Monday, June 29, 2009

Oh Yeah, I Guess I AM Getting Married in 75 Days....

It's been a while since I posted a wedding update.

And it's probably because there hasn't been much of one, despite the fact that the wedding is about 75 days away.

In my whole life, there has been nothing I have procrastinated about more than this wedding.

And now it's catching up with me.

Like, really bad.

Like, invites-haven't-even-gone-out-yet-bad.

It took me until yesterday to really understand what is going on with me, why I put stuff off, why I have been hating all this so much.

And it's not like I am one of those brides so obsessed with details that I carry around a binder full of notes, ideas, contracts, etc.

In fact, it's brutally the opposite.

See, when this whole engagement thing first went down, I was determined NOT to be one of those brides - you know, the ones who lose their shit so bad they get their own tv shows because they become their own entertainment?

So I went the opposite direction -I cared so little most of the time, nothing ever got done. There were no Save the Dates, we didn't book hotel rooms - stuff that MIGHT NOT matter if our wedding wasn't comprised of 75% out-of-towners.

So I always waited until Cheese came home from a job deployment, and he has always been the one to sit down, do the guest list, make up budget spreadsheets, devised a master checklist, come up with rehearsal guest list, do the ENTIRE website complete with all travel/tourist information, etc.

Weird, but the "guyest" of guys has made himself into quite the wedding planner.


I go for long rides, scope out my new 50-meter pool, think about what other races I want to do.....

And after my meltdown yesterday over my invitations (which I am doing myself - yes, the homemade variety because I cannot stomach the idea of paying someone thousand of dollars to print an address on a piece of paper - call me crazy or cheap, but on the list of priorities, we threw more money at the important stuff, like open bar and our music), it finally dawned on my what all this reaction is about.

See, I feel stuck between two worlds - caring and not caring. On one hand, I really don't care about things like centerpieces, and flowers, and invitations. To me, an open bar, decent food and quality music equals a time well had.

But then I have my moments when I DO care about the stupid details - the color scheme, the "theme," the look of the invites. Not really for myself, but for other people - how will other people judge my choices?

As if there are going to be people at the wedding, sitting for dinner, saying, "Huh. Now I notice the pattern of her invites doesn't seem to correspond to anything in this room. And her color scheme? I don't get it. Is it black? Grey? Red? My goodness, this poor girl has no style."

And then it occurred to me.

I don't have a style.

Or a color.

Or a theme.

Not in wedding life, and not in general life.

In real life, I am the girl that borrows clothes from her sisters.

So now I am the girl that borrows their wedding vases for my homemade center pieces.

In real life, I am the girl that has no sense of fashion style.

So now I am the girl that let her bridesmaids pick their uber-casual black jersey knit dresses.

In real life, I am the will always pick the "simple and easy" when it comes to decorating. The less, the better.

So now I am the girl going with the minimalist approach to this wedding - keep it personal, keep it real, and skip the meaningless extras.

In real life, I am just a mix of ironies, and contradictions, and craziness - a girl that never planned to married and never had that "dream wedding" image.

So now I am the girl who is piecing things together as I like, without a death-grip adherence to some sort of "vision" of perfection.

And I think we all know I am FAR from perfect.

See, a big part of my procrastination was that my personality didn't care about these little things, but my insecurities cared about what people might think - how they might judge my non-professional invites, or my homemade bridesmaids bouquets. So when stuck between these two worlds, my panic made me avoid.

I always avoid under pressure.

I really tried to let that go yesterday after talking with Cheese and my friend Anne-Marie.

So what if people look at my invites and think: "So weird she would have her 2-year-old nephew help with these." Who cares? They are going to look at them, get the date and time, and them throw them away.

If I just do what I want, and stop worrying about what other people want/think/judge, I just might survive this thing.

Now back to those invites.....

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Best Day

Oh how I needed this weekend.

Yeah yeah, I know. It's not that my life is oh-so-hard, but sometimes, it's just nice to pretend that nothing else matters except a bikini, a pool, and a good friendship.

