Friday, July 29, 2011


Last Friday, as Summer and I sat at the BART station waiting to ride into the city, I pulled my camera out of my purse--and the batteries fell out.

"Oh no!" I cried in dismay. "My camera is broken!"

Turns out the latch that keeps the battery compartment shut broke--thus rendering the camera unusable, unless I could find a way to keep it shut. I turned to Summer. "Do you have any tape?"


I remembered how, a few minutes earlier, in the car, Summer had asked me to take the small first aid kit in her glove compartment out and put it in her purse. She had a blister and wanted to keep bandages on hand.

"Can I have a band-aid?"


And there you have it, folks. As Summer put it, a very MacGyver solution to my problem, which allowed me to take pictures at the mission and beyond.

Photo credit: Summer. Band-aid: Summer. Facial expression: Pure Dork.


My whole philosophy when it comes to interacting with celebrities on Twitter is that I'm not guaranteed a response, and that's fine. I've seen some people almost berate Richard of Keane for not responding to a Tweet sent his way and the poor guy always rushes to fix the situation with an makes me feel bad. The guy does have a life, and the fact that he's so talkative with the fans on Twitter at all shows us how much he appreciates those of us who follow him and buy Keane's music.

Anyway, yeah, I interact with him a lot on Twitter. Sometimes I get a response, sometimes I don't. Of course I love getting responses from him, but I certainly don't expect them, and I don't feel bad when he doesn't respond--he gets a lot of Tweets directed his way and the guy has a life.

Yesterday, he posted a picture of Tom (lead singer) he recently snapped in the studio, and of course, all of us fans got very excited. The Keane official web site has been very quiet of late. The guys are working on their fourth full album and sending out vague promises that we'd get some pictures and updates soon, but for the last few months, there hasn't been much.

I shamelessly posted the following:

Oh, yeah. I have an interview this morning--it's for an "eligibility pool" in Oakland, so there is not even a definite job, but I'm still flattered to get an interview.

Anyway, I posted this yesterday. I didn't get any sort of response and figured I wouldn't. No worries. But when I woke up this morning, it was to one of my friends in ducky madness having posted on Facebook that the first thing she saw on Twitter this morning was well, this:

(I had also directed a link his way, later, to an article I thought he'd find interesting.)

Imagine my delighted surprise. And, you know, the silly dance I did in my living room that only the cats witnessed.

P.S. Lest you think all I do is sit around Tweeting famous people all day every day, that's not true. I spend a fair amount of time on the Internet looking for jobs, promoting my eBay and Etsy shops, and working on other things. I just happen to have TweetDeck open most of the time, and Facebook as well. Multitasking at its finest!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Random Musings

I've gotten into a bit of a blogging rut lately. Either I blog about everything in one long post, or I don't blog about anything for weeks except for the bigger adventures that are mostly pictures. So I'm going to be trying something new for various reasons.

I'll be trying to post more often, but in shorter updates. Little blogs like the ones you've seen in the last few days about my return to running, or a trip to Boot Camp at the gym. As soon as I have an idea I want to write about, I will blog it.

The biggest reason for this is because I'm trying to write more in general. It's actually on my weekly to-do list. Write something. Every day. On Monday this week, I wrote a limerick. It counted. Blog posts count. Emails do not. The writing must take some sort of creative thinking, they must be expressive.

A few weeks ago, Mom gave me a cut-out from one of the hundreds of magazines she reads. Good Housekeeping is doing a short story contest, and Mom thinks I've got the required writing talent to at least enter. It's a fiction contest. I cut out the information and taped it up to my computer hutch. As I type this, if I turn my head about 45 degrees to the right, there it is, daring me. I want to do it, but every time I sit down with the intention to write, I freeze. Ideas fly out of my head and hide in corners. A blank screen stares at me.

I never was very good at writing under pressure.

