Friday, December 31, 2010

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: A Few Things I Learned In 2010

They are totally wrong when they say that nothing tastes as good as being thin feels. I can think of lots of foods that don't apply. However, this year I learned that being thinner feels really great.

Sometimes following your heart is harder than following your brain, but much more important.

Children can get sick and die.

I'm more resilient than I thought.

Sometimes having lunch with your father is more important than a party with friends.

True friends are there for you in both the good and bad times. In fact they are even more available in the bad times as a shoulder to cry on.

Watching the clock is no way to live.

Life is what happens when we are busy making plans.

A hug from a truly innocent two year old can put you in a good mood for hours.

Some of the most important people are the ones that society pretends not to see.

Taking chances is really important.

Having great blog readers fends off any potential loneliness, so thank you!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Saw This One Coming A Mile Away

We had a wonderful Christmas here at Adventures in Wonderland.  The day was really low key with just the family opening presents and staying in our jammies all day.  My father made a wonderful turkey and we lounged our way through the day and played with all our new toys.  

Arrow got a couple of new beds and a stuffed toy.  I got some wonderful stuff that came in some of my favorite boxes.  

I've got a whole other post coming about what is inside that Nikon box and how much I freaked out when I saw the black and gold Nikon signature colors when unwrapping. 

Until then, I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday Season and can't wait to start 2011 with you all.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Holidays From Adventures In Wonderland

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

There's A Reason That "Rambling" Is In The Blog Title

I feel like I am doing a lot of catch up this time of year anyway and the blog is reflecting that.  More ramblings than completely formed ideas.  So here they are.  

I have completed my Christmas shopping and wrapping.  What a wonderful feeling. 

I ordered Holiday cards on December 7th and they were supposed to be here 7 days later.  After a mix up with the company, I only got them on the 19th and just in time to send them back out again.  I barely got to look at the design I spent so much time on.  I will post a picture of the card on Christmas for all of you who don't get one because 1. they are expensive, and 2. I don't have everyone's address.  I even tweeted about the cards, damn auto fill:

Holiday caress complete! Out in mail tomorrow. Now I can die happy.

Dear god, not holiday caress, holiday CARDS. Won't live this down.

I was super sick yesterday.  Had an awful headache and puked all day.  Nothing like some all day vomiting to break through that weight plateau.  

The other day I was watching a show on TV that featured sled dogs.  I looked down and Arrow was watching the TV with his head cocked to the side.  Every time the dogs barked he would lift his ears a little.  It was the most adorable thing ever.  I didn't get pictures or video of him because I was afraid to move.

I took the GRE on the 17th and am really pleased with my score.  I will probably take it again in January just to see if I can do better, but having that done is wonderful.  

I am apparently allergic to eggs except when they are baked into things like cookies and cakes. 

I am working on a 2011 Arrow Balance Calendar.  I am trying to gauge how many to order and if I should get a move on and try to have them done in early January.  If you would buy an Arrow calendar for about $15 would you please leave a comment on this post so I know?  Thanks!

It is raining so much out here I feel like I am in a Twilight movie.  So here are a few pictures from a walk a couple weeks ago between rainstorms.  Enjoy!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Everyone Calls It "The City"

Yep, everyone in this neck of the woods knows that when you say "the city", you mean San Francisco.  I actually feel a little weird saying San Francisco rather than "the city".  "The city" just rolls off the tongue. Sometimes I feel like I grew up here.  

Anyway I spent last weekend in the city going shopping with my mother and spending some down time at the fabulous apartment on the 47th floor of Millennium Tower.  It really was a wonderful weekend.  I won't bore you with every little detail but I can say the weekend was so full of shopping and being out and about that I only took a handful of pictures.  That is so unlike me, I know, but my hands were either full of shopping bags, or I just wasn't inspired.  The city is such a second home that sometimes it feels ridiculous taking pictures there.  