The weekend started yesterday, with the comedy show of my fellow Sandbagger, Colin. He is part of the Second City, and wrote and starred in his own sketch comedy show, The Tough Guy Show. It was really fun to get out of the house and have a good laugh. And hey - it you are in the Chicago area on July 17, they are having another show - check it out!

Fast forward to this morning - I stopped to pick up my packet for the Race Against Hate race tomorrow and - AAAAAANNNDDDDDDD - the race packet was a GROCERY TOTE.

People, I can't even make this stuff up.

My love for these has been made abundantly clear.

And inside?

(behold my heart)

A tech tee-shirt, water bottle, Zone bar and POPCORN.

Yes. Popcorn.

You might not think the day could get better - but hold on to your panties - it can.

And it does.

I took myself to the setting of my new membership - Centennial Family Aquatics Center - or better known to me as "My New 50-Meter obsession."


I splurged on a totally random summer pool pass to gain access to my first ever 50-meter pool.

And let me tell you - swimming in a 50-meter pool is nothing short of glorious.

I didn't even care about the dead bugs and bandaids on the bottom of the pool.

And I barely gave a second thought to the strange (read: not mine) piece of hair that got caught in my mouth around the 750 mark.

And it didn't phase me when the 73-year-old bearded man in flippers passed me.

I was just in mermaid heaven - me and my 50-meters.

Sigh. My love for the 50-meter knows no bounds now.

But just like every good affair, the swim ended, and who enters the pool but Sandbagger Colin's wife - Anne Marie, or better known as my longest and bestest friend. And after lounging like lizards in the sun for a few hours, we high tailed it over to her country club for lunch and more sun.

And let me tell you this:

I felt like I was 16 again.

Not a care in the world, no one to answer to, and nothing but good conversation, my new polka dot bikini, an afternoon of snarkiness, and just a really, REALLY good time.

The only thing missing was a hidden pack of smokes, my parent's car, and a 10pm curfew.

I feel just a little bit lighter, definately more sunburned, but much more calm then I have felt in weeks.

Ah, today.

Today was a good day.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Woa Is Me

I caught a case of the sads.

I have decided that I am not sad about losing my job (with no prospects in sight) - rather, I am just REALLY angry at why I am losing my job.

And it's really hard to maintain a positive outlook when my supervisees are sobbing during their supervision times, and having anxiety attacks as they wrap up their work. But the absolute worst is when my boss - the calmest, most professional supervisor I have ever had - is struggling to keep it together during conversations about returning computers and shutting down cell phones.

But I would also be lying if I said it was only the job stuff - really, it's just sort of everything at this point.

But instead of doing a full-blown post about the atrocities my state government is committing in the name of a tax hike, or post one of those countdown clocks for the remaining minutes of employment, I am going to focus on the positive.

Because frankly, there are a lot of good things happening.

First off, I have been holding onto a nugget of information for several weeks. You, the reader, might know this informtion already - if you were quick enough to catch it on a post a few weeks back before I was instructed to take it down.

Turns out, this ol' girl's about to become an aunt again!

My brother - well, really, his wife Jenny - is pregnant!

So with Ellen's due in August (although the baby's been basically hanging out of her vagina for a few weeks, filling out college applications and waiting on the approriate time to just totally fall the heck out), and Nolan's little guy/gal on the way, I am aunt x 3!!!!!

Poor kids.

Other good news?

My back doctor seems to have worked his little magic. My back has remarkably improved in jsut the last four weeks. Which makes me wonder what the heck my other doctor was doing for the last two years.....

My knee is still problematic, so my doctor tapes it once or twice a week with that kinisio-or-something tape to give the knee cap some extra support.

And crazy enough, it works.


That...uh...seems to be about it....

.....Thought I had some more stuff for you......


Man, I'm lame.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


So my gym is doing another contest.

And we all know how Megan feels about a fitness contest.

(obviously excited enough to refer to herself in the third person)

And yet again, there is not really a "winner, " technically.

(Side note: What is that about? This no-winner contest stuff? It's like my gym is run by the same parents who think it's okay for every kid or every team to get a trophy just because they don't want some kids to have hurt feelings. Losing builds character. Just ask any loser.)

