Sunday, July 30, 2006

High School Reunion

Okay, so it's been 10 years since I made that happy walk in a blue cap and gown to receive my high school diploma. Since then, I have fallen out of touch with every single friend I had in high school, until this year, when I found a few on MySpace and started corresponding with them again.

It has been great to chat with these friends again, and to get together with Katie and Leslie a couple of times (in fact, I look forward to seeing them again). Other than that, however, I have no wish to re-live high school. It was fun, it was nice, but it's finished, and I'm over it!

Of course, when 2006 rolled around, I started wondering whether my class would have a 10-year reunion. Images of a nice hotel ballroom, with the FHS Class of '96, sipping wine, nibbling canapes, and showing off spouses, baby pictures and well-used passports danced through my head. What would I wear? Probably a great little dress or some such thing.

Oh, no. Not for my class! Their idea of a good time at the 10-year reunion is as follows:

Friday, August 11th: There is an all-school reunion taking place on Sutter Street (Folsom's historic little Gold Rush-era street). Anyone from Class of '96 can meet up in the Sutter Club. Just so you all know, the Folsom Telegraph used to publish a police log, and there have been many, many bar fights and disturbances at the Sutter Club. Nice.

But hey, there's always the party that is especially for the Class of '96, right?

Saturday, August 12th: Strike one: That's my birthday, and I'd rather spend it with people I actually want to see. Then, I get the invite to our reunion. No hotels, no sipping wine and wearing killer dresses. No, no, no. Not for my class. We're having a barbecue. In a park.

Okay, so how terrible is that? Let me tell you:

1. The cost: Pay thirty bucks to show up at the park. Bring your own meat, and a dish for everyone to share (and your own alcohol). What's the $30 going for? To pay for using the park and a bouncy house for the kids. No, I'm not kidding. A bouncy house. I don't have kids, and I'm sure as hell not using the bouncy house myself--I have no desire to pay for it. Besides, it's a park! It has a playground, for heaven's sake!

2. The park itself: The latest annoucement (just got it today, and it's what drove me to blog about the whole thing in the first place) states that the park is "under a bit of construction, so we will be resigned to use port-a-potties. I know, not glamorous, but oh well!" I am not paying $30 for a bouncy house, and I am certainly not paying $30 only to have to use a port-a-potty!

3. The people: Did I already mention that I don't really want to see most of these people anyway?

Is it any surprise that as of last week, the coordinator had only received "a very few" checks for people wanting to come?


"...I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

A week ago, the parents and I were watching a rerun of "Cold Case." This particular episode was set in the 1960s and ended with the oh-so-lovely Mancini tune, "Moon River." That got Dad thinking about "Breakfast at Tiffany's," and he rented it a day or two later.

I had never seen it (travesty!) so I watched it with them, and loved it. Audrey Hepburn was absolutely beautiful, and George Peppard was gorgeous, too.

Those were the good ol' days, before the time when the endless outpouring of bad, worse, and downright ugly movies occured that Hollywood seems so intent on tossing out, rapid-fire, to make more and more money for their already bulging coffers.

Holly Golightly: I'll tell you one thing, Fred, darling... I'd marry you for your money in a minute. Would you marry me for my money?
Paul Varjak: In a minute.
Holly: I guess it's pretty lucky neither of us is rich, huh?
Paul: Yeah.

Fantastic! The classic movies relied on wit and that oh-so-elusive thing called plot.

When we finished watching "Breakfast at Tiffany's," I remarked to Mom and Dad, "Now I've got to see 'Casablanca'." I rented it yesterday and Dad and I watched it last night.

I just need to say one thing:

Humphrey Bogart was not a classically handsome man. But boy, was he sexy.

And the movie! Sixty-four years later, that movie is still converting new fans.

Rick: And remember, this gun is pointed right at your heart.
Captain Renault: That is my least vulnerable spot.

So I've been converted. I have a feeling I'll be renting many, many Bogart movies, and Hepburn movies, and moving on to other famous movies, as well.

Here's looking at you, kid.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Hooked Up, High-Powered, Licensed and Insured, and I've Got Movies, Too!

Whew! I'd forgotten how much work there is in moving and setting up a new home.

