New new cartoon-inspired hair

before hair cut

before hair cut

I’ve been dying to cut my hair for a while. But I kept it long for costume purposes, and then for Maui purposes (it’s easier to put up when it’s long). But I finally had no reason to keep my hair long. And with the temperatures in LA hitting the high 80s and 90s, I couldn’t wait to chop this shit off.

So I showed my hair stylist a freaking cartoon hair style that I really love and she did her best to re-create it… Continue reading

Father’s Day, Fitbits, and financial anxieties

UntitledIt’s fitting that today is Father’s Day, as I find myself a sniveling, crying, shaking, scared mess, literally crying out “I just want my dad!” This car situation isn’t getting better, in fact I’m even more freaked out. SO freaked out that today, on the day my friend who used to be a car salesman was going to be take me car shopping, I woke up totally fucking sick. Stressed-induced sickness — it’s a thing.

This whole car bullshit couldn’t come at a worse time. I just shelled out a sizable chuck of my savings to pay for a new laptop, and I’m still feeling the pinch from that. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to take a vacation this summer until I found a good price on Maui airfare. So I bit the bullet and splurged a little, which I now regret. And I just had to take a significant reduce in pay, but not necessarily workload. And now my car has decided to crap out on me, forcing me to decide — during this already stressful and confusing time — to invest in a car that I’ve outgrown, or decide to get a new one ASAP.

On top of this, I’m struggling with a lot of guilt. Working for the Empire we constantly have to think about “checking our privilege.” (So much so that it’s become a running gag — I laugh to keep from crying.) So during one of my panic attacks last night, I cried to Aaron that I know I’m being an asshole. Talk about “check your privilege”… I’m totally upset that I have to decide between spending money I do have to keep a car that I still like, or spend money that I can somewhat afford on a newer car. Boo fucking hoo, right?

To which Aaron replied that I shouldn’t be so hard of myself. This clearly IS hard for me. I’ve never bought my own car before. I’ve never spent this kind of money before. And I’m also dealing with a lot of other financial issues at the same time. I have to remember that sometimes, even though — yes, there are totally worse things a person could have to deal with — I need to be kinder to myself. Me feeling shitty and then telling myself that I should feel shitty for even feeling shitty, isn’t going to help my anxiety. Which is totally something my therapist was helping me work through.

Of course, I just canceled my therapist to make up for the loss of income, so I’m a fucking mess.

Anyway… let’s write about other things… Continue reading

Why I ultimately rejected the garden that I thought I wanted so much

Aaron's ominous garden plot photo.

Aaron’s ominous garden plot photo.

For my birthday last year, Aaron proposed to get me a plot at a community garden, siting my love of plants. At first my reaction was “Aw, what a thoughtful idea.” And then my reaction was that of dread. After sitting with the idea for about a month, putting off his suggestions of going and checking out garden plots every weekend, I realized, there’s something wrong here. I don’t want this. Why not?

Then I realized… it’s because I dread the idea of having another thing to take care of. I already have a husband and therefor a marriage to maintain, two dogs and a cat, two websites and a career, a two-bedroom apartment, two cars, several houseplants, and myself. I just didn’t want more living things that need my attention and care on my plate. I look at my weekly schedule, and there’s ONE day in the week where I don’t have an appointment of some kind for either my mental or physical health, my relationship, or my job.

At first I felt bad for rejecting what would have been a sweet birthday gift that would possibly give my husband and I a project to work on together. Aaron has since went on to get a garden plot for himself and he seems to be enjoying it. But I admit it, I’m glad I don’t have to scurry off to damn near Downtown LA with him after work, or instead of breakfast with friends, to tend to it.

I tell myself that, when I finally get that home I’ve been craving, I’ll create some space in the yard for a garden then. That way, even though it will be another THING to take care of, I at least won’t have to sit in traffic in order to do so. I’ll lump that into the “houseplants” category of “bitches that need my TLC.” And I’ll be happy that it’s my own garden in my own private space where I can garden bra-less and in my jammies if I want.

This post was inspired by watching my sister and brother-in-law chase and wrangle their daughter from sun-up to sun-down. Just watching them is making me all kind of stressed out and anxious. I sit back and think, “Thank GAWD that isn’t me.” And then I realize that, yes a garden is not like a human child, but it helps me to realize that I ultimately made the right choice in having one less thing to take care of. I think I made the right choice, and I no longer feel bad for rejecting the thoughtful gift from my husband.

Besides, then he bought me fossils for Christmas and they make me ridiculously happy — no care necessary.

Things. Are. Happening!

Since my days of private journaling I’ve had the habit of writing less when the most was going on in my life. I don’t know why that is. You’d think I’d be thrilled to write about all the things that are happening, as I finally had interesting shit to say. My theory is that, much like when Mark Twain was in Maui and expressed that he found it all just too beautiful to waste time writing about it, I just want to spend my time enjoying the moments as they are instead of worrying about how to recount the event.

