Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dodgeball

Well, I made it through 30 days of daily posts. I'd love to post an awesome and insightful summary of my month and everything I learned, but I am late for my dodgeball game, and I am worried that if I wait till after the game to post, I may not be coherent.

*Edited to add that we WON! And to fix some "typos".

Monday, November 29, 2010

Spring Creek!

From Summer 2008


Dave and I had a rare night out this weekend, with Grandmom and Grandad in town and happy to babysit. It was 35 degrees outside so we thought, "Let's ride our bikes to The Fox to see Spring Creek!" We have fond and hazy memories of Spring Creek from the Keystone Beer and Bluegrass Festival, and every time they play around town we are very sad to learn that we missed it, or that I was too lazy to go. Like I said, I don't get out much. This may have been what prompted a certain Purse Girl to say, after I stopped by her house for a drink along my bike ride to The Fox, "Wow, this is going to be a big night for you, MetaMegan. You know, going out, staying out late." I'll have you know, I used to do that 5 nights a week. I had skillz. Skillz that I was looking to test at The Fox. Oh, also Spring Creek was opening for the Emmitt-Nershi Band, which is a side project for some members of The String Cheese Incident. I don't know why I am explaining that because I think people are like, "Who?" or "OMG!!!!! STRIIIIING CHEEEEEESE." I am actually sort of in the former column, which is weird because I have heard of them, probably been to a show or two, and I was still like, "Who did you say is on after SPRING CREEEEEEEK?"

So, we stopped for drinks, biked to The Fox in 35 degree weather, locked our beautiful, beautiful bikes up out front and went in for more drinks and to find a spot to watch the show. Beers in hand, we found a great spot with a ledge for your drink on the side, etc, etc, that Dave claims in the best location. We were chatting and enjoying our date, but whenever there was a lull in the conversation, I was unable to block the conversation of the people in the area just above us which was, "One Thousand and One Pet Deaths." After a while I said, "I can't take another one. Are you listening to 1001 pet deaths?" So we moved, inexplicably, to an area that was very roomy, the very back of the room, below the sound board. The band came on, they were awesome, and immediately a very tall and wide man stood right in front of me. Dave said that we were in the tall person section and it was too bad we gave up our prime location. Reminder: Pet Death One-Upsmanship is nothing I want to be near. But the tall guy moved and we were happy. Then an even taller guy appeared, and I couldn't help but laugh. Laugh and laugh and laugh. Dave said, "Gigantism must be in the water." I said, "I thought at first he had a wooden leg, but I think that's how he dances. OMG, he is dancing a jig! It must be hard to dance when your limbs end so darn far away from your brain." Just then, he turned around, spread his arms (wingspan 10 feet at least) and said, "WHERE ARE ALL MY FRIENDS?"

We headed back to the bar and decided the following:

Mad Blue Grass Dancing Skillz: Rusty
Ability to Stay Up Later than 11:00 pm doing something other than spooning Lucy and watching Weeds (and/or working): Untested
Ability to Snidely Critique Random Strangers: Never Sharper

We got our drinks, gave up on the tall section and headed to the dance floor down in front. There, we were surrounded by a guy wearing a panda hat, Father Time, and a guy in a tuque dancing the robot. And a guy with a pretty good voice who seemed to really wish he had his own bluegrass band. Snidegasm.

When Emmit-Nershi came on, a few other members of String Cheese joined him for a few songs, and people were dying from the excitement. Panda was asked if he thought they'd play some song and he said, "THAT WOULD BE MY DREAM." I asked Dave, "What's your dream song? Something with words? Can I yell SPRING CREEEEK?" He pretended he couldn't hear me. Later I thought maybe I was being annoying, but he said I wasn't and that maybe it's good for me to get out of the house and make fun of strangers for a change.