For starters, yesterday, Dad and I went to the local DMV to change the title for Rosie Protege into my name. Rosie has always been my car (I picked her out, test drove her, and made payments) but Dad took custody while I was in England. Now, I am officially a car owner, and she is paid off, to boot.

I also had to change my license over from Washington to California. That's the easy part. That's in the mail and soon I'll have a California ID to match Rosie's California plates.

After DMV, I called USAA (United Services Automobile Association) and set up car insurance. I've had my own coverage before, but this last year, due to financial constraints, I've been on Dad's coverage.

Can I just say that USAA is awesome? It is devoted to the insurance, banking and credit needs of U.S. military service members and their families. The best part? I am eligible for service for the rest of my life, simply for being born to a member of the armed forces. How's that for customer service?

Today, I've called PG&E (for my British readers, that's Pacific Gas and Electric), SBC (Southwestern Bell Corporation--phone), and Comcast for my cable needs. I got a great deal there. I will be $30 a month for 12 months for my standard cable and Starz movie channels!

Now all I need is Internet service...which is next on my to-do list. But for now, a quick break for lunch.



Thursday, July 27, 2006

Two Milestones for the Little Pink Blog

First, this is my 400th post. Secondly, it is the two-year anniversary of the start of this blog.

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Of course, The Wild and Absolutely Ture Adventures of Meg was started to document my adventures in England, but expanded upon my return to the States because I found I really enjoy having a blog.

This blog has chronicled many, many adventures in its two years, from the pre-departure nerves and excitement of a California Girl going to England, to the highs and lows of teaching in a real English high school; from the agony of deciding to come home to the excitement of discovering the Puget Sound (and it's resident Navy men); from the craziness of my family deciding to return to California to the anticipation of moving into my new apartment (one week!!) and starting yet another new job...this blog has reported all of it. And I'm not stopping now!

Here's to two years of Wild and Absolutely True Adventures! Thanks for reading them.



Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Be Vewy, Vewy Quiet...

I'm hunting wabbits! But the only shooting I'm doing is with my Kodak EasyShare.

We Have a Wesident Wascally Wabbit!

Mom and I were in the kitchen working on a puzzle a few minutes ago when Mom said, "Hey, there's a rabbit in our yard!" Never one to miss a Kodak moment, I ran for my camera, and managed to get a couple of okay pics of the little critter munching on our lawn.

Our wesident wabbit is very cute, indeed, with fabulous ears. Without further ado, here he is (keep in mind that these were taken through the window):

Isn't he adorable? We knew he was around, because there have been wabbit dwoppings in our back yard, but we hadn't seen him yet. I suppose, even in a heat wave, a wabbit's gotta make a living, doc.

Speaking of Wild Animals...

We recently got window coverings installed and they look great. Mom got huge shutters for the sliding glass door in the living room, and they really block out the late-afternoon sun. When open, they also provide a handy place for bird-watching:

Psychopathic Mouse Murderers

Last September, when Heather came to visit me in Washington, she brought the newest members of my family (Bella and Duchess) gifts. One of these gifts was a black and red mouse toy with feathers shooting out it's backside. Knowing the Kindergatos and Millie as well as I do, I knew the toy would be a hit.

Surprisingly, after the Terrible Two got their paws on it, it is still around, and still bringing joy to their lives, even though it is beyond dead.

See the red bit in the picture above? That was the head. The stuffing is gone, the mouse is torn in two, the feathers are long since digested, and "Heather's Toy" is still causing a sensation.

What is THAT?!?

That, my friends, is what happens when you take a slightly chubby cat with extra-long hair rolling around on your bed. Yes, indeed. That is her tummy.

Go, Go, Barbaro!!

The Kentucky Derby winner is hanging on, thanks to state-of-the-art care and what seems to be a smart equine head. Mom and I have commented throughout his recovery that he seems to know that the vets are trying to help him. Click here for a picture of him in his sling (it's too big for my blog).

Mom and I check the updates daily, and though he is most definitely not out of the woods yet (he got laminitis, and often-fatal infection in his non-injured back foot), he is continuing to fight. What a spectacular horse.

And that's all for today!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Well, How 'Bout That...

Other important anniversaries and countdowns...

High School Reunion in August (Yikes!)

My Birthday

To London, To London...

A Bit More Vacation Time

How Many Shopping Days is That?

Woohoo! New Shoes!!