So when I feel the need to write, I will do it--here at the LPB. And who knows? Maybe something will inspire me to move even further with it, and by September I'll have a short story ready to submit.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Boot Camp

Today I had another great run--I pushed myself to run for 10 straight minutes without walking, and felt pretty impressed with myself. As I approached the gym a little while later, I found a sign on the door mentioning a new Boot Camp class. I inquired at the check-in desk and found out it was set for 5:30 today. I signed up, did a few minutes on the cycle, and came home, figuring I'd go back for a little butt-kicking.

I had asked G. the Meanie about it on my way out this morning and he said, "Oh, Alex is running it. He's good. You should do it."

"I signed up."

"Good. He's really good at this stuff."

Gershom is...well, he's like me. I'm really hard on other female singers. He's hard on other trainers. So when he says a trainer is really good, that means I'm in for some hard working out.

And indeed I was. The class was one hour and we did several jumping jacks, push-ups, Burpees, lunges, squats, sit-ups, crunches, leg-lifts (including a new variation I'd never done where you balance on one buttock and an elbow and do a sideways leg-lift--KILLER), and a few other exercises for grins. Like 200 "bunny hops" without stopping. My calves were screaming. My face was purple. I was drenched with sweat.

As I walked home, my legs felt a bit jelly-like. But I just grinned and let that butt-just-kicked feeling of a really good workout spread all over me.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Meg's back in business.

First World Problem

Dear Blockbuster,

Today, the fourth disc of Season 1 of the BBC's Robin Hood arrived in my mailbox. I was quite happy. There was another expected Robin Hood disc, as well, and when I went to watch that one, I was dismayed to find that instead of sending me the fifth (and final) disc of Season 1, you had, instead, sent me the first disc of the second season.

Tell me, does this make any sense? Does anyone like watching the first episode of a season before seeing how the season before it ended? Okay, yeah, I used to know a lady who read the last chapter of each new Harry Potter book first, so there are people who are slightly twisted. But most of us aren't, and now I have to wait for that fifth disc to come tomorrow...and it really doesn't make sense.

But then, as I said in the title of this post, it's a first world problem, and I should be grateful that you didn't hike up your fees like Netflix did. Thanks for that, anyway.


Meg of the Little Pink Blog.

Wordless Wednesday -- Seven Years of Blogging, Seven Years of Homes

(In order: Folsom, CA; Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex, England; Port Ludlow, WA; Lincoln, CA; Stockton, CA. Missing: Antioch, CA.)

Holy Cow! Seven Years!

It all started here.

Seven years ago today, I wrote a short, simple post on a generic little pink blog. I figured it would be fun to document my adventures in England in one place. I got so addicted to blogging that I kept going, and going, and going some more. Seven years later, I'm still having adventures, and they are still Wild and Absolutely True.

Also, the blog is still pink. It's changed in appearance a time or two, but I can't bring myself to make it any other color, now that it's carried the nickname of "Little Pink Blog" (or LPB) for so long. The Little Green Blog or the Little Blue Blog (my favorite colors) just don't have the same ring.

In honor of seven years of blogging, I give you seven years of Meg (in no particular order)...

2004 -- Buckingham Palace

2005, with two English colleagues, Louisa and Stuart.

2006 -- On top of the Space Needle

2006 -- Butchart Gardens, Victoria, B.C.

2007 With Shae in San Francisco.

2008 With Jamie and Tiff in San Francisco.

June 2009--the weight was starting to come off.

2009--my size 18 jeans are too big!

2010 Hmm, not a bad little figure!

2010 -- My favorite picture EVER.

2010 Ben Lovett of Mumford and Sons--what a cutie!

2011 -- What, doesn't everyone take their lucky rubber ducky on job
interview trips?

2011 Maayan and Meg and the EPIC WEEK.

2009 -- Summer's "Bachelorette Night" at John's Incredible Pizza. Skee-ball!!
2010 -- World's UGLIEST scarf.

2010 -- Attempting the climbing wall and SO PROUD OF MY BOOTY.

Halloween 2008

Christmas 2004--home from England and happy to see my girl.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Run, Run, Run

On Sunday morning, I got out of bed quite early and figured it would be in my best interest to attempt a run.