Emmit-Nershi et all, was v. awesome though. They played a Blue Grass cover of Just Like Heaven which was amazing. Oddly, he dedicated it to those born in the 80's instead of those in high school in the 80's who were sitting at home instead of going to homecoming. Also odd? I think they had played one note when Dave had identified it as a Cure song.

It was a great night.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dogs and Babies

Running out of ideas here for blogging into the future, so I am going to go with an old standby. Awww, Bean and Jack!


Aww, Lucy and Jack!
Aww, Luke and Bean!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Craft-tastic

Last year I wanted to blog about some of the things I was making for Christmas, but then that would have spoiled the surprise. By January, I had forgotten everything. But I am now in the process of planning holiday gifts and crafts and so I am revisiting last year.

For Anthony, my nephew, and budding chef, I made an apron, and I had Dave model it:
From December2009 1


I also had the boys help me make wrapping paper:
From December2009 1


Jack and I actually already gotten a head start on that project this year.

I also made some photo books, and after Christmas I made a smock for my niece, Rose, and a sort of jacket for Hope. This year I don't have any solid plans yet, so feel free to comment with suggestions. Of course, cookies are ALWAYS on the agenda, and Laura wants to make soap. But Dave and I both had the same reaction to that: ...shudder...ew...fight club

Maybe in all my free time away from the computer I am going crazy crafting!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

I usually do a lot of Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving, and then devote December to making thousands of cookies. But so far I have purchased this many presents:0. I just made a frownie face as I typed that. I haven't even updated my excel spreadsheet with columns for each person, gift ideas, final selection, wrapped (Y/N) and shipped (Y/N). I haven't even started sewing plaid shorts for Eric in the mellow make-a-gift exchange. I decided this would be the year that I don't stress about gifts and instead of thinking really hard about what individual gift card to get for what teacher, I would just get everyone the same thing! One stop! That is as far as I have gotten. So I guess my carefree attitude has backfired because last night I dreamed it was Christmas day, and I hadn't purchased gifts for anyone. And I had to go online and order a Crabtree and Evenlyn gift basket for all 100 people on my list. Then I made up some excuses about why the gifts were late, and why lotions are really not lame and impersonal AT ALL. (This is the dream talking, not me.) I woke up groggy and upset, but that's because it was midnight and someone from work was calling me.

So I got down to business and IM'd my sister and brother and asked for gift ideas. Oddly, they suggested lotion. I guess my nightmares are telling me something.

Are you on my list, and not interested in lotion? Better comment with some ideas!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving

I know I have been a bit of a debbie downer these days, so I am working on feeling more grateful for all the things in my life that are awesome.

At bedtime with the boys I ask them to list 3 things they liked about their day. Luke is usually stumped unless we had hamburgers for dinner, but Jack goes on and on. He's thankful that I am putting him to bed, that he got to go to daycare that day, that we read stories, that he got to play. He usually gives Luke and I a lot of ideas.

The other thing I have been doing is to try to write down 5 things a day that make me happy. Coffee shows up on that list a lot. I write it in my work notebook, so it's interesting to be looking for a note and reading something like this:

Make log files bigger than 500M?
coffee, sweet puppy, pear tea, halloween candy, bacon
netstat -an | grep EST | grep 1521 | wc -l

I am writing this in advance, because I have a crazy idea that I am going to take 4 days off from the computer. (I already asked Dave to plan to be available to google things for me if necessary.)

So I am hoping to be thankful on Thanksgiving that Jack isn't throwing up all day, like last year! Regardless, I am so thankful for my family and friends, and even my job.

Happy Day Everyone!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Nuts!

Last year I sustained second degree burns in a tragic Thanksgiving Day nut caramelizing incident. This year, I decided to avoid that by
1.) Caramelizing the sugar for the caramelized nuts before Thanksgiving Day, and not while a vomitous child wants to be held.
2.) Doing 2 batches at once, so I can make the cake again before Christmas without going through the trouble twice

So I caramelized the nuts, and i even made some long strings of sugar for the kids to eat, and everything was wonderful and magical. Then I started to clean up, and the sugar was really sharp. I now have about 4 cuts on each fingertip. So here is what I am thinking. From now on: no nuts.