Anyhoo, the contest goes like this: For every gym workout, you get a little punch on your 15-spot punch card. After you fill one card up, you get a tote.

And I luuuuuvvvvvs me a tote.

No, seriously. I do. Love them. Closet full of them. It's as if I had the foresight years ago to know that, at some point, a tote would become the cool way to carry groceries. Check ME out! I'm doin' it! I'm livin' the dream! I'm one of the cool, no-plastic-sack-for-me grocery carriers!

And then after you fill up a second 15-punch card, you get.....tah dah!

A tee shirt.

This being the YMCA, it's of the cotton variety, not the technical wicking.

But cotton tee-shirts are cool because - a couple snips of a scissors, a needle, some thread - and voila! You can fashion yourself yet ANOTHER fancy grocery tote!

It's true.

I saw it on Etsy.

Girls, you know what I'm talking about.


And the finale- After a THIRD 15-spot punch card is filled (for those math-impaired, that's 45 trips to the gym), you get entered into a raffle for....*drum roll*

Free Personal Training.

Not sure yet what part of that statement is more exciting - the "free" or the "personal training" but who cares - put them together and they equal nothing short of a perfect six hours of bliss for broke-ass psychos like myself.

The very thought of some trainer making me cry Jillian-and-Bob style, forcing me into new positions, and making me build muscles I never knew existed....Sigh.

It's enough to make me want to put down the popcorn and Jolly Ranchers, strap on the sports bra, and run over there now. At 11pm.

So needless to say, I manage to get myself to gym pretty regularly these last few weeks. Even when I do my rides at home, or run on the outside path, I still go at the end of the day to do weights for about an hour.

But this whole long story is really just a lead-up to what the real issue of the day is. See, the more I am at the gym, the more I am assaulted by this issue:

There appears to be a Crocs-and-denim-jeans epidemic at my gym.

Sure, it's no swine flu, you're probably saying to yourself.

But it's here, and it's real, people.

Perhaps I am just now around more to notice, and don't get me wrong - I am definately NOT judging the fitness fashion choices of others (contrary to my habitation of the gym, I am not that big of a gym snob). Rather, it just seems to me that it would be...uncomfortable to be sweatin' in that get-up, no?

I mean, most days I can barely stand the touch of my technical, moisture wicking fabrics against my skin in the stuffy, sometimes-poorly-ventilated cardio room (though just stuffy enough for that timeless skill of trapping and magnifying the most heinous of farts as only a steam-filled room can do - farts of which are coincidentally left behind by the guy on the treadmill next to me, or the man using the machines just before me, as if they were the artist painting the outline of a fart cloud around my head for the rest of the gym patrons to see and draw inaccurate conclusions).

So I can only imagine how sticky it would be to try to pound out a solid effort in Levi's, or do a jog/stairmaster in some Crocs originals.

Crocs? Really?

Not baggin' on the Crocs - I myself wear a pair of the flip-flops ones - but to workout in them?

Eh, maybe I just don't get the mid-lifer population these days. Maybe one day, I'll be trottin' on the eliptical in my hospital gown and bootie slippers with my own devil-may-care attitude, who knows.

And kudos to them, unbreathable fabrics or not, for even getting themselves to the gym, and on the machine in the first place. I mean, it's not about what you look like, it's that you show up, right? Right.

I guess it's that commitment to fitness that reminds me not to lose sight of what's really important here:

How many hole-punches do these Croc-and-jean wearers have, 'cause I'll be a steaming hot son-of-a-gun if they try to steal my free training hours from me.

That is all.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Thanks everyone for the suggestions in posting this! Blogger, however, can suck it. This formatting is terrible.


1. Have we, as a society, just decided to do away with the whole courtesy wave when driving? If so, how come no one mailed me that memo? And if not, there’s a lot of entitled a-holes on the road.



2. Jolly Ranchers on the bike: Good in theory, bad in practice. Or at least, for an open-mouth breather like me. Damn near suffocated myself with a watermelon one.