That all being said… THINGS. ARE. HAPPENING! in my life. In a short amount of time I was:

Phew, that’s feels good to finally get off my to-do list. Originally ALL those things were going to be individual blog posts. But seeing as how, as I write this, I’m also having an IM conversation with Ariel about how there’s too much on my plate at the moment. It’s no surprise that my personal blog (and achievements) are getting swept aside. Things have definitely calmed down now… just in time for holiday madness to start!

Holidaaaay maaaaaadnessssssss…

Definitely Not the Opera links

20120615-123106.jpgIf you’re interested in hearing me sound like a sick, squishy, phlegm-bot on National radio, here are some of the ways you can do exactly that!

Apparently, I have the very last word on tomorrow’s Definitely Not the Opera’s “smiling” segment. I’ll be on just a little past 3:20 for anyone listening live, for those of you listening after-the-fact, it’ll be in the last 8 minutes or so.

  • If you’re in Canada you can catch my story tomorrow on CBC Radio One across Canada.
  • If you’re in the U.S. and wants to listen live, there is live streaming of CBC Radio here.
  • The easier way to hear it outside Canada, though, is via their podcast. That’ll be available, as of Saturday, June 16th, here.
  • Or you can get it in a chaptered version (so you can skip item-to-item) from iTunes here.

In the meantime, you can also check out some of the smile-troversy photos in action on Definitely Not the Opera’s website!

The duality of year 30

I’m in such a strange place right now. I had a feeling that my 30th year would be significant in some way. But I never thought that it would be this wonderful and this painful at the same time. I never thought that ANYTHING could. It’s almost like I’m living two different realities at the same time.

In one life, everything is going better than I could have ever imagined, (because I’m too much of a realist sometimes). I’m living the dream of working at a job I love. I have a committed life partner, and we live in a building with some of my best friends. I’m exercising more and my body is feeling better for it, plus my trainer has become a good friend. I go on hikes at least once a week with some of my other closest friends. I feel like I’m taking more advantage of the city I live in, and that’s making me hate it less. And I’m making more money than I’m spending, so that means I’ve started saving up for my future. I couldn’t ask for anything else!

In my other life, my relationship with my husband is falling apart. We still love each other, but we’re no longer happy with each other. And this hurts beyond words. I believe my the success from my other life has a lot to do with it, along with other circumstances. I know that he’s not happy with me for many other reasons, and vice versa. But the point is, I’m beyond depressed about the seeming dissolution of the one thing that I thought to be solid, dependable, and constant.

So inside, I’m a depressed mess — the tears never seem to stop, the bad feelings never seem to fade, nothing seems to help, and it feels like there’s no one I can talk to about it. But on the outside, I’m happiest I’ve EVER been.

I didn’t even know a state like this could be possible.


Oh mah gawd y’all, I’m SICK. Right now my brain feels about three sizes larger than my skull and this sinus pressure has built up so much I fear my eyeballs will burst from their sockets. Not to mention the snot — omg, the contant flow of snot, which is actually better than when it’s so backed up it’s as if I’m wearing a snorkel mask.

I’ve at least staved off a trip to the ER since my family saved my late grandfather‘s nebulizer and albuterol for me! (That’s me using it in the photo.) I’ve had to use it twice, which is relatively normal for when I get sick. I’m just stoked to not have to pay a butt ton of money to do these treatments at a hospital. Thanks family!

I think the worst of it was yesterday, though. Which meant that I couldn’t take my dad out for his birthday like I wanted to, OR go see Aaron play a Big Dick show with a bunch of other awesome bands, OR crash an Avengers-themed party being attended my Joe, Ken, and a Mythbuster! And I’m feeling pretty low.

But this guy has been with me the entire time — sleeping next to, or on me while I’m sick in bed, and just being the best “nanny dog” he can be. Now if only he could make me soup and take himself for walks.

Rings and hairs: switching up styles

I change my wedding rings like I change my hairstyles — OFTEN. This week I changed both! Wanna see ‘em?

Here’s what my ring used to look like:

All vintage and pretty and EXACTLY what I wanted when I found it. But over the years I stopped wearing the engagement ring and instead wore various wedding bands and rings that I had accumulated (original engagement ring, my wedding band, and a ring I got for doing an Offbeat Bride ad) but NEVER the pretty vintage engagement ring. I just noticed that my tastes had changed and I was drooling over more modern styles. So I decided to change it up!

Here’s how the ring looks now:

Updated e-ring porn! Used to be a vintage setting, now it's more space-y
I love it! It goes with all my wedding bands and various rings, to the point where I’m switching up which rings I wear every day now. Oh, and did I mention it cost me NADA!? I traded my old ring to have this custom made, and that was that. FUN!