I've blogged about this cake before. Here, here, here, and here. Oh, and here. Each time there is some wacky thing that goes wrong, so I am glad I haven't broken the trend. Some might wonder why I keep making this cake. Easy, it's AWESOME, and if I stopped cooking/baking things that caused bodily harm, or wacky adventures, or involved gross miscalculations, then my family would starve.

Hmm, this may not be the pep talk I needed to give myself the day before Thanksgiving! On the bright side, I should have a lot of good material on Monday when I am back to blogging again. I have a crazy plan to take 4 days off from the computer, so I have scheduled posts for the next four days.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

MetaMultiTasking

Sunday afternoon I was making a leisurely, pre-Thanksgiving trip to the grocery store, forgetting things, getting stuff that wasn't on the list, back-tracking, breaking into a sweat, you know, the usual.

Then I made the mistake of turning on my phone to see what time it was while I waited in the interminable line at the deli for my 10 slices of stuffing-destined prosciutto. And what happened? I read a txt from Dave that said I needed to hurry home so one of us could pick Luke up from a birthday party, and that also, work was calling me.

Cue extreme panic attack. OMG! I was at the grocery and my phone died. PEOPLE AT WORK NEEDED ME ON A SUNDAY AND I WASNT AVAILABLE IMMEDIATELY. I decided to forget the rest of the list and get home as fast as possible. Also, Luke needed to be picked up.

So I drove home, honked the horn, Dave ran out to drive off to get Luke while I dragged the groceries in the house. I called my co-worker, got the scoop, and started unloading groceries, and logging in at the same time. And because I think I am awesome at multi-tasking, I also started composing my blog post about the whole thing. "Look at me! I can put all the groceries away in the time it takes to login to my work computer! Look at me, bringing home the bacon, frying it up in a pan and tossing off bon mots all the while!"

If my camera wasn't broken, I would have the picture that captured my (slight lack of) success. And that picture would have been taken 2 hours later, work problem still not solved, and it would be a picture of a pile of lonely groceries on the floor in the kitchen.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Avalanche

Dodd, Dave and I saw Blues Traveller in the summer of 1996 at Red Rocks. I know what year it was because I just googled (and giggled) "Avalanche Stanley Cup" and saw that the Avs won in 1996. Anyway, Dodd and Dave and I were at Red Rocks, enjoying the show, when a lady came up and grabbed Dodd by the shoulders and said, "You guys, we really need to show John Popper that we totally support the Avalanche and that we are proud that they won the Stanley Cup! So, yell Avalanche as loud as you can!"

Um, OK, why not?

So Dave yelled, "AVALANCHE!" And Dodd yelled "STANLEY CUP!" And I yelled, "FRED!" What? I was looking for my friend Fred. Then all three of us yelled together, "AVALANCHE! STANLEY CUP! FRED!" I loved the way Dodd yelled Stanley Cup because he did the "-LEY CUP" in a really low voice. That went on for the rest of the night. And by "night" I mean several years. In fact, the night Dave and I got engaged at a bar in Chicago, the Blackhawks were playing the Avalanche in some sort of playoff game, and Dodd and Dave kept yelling, "AVALANCHE! STANLEY CUP!" The fact that we knew the owner, and bartender, and had just gotten engaged went a long way that night.

Dave and I were reminiscing this weekend because Luke asked about avalanche mitigation and Jack just yelled, "AVALANCHE." We laughed and said, "You sound like Dodd." And Jack said, "Is Dodd a chipmunk?"