One of my favorite experiences happened at Macy's in Union Square.  Every year the store gives over several corner shop windows, decorated spectacularly, to the ASPCA.  The windows are filled with, wait for it, puppies and kittens that are up for adoption!  Little pupkins and kittenpies!  The animals are adopted and switched out daily.  There is also someone on hand to play with them in their posh surroundings.  I couldn't get a good picture of the animals...  

But I did capture one of my favorite pictures that I have taken in a very long time. 

This little girl, hands pressed against the window, peering in at the puppies.  I imagine her dreaming her own Christmas dreams.  Her little nails dirty with the play that comes with childhood.  Beautiful and solemn. 
Maybe it's just me though.

I did capture some of the decorations at Nordstrom.

And a photo outside the restaurant where I had lunch with a former, and much loved, co-worker.

But this is what really stuck with me.  This little person, with her life ahead of her, giving us a reason to believe.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Balancing Act

Whenever we go on a walk, Arrow enjoys finding a curb or wall to walk on.  For some reason he likes the balance beam feel.  I don't blame him.  Balance beam was one of my favorite events during my many childhood years of gymnastics.  

My life feels like a balancing act right now.  I am working on getting into Grad School, trying to bring some money in, and basically trying to figure out who I am.  I am balancing free time with study time, rest time with work time.  Basically I am trying to plan my life.  I know that sounds strange, but when you apply to a 4 year graduate program, you are applying to a big part of your future.  I am applying to an unknown city where I will be living, an unknown group of people, unknown hurdles, unknown joys, unknown everything.  And it is hard.  Being 26 is hard.  I don't mean to say that other times in life aren't equally difficult, but I am kind of done with my twenties.  So over them.  I think older people forget what their twenties were like.  What it was like to be moving from one family to your own life.  What it is like to plan your career and figure out the details.  What it is like to have only a pocket full of experience in the cargo pants of life. I'm trying not to wish my life away, because that is not at all what I want.  I just want to know that it is all possible.  That I can do what I see other people doing.  That I am not alone.  

Sorry if this post was kind of a downer.  I just needed to get it out there to you, The Internet, my support.
I am working on a short post about my weekend in San Francisco, and will have it up soon.  In the meantime, enjoy the pictures of Arrow, climbing a very steep and curvy hill, with me following right behind him.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Yippie Skippie

I'm heading out this afternoon for my long weekend at Millennium Tower in San Francisco.  I am uber excited.  I know there will be many photos and stories to come.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Ramblings (Stream Of Consciousness)

Last week I discovered that I am allergic to eggs. I had omelets twice that week and both nights were awful. I couldn't sleep due to excruciating and debilitating intestinal pain. I realized that I had not eaten eggs in six months, since I started Jenny Craig. Clearly an allergy. Then I cut up a hard boiled egg on Thanksgiving and broke out in a rash. So now I can't eat or touch eggs.

My mom and I put up the Christmas tree last weekend. The tradition is to talk about the origins of each ornament as we place it on the tree. We also put National Lampoons Christmas Vacation on the TV. The day isn't complete without the Griswolds.

I'm really getting back into painting, and it is wonderful to have the time to be creative.

I'm still doing a bunch of walking with Arrow. It's really cute to see how excited he gets when I put on my running shoes and get out his necklace (collar). He bounces with joy the whole time. We do a three mile loop with tons of hills. I think that three miles in my neighborhood should count as six miles because of altitude and sheer steepness.

My mom is currently campaigning for Mother Of The Year. She came to me one day and said, "how would you feel about spending a few nights at Millennium Tower around Christmas?" Is there any other answer to this question than YES!? So next weekend we are going down to San Francisco for some mother daughter shopping and taking in the holiday festivities. I'm sure I will come back with tons of pictures.

I am scheduled to take the GRE on December 17th. I am crazy stressed about this. I plan on taking it again in January to see if I can get a higher score. I am not looking forward to the math section at all. I am also freaked that I will study a bunch of vocabulary and then I wont know the ones on the test.