3. My mind registered that Chicago finally had an actual, 85 degree and sunny summer day yesterday. My skin? Not so much.

Seems all that indoor time has softened my brain, leaving me to forget that you can’t take a winter’s worth of white skin to the beach for an all-day love affair with the sun. Mama mia.

You’d think I’d be more careful about tan lines, what with a wedding (and dress) just a few months away. Yeah, but then again, you’d also think I’d be more careful about what I am putting in mouth, given said dress. But on both accounts, you’d be wrong.



4. I don’t eat red meat, but if I did, I would totally eat one of the burger with the cheese cooked right into it. The ones that, when you bite into it, the melted cheese just oozes out from the middle.

I just got goose bumps writing that last line.



5. On that note, you know that question, “If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?” Yeah, well – would it be so bad to bypass the obvious answers, and pick one of the guys from the Food Network or Travel Network shows? Like, the dude from Diner, Drive-Ins and Dives? Or Man v. Food?

Does that make me a simpleton?

Or perhaps *left eye brow raised* it makes me a genius.

Question is on the table.



6. I know that, after a long workout, you SHOULD technically eat like, good food, and stuff. And you SHOULD technically drink one of those good protein shakes or recovery drinks.

But you know, the ONLY think I can stomach after a long workout is pickles.

(hey, it used to be oj and raisins, so I consider this an upgrade)

I said it before and I’ll say it again – you show me a long Sunday workout, and I’ll show you an empty jar of dill pickles.

Sunday, June 21, 2009



So I wrote a post in Word, and usually I can just cut and paste to here - but for some reason, blogger is not letting me paste.

Does anyone know how to get a post from Word into Blogger?

I tried pasting it as a picture document, but no go.

I am out of thoughts.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Little Bit o' This....

So, I was watching the 2005 Ironman Kona race today as I plowed through my trainer ride, and what do my wondering eyes see?

A man exiting the swim in his leopard print Speedos.




Like, what's the thought process behind that?

Minnesota Joe (standing over his suit case): Hmmm... Kona. It's the big time you know.
Wife: You may never get another chance to do this, Joe.
Minnesota Joe: I know. It's like, Go Big or Go Home, right?
Wife: That's what I always say in my step aerobics class. So why not make a statement?
Minnesota Joe: I see your point. And the banana hammock IS snug, and aerodynamic. Like neoprene, without the life-choking-out-of-you feel. And really, my abs are kickin, yeah?
Wife: I always did like the way your buns looked in that print! *tap on the ass*
Minnesota Joe: Decision made! European leopard print Speedo in Kona IT IS!!

Maybe he knows something I don't though. I mean, Speedo King is in Kona, I'm in my living room pedaling to nowhere and wondering what the hell happened to the sweltering Chicago summer we all used to complain about. Who's the sucker now, huh?

Oh, and another little gem I discovered while I was home, tying up loose ends before my job implodes on itself in a few days?

Remember a while back I posted about my new favorite website - Hot Chicks with Douchebags?

Well, MTV turned it into a show.

And it is EFFING hilarious.

Like, have you ever wished your blog could talk? Like, could mimic tone or the speed of your snarkiest comments in a way that simply writing the word just can't?

Well, this show is like that.

And while I watched NOTHING on MTV EVER, I am stuck on this show.

It's called, "Is She Really Going Out With Him?"

I think what intrigues me most is how delusional these guys are. I mean, you would almost think it is a joke, but it's not. And it's so uncomfortable to watch - sort of like an episode of The Office, but REAL, and with a lot more bottle-poppin', Axe body spray, and "bro-ness."

Check out the episodes with "Hustler Douche" (with an added gem - "Say Somethin!'") and "OC Douche."

You're welcome.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Madison-Chicago 200 Relay 2009

We came.
We saw.
We ran.
I didn't kill anyone.
I came close though.
But we all survived.

And had a BLAST. This here (above) is my rockin' team - the Sandbaggers- at the start line. I think the only people bloggers would know are me (front), Devin (second from left), Spie, (next to me) and Colin (white shirt at the end).