Race Day

And only 16 minutes 'till my race starts, so I'm off!



Friday, July 21, 2006

Apartment Pictures

Here's my place! I'm getting very excited--only 11 days!

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Lost and Bonkers

Quick bit of Meg Trivia:

1. Where was I born?

2. Where did I actually grow up?

3. How man years (approximately) did I spend in that state where I grew up?

4. Where do I once again find myself living after a two-year absence?

Many of my dear readers know most of the answers to these, but I'll post them, anyway.

1. Omaha, Nebraska (random).

2. Rancho Cordova and Folsom, California.

3. Twenty-four years (give or take a few months).

4. That's right, California.

Why am I bringing this up? Because I find it really, really disconcerting that after 24 years of living within 40 miles of Sacramento, I still can get hopelessly lost there. On grid streets.

Pretty sad.

I went to my friend Heather's house last night for a small birthday get-together for our friend Pam. As Heather had to work all day and I sat on my butt with a romance novel in hand most of the day, I offered my hands and car to help Heather get things together. She gratefully asked me to pick up the cake.

"No problem," said yours truly, glad to be of help. "Yeah, I'm sure I can find the bakery without any problems."

After all, Sacramento has grid streets:

How hard can it be to get to W and 19th streets and find Freeport Blvd.?

For starters, you have to take the directions that Google Maps gave you. My first error was merging onto Hihgway 160 (or some number like that) instead of staying on Business 80 (also affectionately called the Cap City Freeway) and waiting to find the P Street exit.

But I figured it wouldn't be a problem, as this 160-or-whatever runs straight into downtown. I'm on the wrong side, but it's not like Sacramento's as big as, say, London. It doesn't take long to get from 12th and C streets (where I found myself) to W and 19th, right?


I'd forgotten that the one-way streets in Sacramento, just when there seem to be a pattern, go completely ballistic and change on you. Can't continue on 12th street because when you hit L street--hello, Capitol Building!

It goes on and on.

I finally got around the capitol and was heading towards W when my cell phone rang. It was Heather. "How're you doing? The bakery called, they're a bit worried."

"I'm fine! I took a wrong exit but I'm back on track and know where I'm going."

"Oh, good. Well, if you need any help, don't hesitate to call!"

"Oh, I'll be fine! See you in a few!"

A few minutes later, I arrived at W street. A one-way street going--the opposite direction to what I want. Gah!

No problem, I'll get on X street! And that's what I did. A few blocks later, I reached 19th, and made a left as the instructions said, only to realize, "Crap. I'm turned around. I need to make a 'yoo-ee' and go back that way."

I finally got going in the right direction, and after one or two more slightly wrong turns, I found Freeport Blvd., and with it, Freeport Bakery.

But it doesn't end here. Oh no, I have to really embarass myself.

Before I even left Lincoln, Heather had told me specifically, "When you leave the bakery, make a left onto Freeport, go a little ways, and find Broadway, then Alhambra. That goes to Folsom Blvd, and you know the way from there, right?"

"Yep! I know I've been that way to your house before."

I left the bakery, with a gorgeous chocolate cake on the passenger seat and...I made a right turn. It took me a few blocks to realize I'd just done the opposite of what Heather told me to do.

A few minutes and one three-point turn later, I was on my way. I found Broadway. That's when it hit me: I know Broadway from the years my grandparents lived near it, off of 65th Street. Hey, I'm doing good!

I decided to forgo Heather's advice about taking Alhambra to Folsom Blvd. and instead took Broadway to 65th street to Folsom Blvd. Yeah, it's the longer way, but I figured I knew where I'd come out. That cake needed a refridgerator, after all.

Once I arrived at Heather's neighborhood, I made the usual turns to get to her house. And drove right by her street. I'm not kidding. I had to go around a couple of blocks and go back. I wish I could say I'm lying here, but I'm not.

I finally arrived at Heather's house (the cake was fine), and we had a lovely evening. Heather had a gorgeous salad in the works, which we ate with chicken and rolls. Later we ate cake and sat around on her back deck with the Delta breeze cooling us.

I left at about 10:00, because it was a "school night" for Heather and Art. Normally when I leave their house, I drive back towards 65th street and catch Highway 50. When I lived in Folsom, I would take 50 (a straight shot), but now, to get back to Lincoln, I have to take that dear old Cap City freeway.

