Wednesday, October 31, 2012

There's Fun, And There's Frivolous

As mentioned a few posts ago, I'm participating in the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen (GISHWHES) this year. It started on Monday night, and the item list is...odd. Yes, "odd" is a good word.

I've volunteered to get a pic of myself hugging a uniformed veteran. I have a former Marine friend who is now in the Army Reserves who has said he'd be happy to help me with this, so hopefully we can coordinate a time to get together before Sunday, when everything is due--and hopefully he doesn't mind having coffee with me in his fatigues.

I also offered to take on this madness:

Item #54: [IMAGE] Elmo Gone Wrong. What would a Tickle-Me-Elmo look like if it had a serious crystal meth problem? 31 points.

 At first, it just seemed like a lark. Find a Tickle-Me-Elmo doll and mark him up with a black Sharpie. Then a series of events happened that made me completely lose my enthusiasm for this item:

  1. I realized that a Tickle-Me-Elmo doll costs about $30. I'd rather not spend $30 on a toy I'm going to immediately destroy, especially considering my limited financial circumstances these days. That $30 would buy enough gas to get me around for 3-4 days.
  2. Hurricane Sandy happened. Yes, I'm a whole country away from that, but this morning, as I drove around looking for a blasted toy, it occurred to me that there are families who lost everything in that storm, and I'm about to spend $30 on a toy so I can destroy it when there are children in New York and New Jersey who have no toys now. Nothing. There are children I've worked with who would love to have a brand-new toy, that's not a hand-me-down.
  3.  Then I spent almost two hours this morning driving around looking for Tickle-Me-Elmo. The guy who runs GISHWHES, Misha Collins (an actor) is specific about "interpretations" of the items, so using a regular Elmo doll wouldn't cut it. And after WalMart didn't have Tickle-Me-Elmo, and then Target didn't have it, and then even Toys 'R Us could only offer LOL Elmo (oh, good grief), I got really frustrated that I was wasting gas and time looking for a toy that I would take home and immediately destroy.
  4. It occurred to me that making light of meth addiction using Elmo is...just kinda tacky. Actually, it's hugely tacky.
So I came home, Elmo-less. I've asked on Facebook if I can buy anyone's used Tickle-Me-Elmo for $10, so we'll see if anything comes of that. If not, one of my teammates can take the task, I'm sure. But suddenly, my heart is not in it as much as it was. I'll do the task if the appropriate toy presents itself, because I told my team I would. And I'll happily hug the veteran (he's very huggable) and do whatever else I can do to help the team.

And maybe, just maybe, I'll go back to Target on my next pay day and buy a gorgeous, brand-new Elmo toy of some kind, and proudly give it to Toys For Tots at Christmas.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Singing Fool Rides Again

Yesterday, I sang the first concert of SCSO's 17th season. We sold out Sacramento's Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, and received a standing ovation at the end, which is always lovely. The cathedral isn't the easiest place to sing--standing stock-still for an hour on hard marble is hell on the back and the sound has a tendency to fly up, up and away from us, making it scary for 150+ singers to stay together when all you can really hear are the people in your immediate area. Maybe a bit of organ.

But the cathedral allowed us to have two full Monday night rehearsals in the venue and the time there paid off. We made it work and everyone I spoke to after was very complimentary.

Our official photographer, Ronald Johnson, was there, taking pictures. He always gets great shots and makes an effort to get close-ups of all parts of the group so everyone has at least a couple of shots of themselves singing. Because I was pretty much front and center for this concert, there are plenty with me in them. Here are a few of the great pics he took...

Big choir, even bigger space.

I look so serious!

Caught looking down. I really do watch Don most of the time, but
occasional glances at the music are necessary. However, look at that
awesome vowel shape!

Great perspective shot.

After the show, we were asked to talk to audience members in the plaza in front of the cathedral. I got to chatting to Ronnie, and as we chatted, a random lady came up and complimented my lipstick (of all things!). So Ronnie took a picture of me. He often takes pictures of the singers after concerts, but I usually don't stick around long enough to be among the photographed. I like how this turned out of me. I look happily exhausted, which is exactly how I felt after the show.

Yep, that dress is too big.
All photos are property of Ronald Johnson. However, I now know he doesn't mind us sharing them on social media. : )

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Friday was the Halloween celebration at Petite School, and I was very happy it fell on a Friday, as that's the only day I work there. I love celebrating Halloween as a teacher, because it gives me an excuse to dress up.

This year, funds are tight. I considered digging my Minnie Mouse ears out, but in the end I had a better idea. Mom has a cowgirl hat, and I have a fabulous pair of boots by Steve Madden, skinny jeans, and a plaid shirt. It worked, and I looked kinda cute with my hair in pigtails.