No, but I can imagine how his laugh would have sounded when I told him that story.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Note to Future Self


When looking back on summer/fall 2010 and wondering where all the photos are, remember that you lost your memory card, and then you bought a new one, but you broke your camera the next day, then you found your old memory card, but iphoto somehow stopped working, and would only allow you to look at one picture at a time. But, when you are too lazy to write all those great posts you have had in your head all day, you can just bang your head against the computer until one photo appears and then write a quick sentence about that. Behold: Halloween.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Centro

I got to sleep in today and it was glorious. Then we biked to Centro for brunch, and I needed a spicy breakfast since it was 28 degrees when we left the house. We bundled up pretty well, but Luke and I wished we had scarves or ski masks because our faces were freezing. But Centro was the best. I wish I could say I branched out and ordered something different, but I just got the same thing I always get: Huevos Rancheros. The. Best. Breakfast. In. Boulder. And I LOVE Lucille's, I really do. But Centro is so exactly what I want. Perfect amount of spice and sweet, perfect portions. I swear I am not saying this because the Bloody Marys are also really good.

Dave had the special, Jack had the coconut fried bananas with vanilla anglaise, and Luke had a burnt grapefruit and a quesadilla.

After brunch, we biked to the Buffs game, which the won, yea! Then biked home just before 4, when the sun was already down behind the mountain. Short days, and cold. But my huevos rancheros sustained me until we got home and I made hot cocoa.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thanksgiving Stuffing Bummer

I am busily making my menu for Thanksgiving, and I want to make the same stuffing I made last year. See, two years ago, this stuffing had major potential, but the chestnuts got overcooked. Last year, I think I solved the chestnut problem and I was so happy that all I had to do was turn to my blog to find out exactly what the solution was. Sadly, all there is is a list of things I really need to get around to blogging about, like my stuffing solution. GAH! So I guess I have to solve that problem again this year.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Getting in Shape

A few years ago, I had a subscription to Shape magazine, and every month Dave would say something about the airbrushed picture on the cover. I never really believed that the pictures were airbrushed, and I always thought that if I just worked out for 4 hours a day and cut out carbs that I could look like that too. Once, Dave pointed out how a person's abs in a picture inside the magazine looked nothing like the abs on the cover, and I started to see the light.

Then I started reading jezebel.com and their Photoshop of Horrors feature. But it got really fun when I started discussing photoshop with Laura, because she was able to do what 30 minutes of exercise a few times a week, and a diet of halloween candy could never accomplish. Behold, my snowboarding bod:


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Aaaand one more Jack's Birthday Post



I love how Lucy's tail starts wagging at the end. And about the cake... It was dry. I decreased the baking powder (3 teaspoons instead of 3,5) and the sugar (buy 1/4 cup out of 3 cups or something), but I didn't increase the liquid. Maybe that was the problem. I was pretty sad about it, but it didn't stop my from having cake for breakfast the day after Jack's birthday.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

VH1's Behind the Smile

Did you ever wonder what goes into my consistently cheesy smile? Never before seen on MetaMegan, I bring you the feature: Behind The Smile



You can see that Jack i starting to pick it up, but he isn't quite there yet.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Jack!

I think that Jack dressing as Darth Vader for his birthday definitely justifies my need to purchase these.

Happy Birthday, Jack!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Laura

My good friend Laura has a birthday today, and I am blogging in advance because as you read this I am ripping it up at Loveland to celebrate. Laura likes to celebrate at Loveland so much, she even got married there. I didn't get to see the actual event because it was exactly 2 weeks before Luke was born and I was afraid to ride a snowmobile to the top for the event. Dave was there, and he had a good time. I celebrated in the lodge afterwards. I wore black maternity overalls, which were actually adorable, but I can't even believe I thought that was fashionable at the time. And I could still zip up my winter coat at the beginning of the day. I think my coat was too small after the wedding cake though.

