Friday, August 31, 2007

Tribute to a Lost Friend

Close to three years ago, as I sat in England missing my sweet Millie, I befriended the cats of Kathy and Derek's household. In particular, Lucifer, the most un-devlish kitty you could find.

Lucifer was a stocky-but-gorgeous speciman of a cat. Born to a barn cat, Lucifer spent some time being raised by chickens (or at least curling up under them for the warmth). He meowed like a girl, snored when he slept, purred when I stroked his head, and flirted shamelessly with me. My buddy "Luce Goose" quickly became my favorite animal in the house. When I left England, I jokingly threatened to kidnap him and smuggle him back to the United States.

Lucifer died on Tuesday, after problems with his thyroid became more than his body could handle. I haven't seen dear old Luce in two years, but the loss is felt keenly, nonetheless.

Rest in peace, Lucifer, you sweet boy.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Utah pictures...

Mom, Dad and I drove to Salt Lake City on the 17th to celebrate my grandma's 90th birthday. Aunt Carolyn had a lovely family party at her house, and it was great to see everyone.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Go, Go, Go, Joseph

And, at long last, we have a theme for this year's Show Choir:

Ladies and gentlemen, it is NOT "Rent" (too racy). It is NOT "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" (too childish). After chatting with a student whose opinion is valued (in other words, one of my nicer kids), I have settled on "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."

Which means that when the UPS delivery person swings by my apartment on Wednesday, I will be the proud owner of the DVD version of the musical starring the immortal Donny Osmond, thus completing my lesson planning for our first full Show Choir class meeting.

I can hardly wait.

The good news is that while it is exceptionally cheesy, it will be a fun show for the kids, and relatively easy to stage as far as costumes and props go. Plus there are some great opportunities for solos and some truly fun moments (like a Biblical king singing Elvis-style and a calypso tune).

Ahh, the possibilities.

Friday, August 24, 2007

How Bad Does This Sound??

The Financial Times needs to think about this particular headline:

"General warns on risks of early pull-out"

Uh, yeah. : P

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My Summer Vacation

Remember elementary school? On the first day, everyone would share what they did over the summer vacation. If you wrote a paper about it, you inevitably titled it, "My Summer Vacation." The teacher gave you that assignment because everyone knows you don't actually learn anything on the first day of school except for classroom rules and where the pencil sharpener is (and even then, for most of us, it took at least a week to remember where to go when the lead got dull).

My summer vacation is winding down. I have just under two weeks until the first day back for teachers, and three weeks until the kids come back. So I decided to do my Summer Vacation Report for you all.

We all know that last year was really, really hectic and crazy for me. By the time June rolled around, I was ready to be away from the school, the kids, and singing for a few months.

School let out on June 14, but I don't really feel that my vacation started until after graduation on the 16th. My colleagues and I determined that this year, I will take the "g" out of Megan, and then I watched my seniors graduate. "God with God, my divas," I muttered under my breath as I left the school. I wish them well...and I am happy some of them are out of my life.

A few days later, I made the rush-hour drive to San Francisco to introduce Shae to the City by the Bay. It was such a great day: I finally got to meet the oh-so-awesome Shae, and showing her around a city I have loved all of my life was a lot of fun.

Two days after that, I found myself getting a little bored and thinking how fun it would be to see the Charles Schulz Museum again. So I hopped in Rosie and made the drive to Santa Rosa, paying homage to the best cartoonist ever. What a happy place!

Finally, I made the trip to Lincoln, and since then have spent most of my summer at Mom and Dad's place, making the weekly trip to Antioch to check my mail, pay my rent, and take care of other stuff. Here's a run-down, by date (pictures included):

June 23

Heather and I, in dire need of a girl's night out, met up at Crush in Roseville. A happening place, to be sure, if you're looking for the usual yuppy yahoos. Good food, a fabulous cherry lemon drop, and then it was off to go dancing.

We ended up at The Torch Club, a dive-y sort of place where some creepy guy in a Hawaiian shirt ineptly tried to flirt with Heather, while his hammered friend tried to flirt with me by touching his cold, wet drink glass against my upper arm. Sidekick was not only plastered, he was in obvious need of a shove--out of the closet.


Finally, Heather's friend showed up, and we spent the rest of the evening dancing, talking and having a marvelous time.

June 29

I met Katie and Leslie at TGI Friday's. As ever, it was fun to catch up with them, and to see baby Grace, who was born on April 1st. Conversation inevitably turns to our high school friends and escapades, and it's always fun to catch up.

June 30

There was a concert in the park near Heather's home, so we walked from her house with a picnic dinner (chicken breasts, veggies, fruit, corn bread, wine and cheesecake) and relaxed in canvas folding chairs to listen. The band wasn't very good, but we had a lovely time people-watching, and spending time with Heather is always marvelous.