The parents put on a terrific after-school party for the kids, and all day, the excitement was so thick, you could cut it with a knife. My lesson plan consisted of "control the chaos and dance the Monster Mash," pretty much. But it was a fun day.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


I must be mad.

Last year, I participated in the first-ever GISHWHES (Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen), which ended up being a record-making event in Guinness as the biggest online international scavenger hunt ever. It was dreamed up and carried out by Misha Collins, an actor/crazy guy who has spent some time on the popular CW show Supernatural, which I watch thanks to my fellow duck lady, Lindsay.

When that crazy week, which had me doing things like dancing the YMCA in a 20-second video (no, you cannot see it), taking pictures of myself with spinach in the gap between my front teeth, and kissing a rubber duck through a printed picture of the Duke of Luxembourg, I vowed I would never be so foolish as to sign up for such shenanigans ever again.


Well, this year, Lindsay convinced me to do it again, along with another duck lady, Sarah. We are part of a 15-person team called Team Winning, and we are absolutely determined to be the team that spends a night in a haunted Scottish castle with Misha.

In other words, starting on Tuesday, I will have one week taken over by madness. Don't be alarmed if I take to Facebook asking for odd items or volunteers to spell out GISHWHES with their bodies or some such thing.

So that's what I'll be doing this week, when I'm not working out or teaching. Expect hilarity and maybe even an unexplained twitch to develop on my right eye or something.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Little Lady

Okay, I get it, world. I'm tiny.

Little. Small. Itty-bitty. Whatever.

I will probably never see myself that way, for two reasons:

  1. The negative: I will always, always hold on to that feeling of being bigger because I spent most of my adult life to this point overweight. It doesn't matter what the scale says or what size clothing I wear, I'm going to feel bigger than I actually am. I suppose I'll always carry a little bit of body dysmorphia around with me.
  2. On the positive side, while logically I know I'm small in stature, I also know how strong I've become. Don't let the physical size you see when you look at me fool you--I am quite strong and capable, thank-you-very-much.
Last night, I left earlier than usual for choir rehearsal. Local tornado warnings and the first rain of the season had me feeling cautious, so I arrived at the cathedral for rehearsal well ahead of most of the rest of the choir. Some of the men had also arrived early, to haul risers up from the basement, and I offered my assistance.

Here's the thing: Most of the guys are perfectly fine with me helping, and after some initial, "You got this? You sure?" they realized that yes, I've got this, and yes, I can hold my end of a choir riser up as we slowly haul it up a flight of stairs, around a few corners, and into the sanctuary.

It just still amazes me that people don't look at me an automatically know that I lat-pulled 90 pounds that morning, or ran three miles, get the picture. I have to remind myself that people look at me and see 5'2" and 130-ish pounds. "Tiny." I'm toned, but last night I was wearing a sweater and jeans. Knee-high boots. If I'd been in my gym gear and sturdy running shoes, maybe they'd have looked at me differently.

Our director, Don, a man in his sixties, was hauling a riser up the stairs with another guy and saw me heading down to get another. "Are you okay, Megan?" he asked as he struggled backwards up the stairs with his half.

"I'm fine!" I replied with a laugh. "I'm an athlete!"

I helped haul about four or five of those risers up the stairs with one of the guys. I told him the short version of my story, and he was impressed. Maybe that's one reason I insisted on being the only woman helping with the lifting and hauling last night. Sure, some of it is the feminist in me who winces every time Don asks for "the men" to help with the risers at rehearsal. But some of it is also my need to tell my story and get it out there in the world. I won't lie, I love the reactions I get, and the kudos. But I also love knowing that maybe, just maybe, someone else who struggles will look at how far I've come and think, "Hey, I can do this, too."

In the end, what I found hilarious was that hauling risers up stairs was perfectly fine--what ended up making my back hurt last night was spending too much time sitting on a wooden pew while the soloists and instrumentalists rehearsed!

Next time Don calls on the guys to help set up, I'll help again--if I feel like it.

Don't worry boys, I got this. ; )

Monday, October 22, 2012


Ugh! October has not been a month for blogging. I don't know why, I just haven't felt very bloggy. And November is coming soon, with NaNoWriMo, and I doubt I can even muster the energy for that. Ideas? None. Well, maybe one. We'll see.

Anyway, here are some little snippets of things I've been doing, seeing, thinking about, reading, loving, hating, whatever.

First, Something Awesome:

I don't even know what Dwell magazine is, but this letter to the editor, from an eight-year-old girl, is full of win.  (A Google search reveals that Dwell is a magazine about design. Ahh.)