Speaking of cake... I stopped in Kim and Jake's Cakes today to get cupcakes for the birthday breakfast. I have been trying to go there forever, but for some reason, it's never open when I want it to be. Now I know the hours though, and I suspect I will be back. I tried a sample of a cake, and I don't know what I was anticipating, but it turned out to be a corn, jalepeno jelly, something or other combo. It was amazing. Truly spectacular. I don't think the flavor is something the kids would object to, but if they don't like it, that's fine too! More for me. I was thinking about it as I ran the next 4 errands on my list and I thought about going back to get the name straight. But I am so lazy, and I assumed I would be able to find it on their website. I am pretty happy that I have an excuse to go back, in the name of research.

Happy Birthday Laura - my present to you is a new cupcake field trip destination.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Lucy!

From 2010


This weekend is birthday-tastic! Today is Lucy's birthday, and she got some indoor dog toys for the special occasion!

Tomorrow, I am going snowboarding with Laura for her birthday, yea!!!

And Sunday I will be using my new mixer (YEA!) to prepare for Jack's birthday.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mini-Dave

Dave has a little mini-me. And his mini-me wants to play outside after dinner in the dark and cold. "Can I go outside with a flashlight and play football?" His mini-me woke me up this morning to show me the snow, because the first snowfall of the season when you are almost three is sort of like the first snowfall ever. I had only been asleep for 2 hours, but I had to "look at the snow on the van first and then look at the snow on the car." It was 6:30 this morning and there was about half an inch of snow. Mini-Dave said, "Can we go skiiing?" I said, "Well honey, I think it needs to snow a little more." Thirty seconds passed as we watched the snow fall. He said, "How about now?"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I Want Candy

We are having a slight problem with baby talk at our house, and I am trying to counteract it with giant vocabulary words. Jack knows that "dede", "geegee", and "teetee" are not acceptable and that he should be trying harder to say, "fortify", "magnificent","transubstantiation", and "existentialism" whenever possible.

Meanwhile, Luke is interested in grammar, and he just read the kid's version of Eats, Shoots and Leaves, and he cracks up at the ways a comma can make a difference. At dinner tonight we had already addressed the baby talk (baby talk is a gateway drug to potty talk, if you must know) and I was trying to get Jack to eat his dinner. I said, "Eat your beans." He said, "No! Candy!" And I said, "That's right. No candy." And Luke said, "He means, No, comma, candy."

Then we started talking about hot-chocolate, the noun that means a chocolaty drink, and hot the adjective, that describes chocolate that is very warm. Dave said in some countries, there isn't a difference, and I said that the problem with this country is that people say hot chocolate when they mean hot cocoa. And Jack said, "Momma, cocoa is a baby word and that's not ok."


* Am I mildly worried that the grammar in this blog post is terrible? Yes, but not worried enough to proofread.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sigh

I should have saved the outtakes for today! Redacted: Long boring thing about my job sucking the life out of me.

Here is a picture from our vacation stop at Black Canyon of the Gunnison, for perspective only. Not because I am imagining tossing my laptop down there at all.

From vacation2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Little Pumpkin

The week before Halloween, Luke recited "5 Little Pumkins" and I was very impressed. He rolled his eyes and said "It's not like I just heard if for the first time this week." So, if I was extremely impressed with Luke, imagine how excited I was when Jack started reciting the same poem. Poor Jack, he was running around on the Saturday before Halloween, talking about how he was going to be in a costume parade, and he and his preschool friends were going to recite the poem for the toddlers. He was very excited. So excited that I felt a twinge of guilt over blowing off the Halloween party at the daycare the day before. Oops. And without further ado, the video:



And out take number 1:



But this one might be my fave:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Planning Ahead

I'm writing this a day in advance because I want to turn off my computer and be work and internet free for an entire day. Sunday I am very happy to be going to a baby shower for a friend, and maybe I'll sneak in some shopping on my way home. I'm also thinking I'll pay off some big fines at the library (Damn you The Inheritance of Loss and your terrible boringness!) I'm also thinking I might do something crafty. And something in the kitchen. Maybe start off the day with pancakes and then take Lucy for a walk? Hmm, it's starting to sound like my plan for Sunday is to cram everything I have felt like doing for months all into one day. I'll report back on Monday to let you know how it went.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Hike