I got my hair cut and highlighted, and it is now about three inches shorter and I have side swept bangs. Here's a picture of the crazy Lady GaGa-esque foil creation that my stylist inflicted on me. All I could think was, GaGa ooh la la.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Awesome Typos

Do yourself a favor and go visit Damn You Autocorrect

It is an entire site devoted to mishaps using smart phones when Autocorrect fills in the wrong word.  When I try to text my name on my phone it tries to replace it with either MEGHAN (I kinda like the caps lock approach but it makes me seem a little conceited) or meghaninwonderland (as if all I am is a blogger).

The top of the site also shows their other websites.  They have one devoted to strange receipts (like yesterday when my father got a receipt for a "trouble light") and one for epic WTFs.

Here are a few examples.

And a few receipts

I added a link on my sidebar under "Cohorts; blogs I read" so it is easy to access.  Just try not to laugh when reading these.  My stomach muscles actually ache from laughing so hard. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Second Base

So, apparently there is a big "scandal" right now with airport security. And please picture me doing air quotes when I say "scandal". You know, the kind of "scandals" that FOX News creates and then backs up in its future broadcasts. It seems that some people are offended by the "enhanced pat down" procedures. Yep, more air quotes. I experienced these new procedures when leaving Dulles to head home from the rally in D.C.

Here's the story. The TSA agent (a cute guy about my age) "randomly" selected me for a screening. (Just get used to the air quotes. It's how I express my irony). I say "randomly" because it became clear that he just wanted to chat me up. So I was put in plexiglass prison for about five minutes while he asked me what my sign is (not really that line, it's not the 90's, but you get the point). From prison I went to the "formal pat down area" with a female TSA agent. The pat down took about another 3 minutes, about equal to the time it takes me to put my shoes back on after the security check. I have to put them on standing up and inevitably end up doing the sideways hop trying not to fall down while simultaneously tying my shoes. Don't judge, you've done that dance.

Anyway, during the pat down I asked cousin Karen to take a picture of me. The picture was supposed to be funny, but I'm considering sending it to FOX News as "evidence" of "molestation". Can't you just see the pain on my face?

My point - and there is one - is that the complainers should grow up, grow a pair, suck it up, put on their big girl panties, and put things in perspective.
Not necessarily in that order. "Thank You".

Friday, November 19, 2010

Holy Published Photographer, Batman!

You read right.  One of my photographs was published in California Homes Magazine's November issue.  It still doesn't seem real.  It is the full page picture of the party table.  If you would like a copy and don't know where to find one, just email me.

Oh, and that buzzing sound?  It's my brain trying to wrap itself around this.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tomorrow, And Tomorrow, And Tomorrow

I didn't post anything for Veteran's Day this year, I just had a lot to do. It's not that there are no Veterans in my family, there are quite a few, I just had a lot to do. Perhaps I would write something tomorrow or the next day.

Tonight on the NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams interviewed the newest Medal of Honor recipient, Sgt. Giunta. Giunta said that his fallen comrades were the real heroes because "they gave up all of their tomorrows".

I don't like these wars or who started them or who funded them. I don't like what they have done to yet another generation of American men and women.

Despite all of that, you can't deny that many people "gave up all of their tomorrows".

I sometimes think of comedian Mike Birbiglia, who in his act said that he respects the troops because "without them, I would be the troops".

Here are a few of my troops. They made it back. And I have more tomorrows to come.

July 1945.  My Grandfather and Grandmother on the Rockefeller Center Roof Studio.  He was on leave and had not yet met his 11 month old son.  His son went on to serve as well.  

January 1931.  My Great Grandfather who, at 14 years old, forced his mother to forge his papers so he could join the Navy and fight in WWI.  He went on to serve in WWII and in Texas law enforcement.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Recently, a few people have asked me how my weight loss journey is going.  The answer is that it is going well!  I have actually just stopped Jenny Craig after six months on the program.  The two main reasons were the financial cost and, well, eating the same food for six whole months.  As I stop, I am going to phase into Weight Watchers again, just to keep my momentum going.