Last night I decided I should really try to find the shorter way home, and therefore, instead of turning left out of Heather's neighborhood, I turned right, towards downtown. I kept driving, marveling at how I recognized where I was going, etc. Then, up ahead--Cap City Freeway! Yay! I've found it. I'm soooo good!

Yep. So good that I completely missed the freeway entrance (it was dark out!!). For some reason, which eludes me in the light of day, I decided not to turn around and try again, but rather to keep driving. I ended up taking the really long, roundabout way home, by getting on Interstate 5 and taking it to the Interstate 80 junction.

So in the end, a drive that should have taken 30-40 minutes took an hour, and I arrived home at 11:00, safe but exhausted--and a wee bit chagrined at my complete and utter inability to find my way around Sacramento.

I can get lost and un-lost in London in under an hour. I had no fear of getting lost in Seattle (Elliott Bay is quite a directional landmark, I must say). But stick me in Sacramento, the city closest to the town where my parents raised me, and I can't find my way around. Amazing.

And, of course, a little bit embarassing. But I'm a firm believe in laughing at myself, so here you go. Laugh away.

I can just hear Heather laughing now...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Is Anyone Really That Desperate??

Sometimes I lament about how hard it is to find a date, but I can tell you here and now, I would not be so desperate that I'm willing to do what this woman did.

Not to mention...stupid.

Friday, July 14, 2006

LPB Times Reports: Friday Morning

Because I haven't done one of these in a while...

But does it melt in your mouth?

Scientists have been working hard. They haven't yet found a cure for AIDS or cancer, but they have found a melt-resistance chocolate. I would say, "Well done," except that Mom had an excellent point:

"What I want them to create is a chocolate that doesn't stick to my fat cells."

Well said, Mom. Well said.

Boldly going where no spatula has gone before...

NASA has launched a spatula--yes, a spatula, into space. Not on purpose, though. It seems it escaped from an astronaut's tool belt and is now orbiting the earth.

Yes folks, we have a spatula orbiting the planet. Want to impress people at the next party you go to? Share that little tidbit with them.

On a more serious note

Barbaro, the amazing colt who streaked to victory in the Kentucky Derby, only to break down at the Preakness, has laminitis, a serious infection in his non-injured foot, caused by putting too much weight on it.

Horses, for all of their speed and power on the track, are actually very delicate. They must be able to bear weight evenly on all four hooves, or they can get infections like laminitis and die. This is why Barbaro's broken leg was so serious in the first place.

His vet says his condition is very serious--I only hope that Barbaro has one big victory left in him.

Where should I stop for lunch today?

Imagine you're driving to a meeting, or sitting in a taxi, or, perhaps, driving an ambulance to an emergency, when the lights start flashing, the bells start dinging, and the barrier arms come down as a long train approaches.

I lived very near the train tracks in Chico for five years, so I'm used to this (even made me late for class once or twice). But never in all my time there, did I ever see that train stop...for lunch.

New House Pics

I'm finally getting around to sharing them, and in my new prefered mode, no less: video montage! Here's some shots of Mom and Dad's new place. I took them on move-in day, so obviously, it's a lot more put-together now.

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I'll post more pics one of these days!



Tuesday, July 11, 2006

How Cool is This?

I've made a few videos using a program I found online and my digital photos.

The first one contains my favorite scenic pictures from the last couple of years: London, Burnham-on-Crouch, York, Windsor, Paris, Normandy, Victoria and the PNW area.

Create your own video at One True Media

This next one is slightly longer, and contains pictures from my life in Kathy and Derek's home (a lot of animal pictures).

Create your own video at One True Media

And, of course, I made a video yearbook of Kittygarten, featuring Bella and Duchess.

Create your own video at One True Media

A Millie video will come when I get more digital shots of her--most Millie pics were taken before I got a digital camera.

It's a very cool site, and fun to work with. A whole new way for me to share my photos!

Friday, July 07, 2006

I London

...and I'm remembering that great city today.

July 7, 2005 started off as any other day in my classroom. It was a Thursday, so I had year 7s all day--always an exhausting prospect. It was Pete's Week, a Sixth Form project to raise money for charity. One of their fundraisers was The Hit Squad, where they pulled kids out of class to soak them with water guns.

