Category: Offbeat Empire Page 1 of 2

Freaky Friday: New name, new site, who dis?

It’s fitting that on Friday the 13th I should wake up to, as Mike called it this morning, the first day of the rest of my life. It was my very own Freaky Friday…

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I went searching in The Funk archives for a post and stumbled upon an old draft (title included) containing a NSFW work conversation between Ariel and myself that I never published back in 2012. Maybe for obvious reasons? But I feel like it’s a good time to dust this one off and enjoy it…

Why now? Because, after almost a decade working for The Offbeat Empire (I started before it was a tongue-in-cheek Empire, just Offbeat Bride), I am finally leaving the loving arms of my boss and close friend Ariel Meadow Stallings.

The weird thing is, I don’t actually have any other job I’m switching to. It’s just that, after almost ten years, and only working part-time now, it felt like time to move on and see what else is out there for me.

It’s exciting, but mostly terrifying. I barely remember what life was like before The Empire. And the little I do remember, work-wise, was bleak. But then I remember that blogging wasn’t even a job when I was growing up. And I had no idea that my perfect career could even be a career when I graduated college. So who knows what will happen next, my next job may not even be A Thing yet.

Actually wait no, it’s mostly sad at this moment…

I’m wonderfully not leaving the Empire because of any negativity at all. In fact a large part of what was keeping me there was the fun social aspect. I’m sad that I’m not going to be involved with the hardcore community of Offbeat Empire readers, and that I’m going to miss out on ridiculous work conversations like this one that I never posted back in 2012:

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Part-time Empire, full-time freak out

Part-time blogger...

Part-time blogger…

In “big work shifts that the internet will probably never even realize, but I’m totally freaking out about” news: I’m going down to working part-time on the Offbeat Empire.

That idea is insane and terrifying to me. This means I’ll be making a fourth of what I made this time last year. Thankfully, I only need (just about exactly) that to live. Now that I live with Mike, and I only have to pay for myself, and turns out, I live really really cheaply.

After panicking for a month, I’m finally calm enough to see this is a good thing, and get excited about what my future holds.

I had to think back and remember that in 2008 — when the economy tanked, and I lost my social media optimizing job, and there weren’t many prospects out there for an un-tested college grad, and all seemed lost — I never expected that the un-paid internship I applied for would one day become the World’s Greatest Job and help support myself, at times my partner, and help me build up some savings.

Backing up even more…

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Breaking news: Tina Fey reads Offbeat Home/thinks I’m hilarious

Apparently Tina Fey reads Offbeat Home & Life!

As I said on Offbeat Home

Okay, whatever Tina, I forgive you for thinking that our site is “mom stuff,” because you’re one of my heroes. And I’ll forgive you for making fun of our posts about sexuality (or the lack thereof), and not realizing how amazing our site is because of them, because you’ve fought so hard for feminism.

But mostly I forgive you, because I truly want to believe that I made Tina Fey laugh with my choice of amazing illustrating photos!

Tina Fey and Seth Myers talk about Offbeat Home

Much like how Tina makes her kid’s birthday parties about herself, I am going to make this news about myself: Tina Fey thinks I’m hilarious. That should be the over-all positive take-away on this story. I think we can all agree on that.

As one of my friends put it, this is “Nerd Writer Celeb Nirvana.” So, if you need me today, I’ll be running around my neighborhood screaming “TINA FEY LAUGHED AT SOMETHING I DID!” And then high-fiving a million angels.

Death, drama, and dating: The only time my awesome job sucks

This dead cockaroach is saying what I was thinking last night.

Do you know what’s bound to happen the moment I go on a date, my editor Catherine goes to a movie, and my boss Ariel is on vacation with ZERO data on her phone and no internet connection? The post that went viral all day long yesterday — the one that had (miraculously) no drama for the amount of traffic it was bringing in, lulling us into a feeling of internet stranger security — will absolutely erupt in controversy.

Or as a friend of mine put it: “What a surreal world when you’re like ‘excuse me dinner date but I’m not sure if this bride’s husband really died, and I have to go handle the unfolding Australian drama.’ Very few people said that sentence last night you know. ;)”

As part of my job, I wrote about the whole Offbeat Bride commentroversy/drama over on Offbeat Empire. Check it out if you want a dose of internet WTF-ery.

Supporting marriage equality through language on the Offbeat Empire

Altar your thinking, and watch your language.

Altar your thinking, and watch your language.

Maybe I’m overly sensitive, but the fact that I have just been visually assaulted by two gender-normative, wedding-related bullshits in the mere matter of minutes has really pissed me off. One was website selling “wedding blessings” to “celebrate the marriage of a man and woman…” And one was on Pinterest: a book titled “Prayers for your future husband” pinned under “for my daughter.”

And though it’s not surprising that both these things were religious-based — whatever — that’s not even what’s pissing me off. What is getting to me is the assumption that marriages are hetero-normative.

It baffles me that people still assume that it’s always “man and woman,” or “bride and groom,” or that your daughter’s going to marry someone’s son.

A while ago my friend Drew wrote an awesome post on that marriage equality equal sign that swept through Facebook: Don’t Let That Red Equals Signs Become a Hollow Gesture. My favorite part of it, as an editor, was this…

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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…

NPR, VWs, and OBH: all the awesome things

In order to make up for my last post being private (sorry guys, this is also my personal journal sometimes) here’s an update of ALL THE AWESOME THINGS!!!

Yesterday I enjoyed one of the coolest perks of my job — I got to go to the NPR West studios to record a story for Definitely Not the Opera, described to me as “the Canadian version of This American Life.” Apparently my Offbeat Bride post about the wedding photographer who forced us not to smile caught their attention, and they asked me to come in to record.

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Now we’re cooking

The food prep

I’m between lunch and dinner on day one of my Offbeat Home Cooking Challenge and I’m already exhausted. Between making food, writing about my experiences, and begging asking for help over the SMALLEST things, I have to squeeze in Offbeat Bride work, and, since it’s the weekend, I’m also spending time with Aaron and friends whom I never get to see.

Still, this is kind of one of the most exciting things I’ve been involved in. And I’ve been super touched by the outpouring of people who’ve gone out of their way to help. From Alex who went on a two hour shopping trip with me, to my mom who video chatted me through slicing an apple, and Ari who not only gave me farm fresh eggs, but showed me how to chop them. Thank you thank you thank you ALL of you.

If you want to keep updated on my trials and tribulations OR if you want to cook along with me, keep checking in with Offbeat Home. You can also follow me on Twitter to get real time updates.

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 both 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 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.

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