Sometimes I will plateau at a weight and get frustrated.  For example I will be within one pound, up or down, from a certain weight and not move much otherwise.  There are a few things that I do when I feel this frustration setting in.  One is that I exercise.  I walk about 12-18 miles a week, 3 miles at a time.  Getting my endorphins flowing is key.  The second thing that keeps me going through the frustration is remembering that even one pound up or down from a certain weight is roughly 50 pounds down from my highest ever weight.  Now, that's not in the past year, just over probably the past 3-4 years.  I ended up losing about 30 pounds on Jenny Craig and remind myself how far I have come.

The final things that keep me going, vain as it might sound, are your compliments and support.  Without all of you cheering for me and telling me how nice I look (or not recognizing me at first and doing a double take) I would not be here.  So from the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

For a comparison.  Here are two pictures, one from May 2008 right after I graduated college and went on my Europe trip, and the second you know from the sidebar.  Look what you helped me do...

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I thought I would just share a few leftover stories from my D.C. trip that didn't really fit into any post but that I thought you might like.

The estimated number of rally goers was 200,000 or more. Each of which came with a cell phone/smart phone/iPad, etc. So many people were trying to call friends to tell them about the rally or send pictures that the cell towers crashed. I know AT&T and Verizon and Sprint were down and suspect others were too. You haven't seen funny until you have seen over 200,000 people realize they have no cell service. People were looking around as if it was the end of days.

After the rally and a long day of sightseeing we left dinner to head home on the Metro. I said to my travel mates "I'm fine as long as I'm horizontal", meaning "get me to a seated position as soon as possible". My cousin, seven years older, and quite quick witted and a meanie, took that little slip up and ran with it. It will be a while before I live that one down.

I flew Southwest Airlines on this trip and was happy that I did. I know they like their crews to be funny and sometimes they are, and sometimes it feels forced. Well, I flew back on Halloween and was so glad that I did. First, here are a few quotes from our flight attendants on that flight.

"If the oxygen mask falls and you are traveling with a small child, place the mask on your child first. If you are traveling with more children, pick your favorite and work your way down."

"Please be careful removing objects from overhead bins, as they tend to shift during flight. And as we all know, shift happens."

And after a bumpy landing "Ladies and gentlemen, that wasn't the pilot's fault or the crew's fault. It was the asphalt."

And I saved the best for last. Everyone received one free "adult beverage" on the flight. Little did we know that nothing is really free. Anyone who fell asleep on the flight was a slumbering victim for the crew. The flight attendant would come up to anyone sound asleep and wrap them up, mummy style to their seat, with toilet paper. Watching that person wake up was the purest form of entertainment.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Remember Hayden?  I photographed him as a newborn and through the next couple of months.  Well here is a video his mom just sent me.  In the video his mom is throwing a tennis ball for the dog while Hayden's uncle films.  It cracks me up every time.


Monday, November 8, 2010

A Post Rally Tour Of Our Nation's Capitol

After the rally Javan, Karen and I grabbed a much needed lunch at Union Station. Once we had refueled we decided to go on a double decker open top bus tour of D.C. That seemed like the best way to see as much of the city as possible without using our aching legs any more than absolutely necessary. That turned out to be one of our better decisions on the trip. We rode around the city and saw everything from Ford's Theatre and the National Archives to Georgetown and Embassy Row.

We hopped off the bus at the Lincoln Memorial, one place on the tour that I wanted to go inside for photos. We had obviously seen the Washington Monument earlier in the day, but seeing it at night and mirrored in the reflecting pool was spectacular. We went up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, which was much more crowded than I had expected, and on the way passed the spot where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his "I have a dream" speech. We were walking in the footsteps of history. Somehow, the interior of the memorial was just as I had pictured it. The seated statue of Abraham Lincoln, luminous white against the golden stone around it, was breathtaking in its solitude.