We had a perfect fall hike today at Chautauqua Park. It was about 75 degrees and sunny. Almost unbelievably nice.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Birds

From vacation2010


When we were in Ouray this summer, I was sad to see the hood of our van propped up, and Dave and Grandad peering inside. What is worse that car trouble on vacation? But it wasn't a mechanical problem. The problem was that there was a hummingbird trapped deep in the dashboard. And by "problem" I mean "horrifying situation." They couldn't get the bird out, so the only option was to let it... I can't even say it. So what is the best way to take your mind off the fact that a hummingbird is going to die a terrible death in your dashboard? Why, going for a drive to a ghost town on an incredibly steep, winding, mountain roads with no guardrails.

On the way back, Dave was driving, Grandad was in the front seat and Grandmom, Luke and Jack were in the back seat. I was in the middle row, facing backwards, when the bird flew out of the dashboard. The look of horror and surprise on Grandmom, Luke, and Jack's face was terrifying. I didn't see the bird, and could only assume Dave was driving off a cliff and our lives were over. But it all lasted about 1 second before Grandad grabbed the bird and tossed it out the window. Dave never even swerved.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lemon Heads

Luke tragically reported to Dave that he "had plenty of time to eat his lunch today. Because it all fell on the floor and had to be thrown away." He was starving and traumatized from the experience. But upon further questioning, it turns out that only the apple fell on the floor, and that 8 people tried to open his lemonheads and no one could. And that I had forgotten to pack a tube of yogurt, and for some reason he didn't drink any milk. When I was trying to get the story straight, I asked why he didn't use the scissors I pack in his lunchbox (for the pesky tubes of yogurt) to open the lemonheads. He signed and said, "I'm only school-smart."

In Jack news, I heard him saying, "Mama" in his room the other morning so I walked in there. He looked up from the stuffed animal in his arms and said, "Oh, I was just talking about you." I thought that was pretty funny, so I was sharing the story with Luke and Dave at dinner that night and they were laughing. Jack said, "I wasn't complaining about you! I was just talking about you." Very reassuring.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A New Outlook

Was I crabby yesterday? Why, yes I was. Was it obvious? I suppose. I got put in a room by myself at work today. Some might call it an office. I'm pretty sure it's temporary so I am not getting to comfortable, but I am enjoying it because it's a huge upgrade from my cube. And I did leave my mug there at the end of the day, so I suppose I'll be going back tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

File Under: Tragic. Cross Reference: Time to Job Search

This blogging once a day thing is going to be more difficult than I thought since, not only can I not take pictures, but I can't get current pictures off my camera. Yea me!

So onward to misc. Jack news: Jack can recite a poem. Adorable. No video due to the camera situation, but maybe he'll do it over the phone if you call. See how I stopped pretending that anyone besides grandparents are reading this?

Umm. In other news, all I do is work. I really need to remember what my hobbies are and become too busy to do anything but have a life, and write a blog about it.

Today my work strategy was to wear a lot of eye makeup. The plan was two-fold. 1.) It was a great way to procrastinate. 2.) Less chance I would get really mad and start crying.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bacon and Eggs and November

I was a deviled egg for Halloween. Dave was a capitalist pig. It was well into the evening before we realized we were bacon and eggs. Well into an evening during which I threatened to egg my neighbor's house via txt message. That is to say, I threatened him via txt, not that I tried to egg him via txt. Is anyone starting to think they'd prefer the Halloween picture instead of the 1,000 words? Too bad, I broke my camera. Sob.

I do have some pictures from before the incident, but I am way too lazy to cross the room and get the camera and the wire thingy. But don't worry, it's November! And I plan to blog at least once a day this month. And that often means many days with just a picture and a quick note.