I was lamenting in my blog about the disruption this caused when the email came through from Kathy that London had been bombed. My kids were doing busy work, so I promptly ran over to the computer to check out BBC News and Google News. I was shocked by the news, and also aware that many people who know me in the States might not know that I was safe in Essex. I posted a quick blog and emailed just about everyone in my address book.

It was soon apparent that this was the work of terrorists, and that the damage was heavy. I wasn't allowed to talk to the students about it, and turned to my blog and email to vent my frustrations, fears and sadness.

London pulled through, displaying that wonderful "stiff upper lip" that we take for granted in our British friends. There was grief, and no shortage of tears, but London was prepared for a crisis and responded in kind. It only served to reinforce my belief that London is the most amazing city on the planet.

So yes, I am thinking of London today. I am marking this sad anniversary with them, and remembering the horror of that day.

Photo credit: BBC News.

In other news...

I just may have found an apartment! There is a lovely, brand-new complex, Bella Rose, about a mile-and-a-half from the school, and today I put in my application for a 1-bedroom unit. The complex opened in April, so all appliances, carpets, etc. are new.

Here's the floorplan:

It is quite roomy for one person and has great storage. There's a locked, outdoor closet, a nice linen closet, a coat closet, and a walk-in closet in the bedroom (for my shoes). The best part, however, is the washer and dryer that come with the unit. No laundromats for me!! The complex has a pool and a fitness center, and it is right up the road from some great shopping--Mervyn's, Target, Pier 1, Cost Plus, WinCo Foods, Barnes and Noble, and many good restaurants. Am I excited? You bet.

My credit rating is good, so that's no problem. The only other thing the management needed was verification of employment, and the personnel lady was going to fax that over this afternoon. They have 3 days to let me know if I'm approved or not, and I see no reason why I won't be.

Oh, and I love how the complex is called Bella Rose--seeing as how Mom has a kitty named Bella Blue.

And that's it on this end.



Thursday, July 06, 2006

Take My Breath Away...

I admit it.

When Tom Cruise jumped on Oprah's couch (I was in England, so I didn't watch but I did read about it), a teensy bit of any regard I had for him crumbled. Then sweet, Catholic little Katie Holmes was suddenly lured to the dark side and quickly impregnated.

Tom's ego was writing checks his body can't cash.

The clincher was his outspoken verbal diarhea regarding Brooke Shields and post-partem depression. Okay, Tom--you give birth to a baby and suffer from the massive hormonal imbalances and tell me if you feel fabulous!

I simply lost that lovin' feeling.

Really, people--this man is a nut! Heather spoke of buying a "Free Katie" t-shirt, and I seriously considered it, as well.

Normally the lives of celebrities, with all of their romances, break-ups and brouhahas, don't really affect me, but Tom Cruise really pissed me off--how in the world would I ever watch Top Gun again?

I figured it would take some fancy flying--very hard for Cruise to do, in my opinion--to get me to buy that movie on DVD, even though it's been on my Amazon wish list for ages.

"That's right--Ice. Man. I did ruin this movie for Meg."

Such a shame! I mean, really. I don't need anyone ruining movies like Top Gun for me. It has it all--a killer late-80s soundtrack, a tongue-kissing scene that makes my toes curl, Navy men, fast jets, and sweaty, shirtless men playing volleyball.

"You know, Mav, IceMan and Slider look much better without shirts than you do..."

No doubt about it--this movie is a classic, and Tom's silly antics and therapy-bashing ways turned me right off. But still, there was this little part of me that really wanted to go right into the danger zone and watch this movie again.

Today I was at Target and I saw the DVD on sale for $7.50. I figured Tommy Boy wouldn't get a hell of a lot of royalties from my eight bucks, so I bought it. I just love that movie too much to let Tom get in the way.

I always liked Ice Man better, anyway.

"I don't know whose side you're on, but Megan's on mine, so there."

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Happy Birthday to my All-American Awesome Mom, Susan!

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Enjoy the fireworks--they're all for you!

Love, Princess Foo-Foo

So Much More Than Hot Dogs and Firecrackers

Happy Independence Day to my friends and loved ones everywhere!

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As a child, I loved the Fourth of July--it meant family and friends gathering, good food, and a fantastic display of fireworks, always put on by my brother Aaron (the fire-lover in the family). Today is also my mother's birthday, so we have always associated this holiday with cake and ice cream and the personal family celebration.