This little girl hits the nail on the head--don't just hand over a Barbie doll, give girls something useful when they show an interest in a subject. I'm glad that there are parents out there who encourage their daughter to not only pursue her interests, but also to write to a magazine when she sees something that compels her to write.

The kids...they're alright, ya'll.

The Young Turks

A new friend introduced me recently to The Young Turks, and I'm hooked. They cover politics, world news, and pop culture, and yes, they have a decidedly more liberal bent. But here's the thing--they are willing to criticize liberal politicians just as much as conservative ones, when that criticism is warranted.

If you follow this blog or know me at all, you know I'm liberal. I don't dive into politics much at the LPB, because at some point in the last eight years, I decided this isn't really the space for that. I have many friends of many different belief systems, so the LPB remains a more light-hearted space for sharing the stories of my life. But I had to share The Young Turks. Because they're awesome.

The Gymbo Strikes Again

Due to crazy schedules and my only going to the gym three days a week anymore, I don't run into Matt the Reasonable quite as much as I used to. Because I love bragging, and he's super-supportive, I sent off a quick text last week: "Some lady just leg pressed 90 pounds. Considering she only weighs 130 herself...:)"

Of course, he was proud, and replied that I'm getting very strong. And indeed, I am. This month, I've gone back to hardcore strength training. Three sets, 10 reps each. As heavy as I can go. I've been pushing my limits, and today, I actually did 90 pounds on the lat pull-down. Because I'm awesome. On Saturday, I bench pressed 55 pounds. I'd try for more, but I need a spotter.

I'm in a bit of a running slump. I'm getting it done, but I've been bored, so I think a route change is in order. Time to spice things up a bit.

The Choir Nerd Strikes Again, Too

Sac Choral has its first concert of the season this weekend. We're returning to Sacramento's gorgeous Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament to perform Vivaldi's Gloria and the Faure Requiem. It's truly lovely music in a fabulous setting. Buy a ticket.

Anyway, we met at the cathedral last week, and will again tonight, for rehearsals, which means I go a bit crazy on Instagram.

How did I exist before my iPhone?

Take Me Out To The Ball Game...

My new friend--the same one who got me hooked on The Young Turks--is a baseball fan. He loves the A's. Since they lost their playoff series to the Tigers, he's been cheering for the Giants to make it to the World Series. And damn it, he has me watching baseball.

As though I needed a new sport to get hooked on, what with my Sundays being tied up with NASCAR and the Niners.

But there you have it. I'm sweating bullets for the Giants tonight, as they head into Game 7 against the Cardinals, tied in the series and going for the World Series. Oy! The drama. I won't be able to watch because of choir rehearsal, so I'll be texting New Friend for updates, no doubt.

Speaking of NASCAR

My heart just hasn't been in watching the last couple of weeks. My driver, Dale Jr., has been out of the races completely because of a concussion. I fully support his decision to take care of his health in taking this break, but damn, I'm so disappointed for him. A great season, and this.

Reports circulated that said he could have to stop driving entirely--they've been shot down--and it occurred to me that if he did leave driving, I probably wouldn't watch NASCAR much anymore. I started watching because of him, got hooked because of him, and I've never really supported any other drivers.

So I'm hoping he heals well and is able to get back out there soon.

It's That Time Again...Bwahahahaha...

I'm so happy, I can hardly contain myself.

Halloween 2009 was the last time I was able to dance the Monster Mash with my young music students...and this year, I get to do it again!

It's hardly a high-brow lesson on music theory. My Monster Mash lesson plan consists of dancing some approximation of the Twist and then making monster motions--flying on a broomstick, walking like Frankenstein, etc. etc. My wee charges, hyped up by costumes and classroom parties and sugar, love it. And I know Petite School will be no different. Friday is the big Halloween celebration day, and the primary teachers and I have already discussed whether or not to have music at all because of their classroom parties. I said, "Tell you what...why don't we do a half session, and I'll come to your room and do the Monster Mash with them?"

They loved it. It's so on.

Friday will find Yours Truly Monster Mashing my happy little heart out, listening to delighted giggles and saying to myself, "I'm getting paid to do this."

I. Love. My. Career.

Wait, What?

As I was typing the above, one of those annoying emergency broadcast signals beeped on the television (out in the living room--Mom and Dad are watching, my TV is off). Then I heard, "Tornado! What?" from Mom, so I got up to check this news out.

Indeed, my county is under tornado warning.