After leaving the memorial we decided to go find some dinner. We ended up around the corner from G.W. University at a fun bar/restaurant. A drink and burger each later, we wound through the streets toward the Metro station. A pre-Halloween Metro ride in the G.W. area certainly was interesting. It's not often you can say you rode the subway with Chilean Miners, Alice in Wonderland, Vampires, The Cat in the Hat, and Death. We took the Metro back to Virginia where Liz's mom picked our tired butts up and took us home. It was late and we were tired, but not too tired to recount our day for the others and live it all over again.

All in all it was a great trip and I feel lucky to have gone with these amazing people.

The Capitol Building

The dome in profile

Karen and Javan

Overlooking Rock Creek Park, where all the murders on crime shows based in the D.C. area take place

This sums up their personalities perfectly

Sunset over Georgetown

National Cathedral

I've got mad picture taking while standing and in motion skills

Washington Monument and reflecting pool

The inscription above Lincoln's statue

Our 16th President

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Rally To Restore Sanity - It Was Insane!

We woke up early on Saturday morning ready to get on the road, after some coffee at least. Liz drove us (me, my cousin Javan, his wife Karen, and Liz's boyfriend Pablo) to her friend's apartment in the Dupont Circle area of D.C. After getting a bit lost, my iPad map had us back on track. We left the car at the apartment, picked up a handful more people, and left for our long walk to the National Mall. It's a 4 to 5 mile walk, but was good to get to know our new friends and see a bit of D.C. at the same time. My legs weren't so happy the next day though. Once we hit about 7th street at Constitution we got separated from the rest of the pack. Javan, Karen and I stuck together and headed up the Mall toward the Capitol Building to find an area to stand. The crowd was spectacular. Roads around the Mall were closed off to cars for blocks and there was an absolute sea of people. We slowly worked our way up the Mall and found a relatively good spot to stand where we could see one of the Jumbotrons and could hear pretty well. We were right by the Smithsonian and it was cool to see the number of people watching from the steps of the museum, or on the roofs of other buildings. We saw some cool signs, watched a few guys climb trees (with people chanting "yes you can, yes you can!" as they climbed), and waited for the show to start.

I won't detail every moment of the rally, you can watch the entire thing on Comedy Central, but I will give you a few highlights. Doing the wave as commanded by the Mythbusters was pretty cool. We were all just lemmings at that point, doing whatever ridiculous thing they said. The music was great (The Roots, Sheryl Crow, The O'Jays, Cat Stevens, Ozzy Osbourne, and Tony Bennett). The Ozzy/Cat Stevens bit was particularly funny. Then came the moment we had all been waiting for, Jon Stewart came on stage. The crowd went absolutely wild, but in a very civilized way. Then Stephen Colbert made his appearance via an underground elevator a la the Chilean miners. It was spectacular. From then on we watched in awe as those two went through their bits, as we listened to a poem from Sam Waterston, and other great guests too (like Anderson Cooper's tight black T-shirt). And just like that the rally was over. Looking back, the most amazing part of the entire rally was how civilized everyone was. In a crowd of 250,000 - 300,000 people (or 75 angry, stoned, drunk, white guys if you listen to Fox news) you would expect to have some bad behavior. However, from everything I could see, everyone was pretty well behaved. People were polite, I heard lots of "pardon me" and "could you move your sign please? Thanks!". If someone started to irritate me (like the woman trying to push an enormous stroller through the packed crowd) I remembered why we were all there and it's not sane to be a jerk. I am so glad that I get to say I was there. It was a once in a lifetime experience.

Our view, with awesome signage

Countdown to Sanity

Me and Karen

I also saw "God Hates Figs"

View of the stage

This lady saw me trying to take a picture of her sign and made sure people were not in my way.  Sanity.

The steps of the Smithsonian

The stage up close

Javan and Karen

A rally sign referencing NPR, perfect.

Next up: A Post Rally Tour Of Our Nation's Capitol.