You see, in the last few months, my running hasn't been so great. Oh, might as well be honest. It has sucked. I have not been making myself run very much. When I do, it's half-assed at best. Half a mile on the treadmill is not what I am capable of. I can run a whole 5K...for whatever reason (I'm still trying to figure out why my brain tells me, "Girl, you're NOT a runner..." so often), however, I haven't been able to muster the energy to make myself do it.

And I've been angry with myself.

All that hard work with Gershom last year and this is what I'm doing? A few minutes on the treadmill, and more and more substituting a good run with 15 minutes on the cycle at the gym. This is not going to keep me in shape. This is not going to keep the weight off. I can run, dammit. And I will.

So Sunday morning, after my usual breakfast of Kashi and tea, I strapped on my running shoes and grabbed my keys and my iPod. I walked out of the apartment complex and figured I may as well do the two-mile loop around my neighborhood. I reasoned in my head: "I can do strict two-minute intervals. Two minutes running, two minutes walking. I can do that for two miles!"

I got to my starting point and set off at a slow-but-determined jog. I had my "Songs For Running" playlist going. The sun was out but it was still cool and breezy and just right. When I looked at the stopwatch on my iPod, I realized I was almost at two minutes...and I felt good. So I thought, "I'll push it to three minutes." And at minute three, I still felt pretty good, so I pushed it to four minutes. Before I knew it, I'd run a five-minute interval, and at this point, I walked for one minute just because I was afraid to push it too much.

My next running interval was six minutes, followed by one minute of walking, and then a few minutes of running that took me to my "break" point--the neighborhood park. I stopped there to do a few squats on the balance beam, and to play on the swings.

I did more long running intervals on the half-mile route back to my apartment complex, and reached it in about 7 minutes. Slow, yes, but the point is, I ran most of my route that day. I was quite proud of myself.

Yesterday, I did the same route, and I even shaved about 30 seconds off my overall time. Not bad--not great, considering what I could do a year ago, but better than I've done in a long time. Even more wonderful is that this makes me want to run more. I took today off, opting to do the Stair Master and cycle instead (some lunges and squats I did at the gym yesterday left me pleasantly sore). I'll run again tomorrow, and I feel like I can really pull it off.

If I keep this up, I'll be back to 5K shape in no time. And maybe solidly back in my size 8 jeans.

Still Jobless

Every single job interview I have been on in the last crazy month has come to nothing.

I suppose I should be sitting here, wailing and asking for sympathy but to be honest, I'm too busy looking for jobs, selling crap on eBay, and Tweeting celebrities to really mind. I suppose it helps that I've had three fantastic days of working out (including a triumphant--if slow--return to running) in a row, lots of healthy meals on the new George Foreman grill I bought myself as an early birthday present ($15 on sale at Target. Nice!) and I did have a lovely adventure in San Francisco with Summer on Friday, which has kept me smiling for days.

So this post isn't to ask for sympathy--actually, I don't feel sorry for myself. I have a roof over my head, and enough food (in fact, as I type this, I'm munching on a Pink Lady apple and some mild cheddar cheese, with a just-brewed cup of tea at my right hand) and life isn't really that bad. Of course, it will be if a year from now, my benefits are at an end and I'm still without employment, so I'm hitting the ole drawing board and looking in some unusual places.

It's hard to know exactly what a Bachelor's degree in music education qualifies me before besides, you know, being a music educator, but I'm putting myself out there. I figure the worst thing that can happen is that I get a lot of doors slammed in my face. Do your worst, world. I'm ready. I can take it!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Music: Charlie Winston

Not only is this song brilliant--seriously, he wrote a song about being a duck. A duck!!

But check out the lyrics--they go so well with the whole Mr. Swimmy part of my life.

They laugh at me and my life
My life as a duck ;
But I don't get worked up -
It's my life as a duck

You may think this is funny ;
You may think I had bad luck ;
Or did you think that I was stuck,
In my life as a duck ?