They happen in California--there was one in Folsom when I was in 4th grade--but they're rare here. And on that note, I have to leave in 45 minutes for choir rehearsal. Heh. I guess if I see a large funnel in the sky, I'll make sure I drive away from it.

Oy vey.

And That, As They Say, Is All, Folks.

Well, it is now, anyway. I can't think if I had anything else to write about, as I've been distracted by Tornado Watch 2012. Oh, life. Keep being Wild and Absolutely True. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Legs Of Steel

Today, I loaded two 45-pound discs onto the leg press machine, hopped on board, and proceeded to do three sets of ten reps...90 pounds total.

Ninety pounds, of course, is how much I've lost over the last three years. It is, in my friend Shae's words, a chubby sixth grader, and in my own, an Olympic gymnast. And today, I calmly made my legs press that much weight above my head. It wasn't easy, but it was oh, so satisfying. It's a testament to the progress I've made in my strength training and running. These legs are fierce.

Also fierce these days: everything else. This month's training program has me doing high-weight, low-rep weight training exercises like leg presses, bench presses, lat pull-downs, and more. On Monday, I did the lat pull-downs with 80 pounds. I bench pressed 50 pounds recently (but won't go higher unless I can talk Matt into spotting for me one of these days).

When I started out in 2009, I just wanted to be smaller. I never dreamed that I'd gain so much strength and toning. It's a great feeling to watch my muscles working, knowing that they are getting even stronger every time I push them a little harder.

Flirt Fail

I follow a cute Twitter account called @AFlirtYourself, and I get a kick out of the cute flirt tips and the quotes the moderator posts. My friend Shae follows them, too, so sometimes in our conversations on Facebook over over text, we might say, "Good flirt!" (based on @AFlirtYourself's #goodflirt hash tag).

As I've come into my own over the last year or so, I've noticed--really noticed--that I get a lot more flirting directed my way now that I'm feeling more confident and letting it show. Sometimes it still takes me by surprise when I realize someone is flirting with me, and sometimes, like today, it just makes me roll my eyes.

Dude at the gym: Walking by me while I'm resting between sets of squats (squats, I might add, that I'm doing while holding 35 pounds), snapping your fingers, and saying, "Let's go, let's go!" is not a #goodflirt. It's #annoying. Following up by parking right in front of me and grunting through a weight lifting exercise is called #showingoff.

Color me #unimpressed.

Okay, okay, I'll stop with the hash tags now.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Running Problems

Yesterday, one of the most hilarious blogs about running ever created, Shut Up and Run, posted this post about leaking while running. Beth at SUAR has a no-holds-barred approach to blogging about bodily functions (she's a big fan of farting in particular) and hers is one of the only running blogs I follow that I actually look forward to reading, because she tells stories, rather than just regurgitating her training stats as most running blogs do.

At the end of her post, she posed the question asking what her readers' running problems are, and I felt inspired to write my own blog post about...snot.

Yes, snot.

I have outgrown being a snot, but let me tell you, my snot problem when I run is downright disgusting.

Everyone has their thing. Some people leak, or end up in the nearest Porta Potty desperately emptying their bowels, when they run. I'm lucky that if I use the loo before I go I am usually fine for the duration. But you get me out there running and inevitably, my nose wants to run free, too.

It's worst in the winter. Cold temps make me a little sniffly anyway, so when I get out there to pound the pavement, my nose starts its merry dripping. I snort, I sniffle, I make disgusting sounds. And in the end, I always fall back on the most disgusting habit of all.

I wipe my stupid dripping nose on my sleeve.

Yes, it's disgusting. And yet, it's sometimes the only thing to be done out there. I do intend--eventually--to buy some cheap bandanas to tie around my wrist for use as a handkerchief--an idea given me by my friend Meghan. I just haven't yet. Perhaps before my next race, so I'm not that lady running the course, snotting all over everyone.

So there you have it. I am disgusting. It's a runner thing.

Friday, October 12, 2012

To Tahoe

Yesterday, I got up (voluntarily) before the sun so that I could drive to South Lake Tahoe to visit with my friends Shae and Shay.

Shae, you see, is a fabulous lady I met through my NASCAR addiction, about a decade ago (wow!). We were both members of a message board for Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans, and over time, we both left that one to join a smaller, private board with several other women. The boards have mostly died out, but we all migrated to Facebook, so I'm still in touch with most everyone.

Shae visited California in 2007, when I showed her around San Francisco, and again in 2011, where we found ourselves at the Pez Museum in Burlingame.

