, up hills, and into a semi-parking spot. No more abandoning ship when smoke starts spewing out of crevasses from under the hood. And lastly, no more driving around and having to witness small children plug their ears because the noise is unbearable and might do irreparable damage to their little eardrums.

Organization is also the key this month. I purchased a Rolodex, files to put my manuscripts and many magazines in, I rearranged my CD collection, and now I'm working on finding the appropriate place to store my artwork. But as my sister said yesterday––"Meghan, I don't care about your trip to Staples, it's boring." So that concludes that story.

I've also gotten my need to go antique shopping out of my system and have bought lots of old magazines for research, as well as a great old green typewriter––complete with box. Everyone at the antique place seemed to think that I'd actually be using it. Um, no. I will not be carrying it on the subway in place of a laptop, despite popular opinion. I also wanted to purchase this weird looking contraption that apparently is a corn seeder, whatever that is, but figured one piece of useless junk is enough. For NOW.

My music listening recommendation this month is THE POSTAL SERVICE. It's electronic, the guy from DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE sings on it, and they throw in a bit of the new wave sound for added seasoning. Apparently the creation of this album was done by sending music samples through the mail...interesting. I highly recommend it.

> I have also decided to become once again, a recluse. I've been doing far too much socializing lately.

> Also, I have not yet been fired from my job at the book store. Three cheers! I can continue to pick wet raisins out of Maisy books and assist confused customers in finding their way to the bathroom and escalator. Have you ever seen grown man in a business suit swaying back and forth and hopping up and down because he really really has to go! I have.



The biggest blackout in U.S history happened this month, so I've gotten a lot of "Are you all right's" and other questions. Yes, I am fine. Was I stuck in the subway? No. Was I stuck in an elevator? No. Did I have to walk 50 miles to get home? No. I am hugely disappointed that I did not get the full blackout experienced and have no great stories to tell. That makes me sad. I did have a nice relaxing time hanging out with friends and I stubbed my toe repeatedly due to the darkness factor. I also used up most of my candles.

To the right, are NASA satellite photos of before and after the blackout.

I've decided this month to do something GREAT. I'm not sure what that is yet... Something for all of man kind? Maybe, but I doubt that I'm capable. I think I may decide to torture myself and train for a Marathon since I can't think of anything worse to do. I would also like to get on one of those reality shows such as American Idol, Fear Factor (yes, I want to eat worms), or For Love or Money - because that's the trashiest show yet and I'd like to be a part of it. If any TV producer is reading this (yea right) please contact me ASAP.


The best CD I've bought this month is GRANDDADDY - the sophtware slump - It's good, but not GREAT. Also in music news - I LISTENED to one of my favorite bands - BELLE AND SEBASTIAN - play in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. I also saw the tops of their heads and occasionally, if I jumped, I saw their whole bodies which looked more like dots. No, I did not pay for tickets, but I wish I had.


Another bit of super news: I have not yet gotten fired from my job at the book store!