This is my friend Adrienne, me, Spie and Colin. Adrienne's husband started us out and narrowly made the gun going off (with one minute to spare - but I will save all the details until the end of this post) so he is already on the course and not in this picture. However, 20 minutes later, as we waited at the transition site, he called to say he was dropping out. So technically, the above picture represents our van runners.

This is my sister's van. She is far left, and the really tall guy is my new back doctor.

This is me, 20 minutes into the race, and SOOO happy that we actually started the race, despite the TONS of drama leading up to it (again, details at the end). Can you just feel the relief oozing from my smile? Little did I know that while I was taking this picture of my happiness, my phone was ringing in the car - it was Runner #1. He was calling to say he was quitting after Mile 2. He is walking in. My relief was short lived. Enter drama.
Me and Spie. Also taken moments before the drama kicked into high gear. But that aside, I need to tell you about this lady - going into the race, we had asked her to run Spots 4 &5 because we were a runner short. That means that, in total, she would be running SIX (legs ), three in each cycle - for a total of almost 30 miles. And she didn't just run these legs, she KILLED them. After the first two runners, we were DEAD LAST by more then 30 minutes. After Spie? Right back in the game. You have no idea how fast this lady runs. She was voted MVS - Most Valuable Sandbagger.

Runner 2 coming in. She is the wife of Runner 1, the dropout.

Me, bringing it home to end Rotation 1. I ran the 6th spot, so I got to hand-off to Devin's Van every rotation.

Colin, finishing up a blazing run in Rotation 1. He started making up the lost ground...

When Spie came in and covered some more!!!

Getting ready for Rotation 2, in full safety gear. I LOVE night running. LOVE.IT.

Handoff 1 in Rotation 2. It's getting darker....

And the end. I didn't add any pics of the people in my sister's van really, mostly because you all probably wouldn't know them. But how cute is my sister over there on the Right? I also had the chance to go home and shower, because my van finished at 1030am, and the team finished around 530. And then we all went home, and promptly crashed.
For anyone who has never done a relay, I highly suggest it - at least once. You can't imagine how tough it is on the body - but hoe profoundly overwhelming it is when its all over. It's not even the mileage that is tough (although if you are Spie and running 30 miles over the course of 24 hours, then maybe). It's the running, the staying awake, the brutal fatigue, the GI issues (ugh), the food - the everything. It's just HARD. And I am addicted.
We are already talking about putting a team together for next year - now that I am no longer a Newbie Captain and can deal with all the "unknowns" and details that I overlooked this year. After all the drama this year, I swore that I would never do it again, but after some reflection, I think that I would be much better prepared next time, thus reducing my stress.
And speaking of stress - here goes - the Clif Notes version of what went down.
Back in January, my friend A and her husband committed to doing the race. Two days before the race, I got a call from A saying that her husband had diarrhea or a sore ankle or something (I am not sure) - and could he drop out? I said, "Not unless he finds someone else to run his spot." I mean, I can be sympathetic, but 2 days? And besides, she later confided that he was just "scared" to run because he was "slow." So....
On Thursday, they get to my house at 630, which was 2 1/2 hours late, to leave Chicago. On the way up to Madison, my friend told me her husband couldn't run the assigned legs - they were too long and he didn't know he would be running that much, despite over 10 emails with this info in it. Ooooookay....I get that problem fixed within the hour. But then the morning of, he is MIA until 9:59 - when the gun went off at 10. And then, two miles into the first leg of the entire race, he quits.
Drops out.
He walks the last 3 of his 5 miles into transition, grabs his comforter, and proceeds to sleep for the next 24 hours in the back of the van. Across the bench. The only bench in the van. And rarely ever gets out to cheer his team members, never apologizes or thanks us for covering his legs, never offers to drive or navigate - nothing. In fact, he never even speaks until almost 24 hours later. He quits, then sleeps. For 24 hours.
Meanwhile, we restructure, and other runners pick up his legs. Colin, for example, ran both Dropout's leg and his own leg in Rotation 2, for a total of 14 in just that Rotation alone.
There were tons of other little issues with this debacle along the way, but that's the jist of it. It was sort of a nightmare. But at some point (can't say for sure what the final straw was), I just pretended like there was this black screen separating his sleeping bench from the rest of the van, and just proceed on with my race. If I can't see it, it doesn't exist.
But the flip side is that Colin and Spie MADE the race. I mean, these two were not only funny, but they were like my little army in this battle of a race we were in. I am soo sooo soo grateful for these two. I would do the whole thing all over - 10 times over - with these two in my van. Oh, and did I mention that Spie made BOTH van bags of homeade banana muffins, oatmeal cookies, and Smores brownies? Oh yeah. Breakfast anyone?
So if you are down for it, and want to give it a try, we are getting a team together for MC-200, the 2010 version. Lemme know.....