For all my life I've tried to hide
The animal in me
Now it's time to open up
and breath, and breath

I don't know where I am going
Or from which place I have come.
But as long as I am floating
The don't can be undone

You must be thinking "what is he on ?"
But things are looking up
I've started to believe in living
My life as a duck

For all my life I've tried to hide
The animal in me
Now it's time to open up
and breath , and breath

So listen !
I know everything about you
Your father was a duck
In Love

I know everything about you
Your father was a duck
I know everything about you
Your father was a duck
I know everything about you
Your father

For all my life I've tried to hide
The animal in me
Now it's time to open up and breath.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Friday Fun With Summer

Yesterday, I had a chance to spend some time with Summer in the awesome city by the bay. We always have fun, but there is something about sight-seeing, having a great dinner and seeing a show in that fabulous city that seemed extra-special.

I arrived at Summer's at 2:00 as planned, deposited my overnight bag, and then we were off to the Rockridge BART station. We rode BART to the Mission district--home of, coincidentally, San Francisco's own California mission. Our plan was to visit it for a little bit (I've now been to nine of the twenty-one) before heading off to dinner.

Of course, I took some pictures.

Waiting for BART, looking towards San Francisco.

The Oakland Children's Hospital has a GINORMOUS rubber duck on its

A big mural in the Mission District.

This church is right next door to the mission.

Mission Delores is the oldest building in San Francisco,
and one of the only missions in its original state--so many
have been destroyed and rebuilt. It survived the quake
and fire of 1906 and the quake of 1989, too. Impressive!

Original adobe.

I waited 'til Summer went to the loo, so as not to embarrass her with the duck.
She actually doesn't care anymore that I photograph the duck in public.
I'm not sure she ever really did.

Junipero Serra

A baby...

As we left, these men (yes, both men) ahead happily walked down the street,
admiring the left one's skirt as he twirled it about. I love San Francisco.
After the mission, we caught BART and took it back to Powell Street, where there is a large shopping mall near Union Square. Summer had come up with the idea of walking over to Macy's and having dinner at The Cheesecake Factory on the top floor.

"I've never been to The Cheesecake Factory," was my reply. "Sounds good!"

"You've never been to The Cheesecake Factory?" she gaped at me.

So we went.

I took sign pics as we walked back to BART.

Macy's is so helpful with this stuff.

The view of Union Square from the 7th floor of Macy's.

I'll say it again: I love San Francisco.

I had a Lemon Drop with dinner. Yummy!

My endive salad with pecans, apple, blue cheese and a yummy vinaigrette.

Corn fritters

Summer had the chocolate mousse cheesecake.

Swimmy and I shared the red velvet cheesecake. It was amazing.

Swimmy loved it.
From Macy's, it was but a short walk into the Tenderloin--a...shall we call it "spicy?"--neighborhood in San Francisco. I came very close to stepping in what might have been human excrement. But in spite of its drawbacks, I have a certain appreciation for the Tenderloin. It is, after all, home to the Warfield, where I saw Mt. Desolation and Mumford and Sons last October.

The Warfield

...and it's next-door neighbors.

Behind us as we queued, a dice game was thriving.

The show, of course, was Ben Folds. Summer has been a fan since 1997. Last year, she watched me sing along and go bananas to Keane--last night, I got to see her do the same to Ben Folds.

Ben is an immensely talented musician, and his show was chock-full of musical puns and jokes that only a music nerd could laugh at. Summer and I got them. He's really, really good and I am glad I went along.

He has a tendency to beat the crap out of his piano, and in the middle of
the show, his sustain pedal stopped working. His tech guys came out, took
the keyboard out, and fixed it in a few minutes. Ben ran backstage and got the
"Wet Floor" sign.

Blurry, but you can see him smiling appreciatively at us all.

After the show, we caught BART back to Oakland, and arrived back at Summer and Ben's place (Ben, Summer's husband, not Ben Folds) at about midnight. I slept in their guest loft and came back to Stockton this morning. There was no way I was driving all the way home in the wee hours, when I was so tired from all that fun.

All in all, it was a terrific little adventure. Summer is a great concert buddy and of course, we always have a great time hanging out together. Here's to old friends!