Needless to say, Independence Day ranks up there with Thanksgiving and Christmas in terms of how important they are to me. Last year, I celebrated quietly in England by telling my students about the holiday and it's meaning. This year, I am able to celebrate it more fully.

In the last week or so, I've been thinking especially about the significance of this holiday. Without the Declaration of Independence, what would the course of this county have looked like? Would we be as Canada is--still somewhat tied to the English Constitutional Monarchy, or would we have achieved independence in another way?

And to think of the sheer courage it took for the Founding Fathers to draft the Declaration of Independence at all! The document itself represents an enormous act of treason against the king, and the men who signed could have been executed just for putting their name on it.

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All of this has been brought to mind not so much by the lead-up to America's birthday, but rather, by the controversy over the narrowly-defeated amendement proposal which would have banned flag-burning.

I'm not the first to point out that it is absurd to be arguing about flag-burning while there is a very real and persistant threat from terrorists here and abroad--not to mention that little brouhaha in some far-off place called Iraq. Oh, and Iran and North Korea want nuclear power, and Mexico has a new leader (which could mean huge implications for that pesky little debate about illegal immigration). In short, there are too many bigger things to worry about.

I am certainly not immune to the emotion behind this controversy. I happen to see Old Glory as a symbol of what makes the United States great--just like many of the people who support a ban on flag-burning. Where my opinion veers off course, however, is that I also see flag-burning as a symbol of what makes our country great.

Before anyone gets offended by this statement, let me clarify here and now that I, personally, find the idea of burning a flag in protest unnecessary and even ugly. But the act itself is an expression of free speech and protest. What makes the United States of America a great country is our freedom to express our dissatisfaction with our government, knowing that we have that right--to speak out against those that lead us without fear of being thrown in jail, tortured, or killed.

I fear that since September 11th, our country's patriotism has veered towards the overzealous, "thou shalt not speak badly about our leaders" type that our founding fathers specifically wanted to avoid. The very act of airing their grievances against King George was a risk they took to help form a nation in which speaking out is not punishable by death, but instead a key to opening doors to rational debate and positive change.

Today we celebrate not only America's "birthday" but our freedom from tyranny and our right to tell our government that we might not agree with everything they are doing for us. Independence Day has come to mean hot dogs, ice cream and a great fireworks display to many Americans. I suggest we look back and see what this holiday is really about, and truly remember the sacrifices that have been made so that our country can be free.

I'll be thinking about it, and thanking John Hancock, John Adams and all the rest of those men for what they did, so that, 230 years later, I can blog my opinions without fear.

Now, enjoy your hot dogs, your potato salad and ice cream, and your fantastic fireworks display. Have a SAFE and happy celebration!

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Sunday, July 02, 2006

Sunday in the Starbucks with Meg

I'm really missing the whole concept of perusing the internet while wearing my pajamas...

Two Weeks?

Yeah, only two weeks that I've been back. In some ways, it feels like I never really left. In other ways, I feel like I should be toting my passport everywhere I go. It's hard to explain, really. I seem to be settling right back into the whole California way of thinking and doing things, and yet, sometimes I pull back, look around and think, "And I thought England was different???"

Maybe it's the fact that I still refuse to ice my tea.

Did You Know...

...That the first two days of July mark the halfway point of the year? We are halfway through 2006 already--I can hardly believe it, really. At the dawn of this year, I had every intention of finding a teaching position somewhere closer to Seattle, thinking, perhaps, that I'd try to go back to England in 2007.

Six months later, I find myself back in California (never thought I'd be back for more than a visit here, a visit there) and thinking that perhaps England can wait--there's someting to be said for staying in one place for more than one year. I'm tired of moving!

Peter Pan Complex

When did I grow up? How is it, that without my even noticing, ten years have passed since I walked across the cow-patty-covered Dan Russell Rodeo Arena to accept my high school diploma? God, how young I was. Seventeen-going-on-eighteen, yet so naive and unworldly. When I compare where I thought I'd be to where I actually am, there are a lot of things that I haven't done...and so many more than I ever dreamed I would. I can tell you right now that 17-year-old Meg, proudly clutching her diploma, terrified to leave home for Chico that fall, never dreamed in a million years that living in England--twice!--would ever be a possibility. I can tell you that even the thought of obtaining a bachelor's degree seemed impossible. And yet here I am--I have made some of my biggest dreams come true.