Speaking of fun. Let’s talk about my hair. Continue reading

Megan’s Offbeat Home food challenge

THIS is my idea of the perfect meal: a HUGE pizza and beer.

I always say, the biggest mistake Aaron and I made in our marriage was NOT marrying someone who cooks. We both have TERRIBLE eating habits and no skills when it comes to cooking. I happen to love eating food, I just don’t happen to love creating food. Aaron is one of those people who, if he could, he’d just take a pill in order to get all his nutrition — he has no love of food and hardly any time to eat anyway. If either one of us married someone who knew how/loved to make meals, we’d be so happy. So folks, if you’ve got a partner who loves to cook, CHERISH THEM.

I just came back from an Offbeat Empire work retreat on Bainbridge island. Part of the deal with the trip was that we would all take turns making each of the meals. As I know there’s no Trader Joe’s on the island, my go-to meal of frozen pizza and pre-packaged salad was NOT going to be a possibility. Barring that, I got NOTHING when it comes to feeding the masses. So I offered this up:

Also, reminder to anyone who is partnered with me — I’m more of a hinderance then a help in the kitchen. So, if you don’t want to have to instruct me like you would a toddler when it comes to making food, I’m MORE than happy to pay for everything we (you) need if you’re more than happy to turn it all into food.

Which then got turned into useless Megan does all the dishes, while the other, competent, Empire workers created the edibles.

I was MORE than happy with that arrangement. I washed and cleaned and, in turn, ate wonderful things like grilled cheese and pear finger sandwiches, pancakes, black beens and homemade tzatziki and dutch babies for breakfast. My stomach gurgles just thinking of it all.

Today Ariel contacted me with an idea for an Offbeat Home post

Cat provides meal plans/recipes for you.
Megan: HA!
Ariel: You document your experience.
Megan: that would be hilarious.
i would totally try that

And so it’s looking like, starting next week, I will be totally trying that! I’m going from eating like this…

Breakfast: toast
Lunch: pre-packaged salad or turkey sandwich
Dinner: frozen pizza or frozen beef and broccoli

To something like this:

* Three meals + 1 snack + 1 sweet/dessert each day
* Prep time must be less than… 30min

I’m thinking that if Aaron or Coco (or anyone else that knows how to run a camera and possibly edit!?) are around while I’m attempting this experiment, I’ll have them capture video. Because that way, even if I fail at my meal attempt, at least will get some HILARIOUS footage. Possibly including panicked shopping trips? ;)

So stay tuned to Offbeat Home and see what comes of this idea.

Taking a break

In a rare moment of Seriousness, I’m gonna admit something that I don’t generally share. I suffer from anxiety attacks. Mostly they just keep me from going out sometimes, and for a few years, keeping me from grocery shopping without the aid of an iPod and therapeutic tunes. But lately, and because of some life turmoil, those little mini attacks have turned into Full Blown Attacks.

The other night I had a complete panic attack — you know, not being able to breathe, feeling like a heart attack is eminent, clutching onto that poor guy I married and not being able to let go. And the only way I calmed down was when I took an anti-anxiety pill that was prescribed to me by my dentist in ’06. (Found it in amongst the dog’s meds after a mad search!) Oh so dramatic, I know.

The thing is, they’re not going away. And they come on with no warning. Due to the similarities between them and an asthma attack, I keep hitting my inhaler because the placebo affect works, so that means I have quadruple the amount of steroids coursing through my body, which means my heart rate is increased, which means that that it’s stressing me out more than usual. And all this is stressing Aaron out as well.

Aaron suggested that I take a break — a vacation to relax. So, this Sunday I’m heading over to my favorite island in the world and I’ve been ordered by both Aaron and Ariel to — get this — NOT WORK next week.

Not work!?

This is going to be hard. The only time I haven’t worked at all was in 2009 when I went on the houseboat trip that had NO WIFI access. The only time since ’09 that I took a bit of a break was when I was on a camping trip with my boss — who had to yell at me and then demand I separate myself from my beloved iPhone so that I wouldn’t sneak check emails.

Let’s all be honest here, I’m going to Maui and it’ll just be my parents and me in a location that I’ve been to so often that it’s like a second home, so I’ll probably have a LOT of down time where I will still work on things here and there. BUT Aaron has asked me not to work, so I will try my best not to.

Things I WILL try to do while on Maui:

* Stay off my laptop as much as possible.
* Read
* Go to the beach and just close my eyes
* Swim
* Work on improving myself
* Work on relaxing so that when I come back home I won’t be such a basket case.
* TRY not to obsess over the things that are getting me down.
* Have a few island-y cocktails
* Go for long walks
* Just freaking breathe — asthma free bonus!

Does anyone else have any advice for me on how to manage these panic attacks?