Anyway, Shae's best friend since college is Shay (they're both named Sharon and they call each other Ditto), who I went to San Francisco with back in April for a day of Rugby. They've been South Lake Tahoe all week, catching up, relaxing, taking in the gorgeous scenery. Yesterday, I joined them for a lovely day of catching up. I didn't take a ton of pictures; I mostly just enjoyed chatting and being in a gorgeous place.

I stopped at a Vista Point overlooking Donner Lake.
This pic was taken with an iPhone. A PHONE.

From here on out, all pics are from my Nikon. This
was taken at a rest stop near Donner Lake.

Donner Lake again. So gorgeous! It was still early, obviously.

Cali Swimmy bloated up at altitude.

Stopped for road construction, I got a pic of the
Squaw Valley sign.

Stopped for yet more construction on Highway 89.

Sign pic.

South Lake Tahoe. Simply gorgeous.

Cali loves fountains, but was too bloated to swim.

Hello, Nevada. I stayed for about thirty seconds.

Snow's a'comin'.

California here I come...

We ate lunch at a great brewery, and I loved this fresco outside.

Shae has an Adipose (basically a large fat deposit,
apparently from Dr. Who) she calls Toki. Cali enjoyed
meeting a new friend.

Shae and I went to a small gallery where some Dr. Suess prints were on
display and we both loved this one, "A Prayer For a Child."

So Shae bought it. : ) She was near tears with happy excitement! It's her
first "big art" purchase.

The day certainly wasn't long enough, but I had to get on the road by 5:00, so I could make it home with enough time to get ready for a full day of teaching today. I arrived home, happily exhausted, at about 7:30. Needless to say, after yesterday's adventure and today's teaching, I'm ready for bed early on this Friday night!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Favor Needed

Hugs and love and kisses and I'll be your best friend FOREVER if you will please-pretty-please do one itty bitty thing for me.

Click this link (it's not porn!) and you will come to an essay I wrote for Divine Caroline last week and blogged about a few posts down yonder. It is called "Leaving Bridget Jones Behind" and you don't even have to read it, all you have to do is click the little FB "like" button at the top.

Right there, except yours will be blue with a white F on it until you
click it, then it will look like mine here. : )
If, by October 19, I get the most likes of the five essay finalists, I will win $100 and bragging rights. I want that $100 a lot and the bragging rights even more.

So please like it for me? Pretty please? : )

Have Keane Tickets, Will Travel

Success!! I managed to procure two ticket's to the January Keane gig in San Francisco this morning, so my usual partner in crime, Summer, and I will be there with bells on.

I hope the guys are prepared for some cold weather as they cross the U.S. and play places like Boise, Detroit, etc.  Bring your snowshoes!

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Oh, and P.S.

Keane announced yesterday that they're doing a 17-date U.S. tour in January, including a stop in my beloved City By the Bay.


What's funny is that as excited as I am that they're coming my way and I get to see them live again, I'm even more excited for my friend and fellow duck lady, Lindsay. She missed the tour this year because they didn't come near enough her neck of the woods (near Detroit) for her to be able to travel--she had a baby this year and it just wasn't possible. She was hugely bummed to miss out on the 2012 Strangeland tour, so when they announced this tour and we all saw that Keane are stopping literally in her neighborhood--as in, walking distance to her home--we duck ladies celebrated very loudly and inundated a napping mommy with texts (it really is a good thing she keeps her phone on silent mode when she's napping). Needless to say, she's thrilled.

The only thing that would make all of this better? If all five duck ladies could meet at one of these gigs all together, duckies in tow.


Monday, October 08, 2012


My poor Little Pink Blog.

I promise I will have more adventures to write about soon. I am driving to Lake Tahoe on Thursday to see my friends Shae and Shay (long story--they call each other "Ditto" to add to the confusion) and I've got stuff to write about...and just not so much the energy.

In triathlon news, I have a goose egg in my savings account and am starting to fear I will have to complete my tri in 2013 on a stationary bike at the gym. Sigh.

But no more morose thoughts about that. I have adventures to go on! But first, a good night's sleep.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

There She Goes Again...

Inspiration struck a few days ago, and I wrote a short piece for Divine Caroline, called Leaving Bridget Jones Behind.

I've actually been thinking about this topic for a while; it started when someone I was once friends with sent me a Dear Jane email (odd, yes) a couple of years ago, around this time of year. As one common theme of my friendship with the letter-writer had been endless quoting of Bridget and her friends, it seemed only fitting that as I left Bridget behind in my own life, the letter-writer might start to see me in a different light (it wasn't me, you see, it was her, prompting my friend Summer to ask, "Wait, is she dumping you like she would a boyfriend?!").

Anyway, this is short but sweet, and it was also featured on the home page at Divine Caroline.