Now, whether I want to brag about them all at my high school reunion this summer is another question entirely...

Speaking of Reunions

Yesterday I drove over to Folsom (first time I've been there since December 2004) to meet two old high school friends, Katie and Leslie, for lunch. I believe the last time I had seen Katie was sometime in 2002 (at Target, I think), and it had been even longer since I'd seen Leslie.

I knew these gals for years in school--since fourth grade--and was excited to see them again and meet their children. Just to catch up and see what's been going on in their lives.

And we owe the mini-reunion all to MySpace, where Katie and I discovered each other a few months ago. Good times.

Terror for the Terrible Two

Bella and Duchess did so well in this whole moving adventure, it really was only a matter of time before something freaked them out. The source of their terror came into our home on Wednesday, with the installation of our new ceiling fans.

Yes, ceiling fans.

I can sympathize, on some level. Imagine being a small cat, looking up to see the source of the breeze in the room and seeing six massive (comapred to your tiny feline body) blades spinning around on the ceiling.

Anyhow, for a day or two there, we didn't see much of the kindergatos as they hid beneath a hutch in Mom's craft room, behind several boxes, where no one could get to them. Any time we did coax them out, they would stare, wide-eyed, at the ceiling fans. Bella would shake from fear, so we decided it was best to leave them alone--they'll come out when they're hungry.

And sure enough, they've gotten over it, and are back to their normal selves--cuddling, socializing, running around the house, etc. We missed them!

Only problem now is that Dad moved the litter box yesterday, and Bella got confused this morning...

The More Things Change...

I mentioned earlier in this post that I returned to Folsom yesterday. It's not as different as I thought it would be, really--except seeing Light Rail breeze through. That was strange. I read in the Sacramento Bee a few days ago that Folsomites are whining about the "infrequency" of the trains--one every 30 minutes.

Hey, in Burnham-on-Crouch, the London-bound train came through every 60 minutes--I once ran across the rail bridge to see the train I wanted rolling away, and I had to wait an HOUR before I could catch the next one. And I never complained! I planned my trips to London around the BritRail timetable, and that's that.

How Does It Feel?

Going back to Folsom? It was strange, really, because I didn't feel all warm and fuzzy at seeing the place. Not like I did when I returned to London.

It got me thinking about all the times in the last couple of weeks that people have aksed me, "Oh, you've moved from do you like California?" My immediate response is usually, "It's okay." I often get that half surprised, half offended look and quickly amend my answer with, "Well, I grew up here, so it's not all that exciting to me, really."

It's just funny to me how I've come to take California for granted. I'm excited to be near my friends again, I'm happy to be more familiar with the area (only one wrong turn in Folsom yesterday--ha!), but other than that, the things that really excite me about the Golden State are the odd little everyday things--liquor in the grocery stores, reasonable speed limits (65--and sometimes 70--instead of 60) on the freeways, and reasonable access to my favorite scrapbook stores.

Okay, Okay, I'm Sooo Obnoxious

So here I am at Starbucks, blogging, when the cell phone rings, and it's Heather, returning a call I made to her yesterday. She's having a party this afternoon to welcome her cousin's little boy to California. It's the first time Heather has met him, and she couldn't be more excited.

So as we chatted, as we do, of course, our voices got louder and faster. And the guy at the table next to mine gestured at me with his hand to quiet down. At least I think that's what he was doing. Maybe he was practicing his sock puppeteering hand position. I don't really know.

But I did feel a little bit embarassed at being that obnoxious slob in the restaurant, sharing her phone conversation with the whole world. But seeing as how I'm a first-time offender, perhaps I can get a lighter sentence??

Cute Little Piggies
These little piggies recently had their first-ever pedicure. Heather and I had spa pedis done on Seattle, and two weeks later, the polish is still there--not chipped, not flaking, but covering my cute little toes. I am seriously considering getting another pedi in a week or two, and a manicure, too. I'm hooked!

Oy! It's Noon!

I have hair to style, war paint to apply (makeup) and things to do before heading down the highway to Sacramento for the party. Better get on it.