July 1

I met Summer in Davis, where we had lunch at Woodstock's Pizza (they also have a restaurant in Chico, so this was a nostalgia tour). Then we wandered around, chatting up a storm and poking in the cute little downtown shops. Davis is a college town, just like Chico, so it was a fun little afternoon. I got a few pictures, of buildings and the trees:


All was quiet for a couple of days, and then it was...

July 4

I spent the holiday with my parents, as it is Mom's birthday. We went to a party the home of Mom's friend Karen. The conversation was flowing, the food was delicious (and plentiful!), and the fireworks beautiful.


July 5-8

On the fifth I drove to Antioch to spend a few days scrapbooking. I had a very ambitious project: to take all of the old, sticky-backed albums from past family trips and re-archive them in safer scrapbooks. I also did this for all four years of high school. The result is two gorgeous albums of memories, and sharing the high school book with my friends has been a great walk down memory lane.

July 11

Mom and I were hankering for some antique shopping, so Dad drove us to Sutter Creek and Placerville. We happily poked around every antique store we could find. Mom spent a small fortune on antique handkerchiefs (she's doing a quilting project with them called "hanky panky"), while I, you guessed it, looked for antique Snoopy stuff. The older the better.

Of course, no trip would be complete without my camera, and I got a few pictures of Sutter Creek and Placerville.

July 14

Woohoo!! Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was in theaters, and Heather and I were there with bells on. After a quick dinner out, we found prime seats in the theater and impatiently waited for the show to begin.

We were not disappointed. Such a great little film! Luna was marvelous, Harry was marvelous...and much of the movie was exactly as I had envisioned it while reading the book.

Of course, this was the night I had a creepy message from a guy on Yahoo personals, so the next day, I gently but firmly fired my fairy godmother.

July 16-19

Another few days of mad scrapbooking in Antioch. Every time I've gone home this summer, I've left Millie at Mom and Dad's to save her from the stress of travelling. Next week, she'll make the trip back to Antioch with me.

July 20

I proudly showed off the above-mentioned high school scrapbook to Katie and Lisa while having dinner at Chili's. It brought up a lot of great memories and stories. I'm glad I consolidated all of my albums into one big one.

Then it was Potter Madness!!!

July 21

After a few hours at my friend Pam's birthday party...

Pam the Fierce Fairy:

Pam the Fire Woman: was time to devote many, many hours to reading the last book in the beloved Harry Potter series. Then it was time to

July 27

After a morning trip to the salon to get my hair trimmed and highlighted, Mom, Dad and I drove to Antioch for the afternoon so I could check my mail and drop off my August rent check. When we got home, Heather called. She'd had a crappy week and needed a Girl's Night Out...would I be willing to be designated driver? No problem.

For the record: Streets of London Pub has a terrific atmosphere and great pub food...but on a Friday night, it's like being at a frat party. And Sacramento's Monkey Bar? It sucks. Sucks, sucks, sucks. It was NOT a happening place (and I'd heard good things). The bartender ripped Heather off. But we had fun.

The next day we went shopping, and, of course, I got sciatica. Good times.

August 4

Heather, Summer, Mom and I gathered at a tea place in Old Sacramento to celebrate my birthday. What fun!! The food was gorgeous, the tea delicious (I had an Irish Creme Earl Grey blend) and the restaurant itself as cute as can be. We had a fabulous time. The birthday girl was quite pleased.

August 9

Mom, Dad and I drove to Chico--my first time back since 2003. There are many changes, and yet it's the same. We poked around Collier Hardware and had lunch at The Bear. Then we drove up the Skyway to Paradise before coming back to Lincoln. I got some fabulous pictures of the park in Marysville that I used to drive by everytime I drove from Chico to Folsom. It was a nice little trip down memory lane...but I'm glad I'm finished with those days!

August 12

National Love Your Megan Day!! And the start of the Year of Pushing 30. Yep, I turned 29 years old. I celebrated by sleeping late, watching NASCAR (Junior's engine blew--boo!!) and going to dinner with Mom and Dad.

I got my birthday presents early this year. Mom and Dad bought me a three-year membership to 24 Hour Fitness, so I've been working out almost every day since then (I think I've missed 2 days in 2 weeks). So I didn't get any presents on my actual birthday, which was fine by me. We had cake and ice cream. It was a nice, laid-back day.


Okay, now THAT'S better!!


So here I am, blogging, and getting ready for the weekend. Friday is my Grandma Cooper's 90th birthday, so Mom, Dad and I are driving to Utah. My aunt is having a family party on Saturday. We'll come back to California on Tuesday. Wednesday I'll drive to Antioch, and there I'll stay for a while.

I'll just wrap up this blog update with some random pictures from a lovley summer:


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Me, This Summer:

I've been supremely lazy, but also busy. Yeah, I know, that's an oxymoron...and soon I'll post a blog to explain better. : )