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

If You Hang In There, It Actually Gets Sort of Hopeful Towards The End - I Promise


So yeah, it's been a while.

Remember the good old days of once-a-day posting?

I do.

Man, that was a lot of work.

And it's not that I haven't had a lot to say - believe me you, I have.

I just didn't have a ton of time of get it on paper.

Until now.


Well, here's the short list of reasons my time suddenly freed up:

1. Unemployment. Turns out, it's not just for car dealerships.

See, as you know, we have a new governor. A governor who, in his infinate wisdom, decided to play Political Chicken with the legislature to get his way. He wants an increase in state income tax to help deal with out deficit (where have I heard this before....?) The legislature, however, is not so cool with this. So our governor said, "Do what I want or deal with the consequence on July 1."

The consequence? A mandatory shut down of social services with the elimination of all contracted services (i.e. me).

Literally. This is quite literally how things went down.

Who does that? Who gets their poltical agenda accomplished by eliminating all contract services across the state? Who gambles with child welfare like that?

Oh right - all governors of this state. In fact, right before the previous gem was impeached, he did the same thing. I mean, my employment woes are becoming a broken record at this point.

And the best part is that this new guy turns around and pins it on the legislature and blames them for this - the whole "well you MADE me do it" argument.

It goes a little something like this:

"Give me what I want, I have no interest in comprimise - or else I will eliminate 50% of the child welfare (and every other service) workforce until you cry 'uncle'....Oh, and p.s. I just proposed a 400% increase in health care costs for state employees. Just try and test me if that doesn't get pushed through too."

Is this really where we are at politically?

And why is it that social services are always the bargining chip?

So this means that July 1st may be likely be the last day of my employment.

But I am oddly okay with this. Maybe because, with all the previous false alarms, I have made peace with the fact I would lose my job to some poltical bullshit.

Or maybe because I have been really burned out in this job and looking for a change. I have never been one to run from a problem, but the state government is a bit larger than just "a problem" and I simply think they have worn me down.

So this is now my kick in the pants to find another....something.

However, the chance of me finding a position in this State and in the area of child welfare is - lemme check real quick - ZILCH.

Which leads me to....

2. There may be some relocation associated with seeking a new job. It's been discussed. Options are on the table. Options as in - NOT CHICAGO.

I am sort of excited about this.

And the third reason my load is soon to be lightened?

3. Hitting the Pavement - In 24 hours, I will be in Madison with my relay team, starting at the starting end of the Madison-Chicago 200 relay.

After my awesome experience last year, I decided to head-up the team this year.

Turns out, though, that event planning is not so do you say? strong point (see also: my wedding). I think it has something to do with my ever-dwindling capacity for bullshit and unreliable people, inability to make a decision, and generally poor multitasking skills. My sister ended up taking the reins and pulling it together. But the general stress of responsibility of it will be over soon.

Oh, and speaking of that wedding thingy?

It's moving forward, but deserves it's own post.

Which will be written after the relay.

So until then....

Monday, June 1, 2009


And just when you thought his best skill was DRIVING the cars.....

Here he is, my 2-year-old nephew giving his "Tow Mater" an oil change.

I can't even make this stuff up - this is all from his amazing little brain.

Check out the little tools in his hands.

I mean, what kid does this?

He's genius, I tell ya.