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.

Should I Stay Or Should I Go Now?

Let's see, where should I start? The beginning, I suppose, is most appropriate. Thursday was my last day at work, which I guess means I'm starting at the end. It felt amazing and weird at the same time when I turned off the lights in my office for the last time. I jumped in the car, turned up my music and smiled all the way home. That feeling helped me know that I had made the right decision in leaving. It's moments like that, when we turn our brains down and let our hearts speak to us, that we see the truth.

I went home and started packing for my trip to Washington D.C. for the Rally to Restore Sanity. Because of the timing and nature of this trip I didn't have time to over-think or over-plan, which for those of you who know me, know it's unusual. It was very freeing to barely know my itinerary and not care if I didn't pack perfectly. Anyway, I left Sacramento around noon Pacific time and arrived at Washington/Dulles at about 11pm Eastern time. Definitely a full day of travel. My iPad was a huge help on the flights. But more than that, I enjoyed the alone time. I could talk to an interesting fellow passenger if I wanted to, but could stick in my ear buds and close my eyes and feel completely alone as well.

I stopped in Las Vegas and Denver, but I actually like layovers rather than non-stop flights. Plus, if I hadn't stopped in Denver, I wouldn't have met one of the coolest 8-year-olds ever. Annika and her family were also flying from the Bay Area to the rally. When she sat next to me she told me her name and that she was "a big talker". Her poor father looked, well, like he had been flying with an 8-year-old all day, so I pulled out my iPad and let Annika play with it. We played games for about three quarters of the flight until I took a break to read a book. Her father nearly gave me a medal as I left the plane and Annika told me I was her new best friend. Oh, I failed to mention why Annika was so cool. She was going to the rally dressed as a zombie tea partier. How awesome is that? If she is the future of the country, I'm not worried.

I met up with my cousin Javan and his wife Karen at baggage claim at Dulles and then we waited to be picked up by our host, Liz. We all took over her house in Virginia, which was awesome. The icing on the cake was her dogs. I kept threatening to take Sergeant, the 14-year-old beagle home in my bag. My cousin tried to do the same with rowdy heeler Capone. After getting settled, we went to bed early. Early in the morning that is. Around 1am. Again, it was great to let go of how many hours of sleep I needed or what my schedule was. Liz and I talked much of the evening away and came to the conclusion that we were separated at birth. New city, new friends, new experiences, new priorities, new Meghan.

Flying into Denver

Multi-purpose bathrooms at the Denver airport

 Karen and I outside Liz's house



Next up: The Rally To Restore Sanity. It Was Insane!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Arrow Voted. Did You?