Thursday, December 20, 2007

Black Is The New Black

Everyone should be so lucky as to have their very own personal stylist. Mine came to me with quite the resume -- a signature, eclectic personal style; a wardrobe of clothes and shoes that fit me; a killer sense of aesthetics; extensive experience cutting, dyeing and funkily coiffing hair -- mostly his own. This was impressive, because hair defies me. I was afraid to dye my hair black the first time. (Yeah, I know.) My stylist can even cut a fade into his own hair, which I am told is quite difficult to master.

I've contracted with him for about 10 months, and I hadn't even utilized his hair styling skillz until now. Mostly I confer with him as my Secondary Fashion Director -- second to me. If ever I have any doubt, especially on finer points ("Which of these 5 pairs of black shoes goes best with this style of black skirt? Considering the details on the sweater I'm wearing? With this necklace or no necklace?") my stylist is there to give me totally dead-on, undisputable advice.

Based on these merits and a few others (including the fact that he's freaking hot), I negotiated a deal to make him the Assistant Fashion and Beauty Director for the House of Megan. This is an interim appointment, as he is currently closing a deal to become the resident Co-Director of Aesthetics -- to include fashion, beauty and environmental ambience -- for the forthcoming House of (edited), set to finalize mid-February 2008. Anyway, he rocks. His most recent project was re-dyeing my hair black. Check his work:

Wow, he looks so serious when he's working. And please excuse the cell phone camera. I'll have to post a photo of the finished product, but as you can imagine, it looks excellent. Would you expect less from a personal stylist?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Good News and Bad News

Well, I've got good news and I've got bad news. Which do you want to hear first?

Well, let's get the bad news out of the way. My mom called me on Sunday to tell me my little Beeber passed away. That's my nickname for my cat, Long. I know it sounds silly to eulogize a pet, but if you've ever had a pet die, I hope you understand.
Long was so cute. He was just the sweetest cat. I found him as a kitten, abandoned, up in a tree. I had to climb up it to pluck him out. I called him my Baby, which evolved to BeeBee and then Beeber. Um, anyway ... I thought he would live forever. He seemed so young, and he was 12 this year, which is actually kind of old. But he has been sick recently with an upper respiratory infection, and my mom said he started to sneeze blood. Turns out he had developed a bad case of pneumonia. My parents had him put to sleep. I don't even know if that was Sunday or Saturday. I'll have to ask my mom. They buried him at their house next to our other cat, Toe, who died last June; 6/6/06, to be exact. Toe, who had extra toes like mittens, was 16.

Long's littermate, Short (Long had a long tail, Short has a short tail) is still kickin'. He is retarded. No, I'm serious. So it's amazing he is still alive. Very sad that they are all reaching their life expectancies.
I feel very sad especially because I knew Long had been kind of sick. I kept thinking that the next time I talked to my mom, she would say he was fine. I feel really badly because I have been so wrapped up in my life and all the changes and excitement going on that I feel like I forgot about or neglected Long. And other things in my life that matter. I feel like Long was like the Giving Tree. I hardly ever go home to my parents' house anymore. I feel so bad because last week my mom kept seeming like she was really wanting me to come visit. She kept saying things like I had mail to pick up, or I should see the progress on their kitchen remodeling, or she wanted me to stop by to visit because my dad was away on business. Now I realize she wanted me to come say goodbye to Long. I did go home last Wednesday, and was shocked at Long's deteriorating health. I wish I would have spent more time with him. I love you, Beeber.


Now for the good news! I GOT A NEW JOB!!! I am SO excited! This is absolutely crazy, but I am actually working at my dream job! I don't even know how to say it, but I recieved a HUGE blessing. I am now working as a copy editor for Gannett News Service! This is amazing. Gannett owns USA Today and 85 other papers across the U.S. They are huge. I am working at the Gannett and USA Today headquarters in McLean; a supersweet, architecturally mindblowing building:
I work in the Gannett building on the left. USA Today is on the right.

I am SOOOOooo glad I took the chance and had faith that in quitting my old job something better would come along.

Gannett News Service is like the Associated Press of the Gannett company. All the papers they own look to them for redistribution of local stories that are of national interest. So I am copy editing stories sent to the headquarters from all over the nation. I also design the Markets & Money page and the Nation & World page. So, for example, if your local Gannett-owned paper has a Market Watch section, or a World News section, chances are I designed and edited that. C-R-A-Z-Y. It also sounds way more big-time than it is at this point, since I am just learning it and there are several editors who oversee what I do. But still! I feel so blessed. Right now it is a temporary position through January, but it has a good chance of being permanent after that. Let's hope!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I was recently reminded of this picture. Even my mom had a hard time picking me out in the crowd. I think my eyes have 3 modes: smiling (shut), normal, and extra-wide for emphasis.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Cattail Run Farm

If you've never been to my place, I hope you can come visit sometime. Well, it's not really my place. The lady who owns the Farm is a small, elderly Englishwoman who is fond of gates and English gardens. It is a beautiful, serene, idyllic and bucolic place. I wish I could live here forever!

I have a hard time doing it justice by capturing it in pictures, so I rarely try, but recently I snapped a few with my phone's camera.

These are from a few weeks ago when we were blessed with several foggy, overcast mornings which I find strangely beautiful.


I live in the Pool House at Cattail Run Farm. This is a view of the pool, which is covered for the winter. Outside the frame of this picture is my house to the right and the main house to the left. I thought these dew-covered spider webs looked cool.
The view of the webs and beyond from the other side of the gate.

The gardens are cleared out for winter, but spring through summer, the inside of the wall is lined with flower beds that bloom with one type of flower after another. Very well-planned.

This aluminum tray, glass bulb cover and broken flower pot have been sitting on the wall for more than a year. My Englishwoman friend and I have this in common -- I don't notice things like this as in need of being cleaned up. In fact, I think it's a beautiful study in texture, color and contrast. The moss and weeds growing out give a unique, bonsai-like appearance.

Closer inspection of the unlikely bonsai.

No, not a Toyota ad: More of the property. Almost every evening, deer come parading through here. I've also seen wild turkeys and foxes.

The vegetable garden at left is directly behind my house. The Gatorade bottles on a string are to deter deer. They apparently work.

This little guy runs along the walls and just looks so cute. Finally got a picture of him.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Rare Photo Evidence

Hmmm, isn't someone looking like the cat who swallowed the canary? I should've known he was up to something ...

"Aha! I've got him in my web now!"

Quite possibly the best day of my life.

The photos above are from a great hike I went on recently :D

SO, I have been carrying my tiny little spy camera around with me everywhere, in the event I see something happening that I can record and blog about. I've always wanted a purpose to chronicle these little highlights of the day. Of course, the incessant feel-good/guilt trip anecdotes, urgings and resolutions to journal weren't enough. Thank goodness Half-Breed Outlaw: Online burst on the scene to save the day!

TODAY, I stopped by a comic book store near my house to check out all the hype. My beloved grew up reading comics, which I can't really relate to. My only experience with comics was when I was about 11 and my parents' friends came over with their 11-year-old son, who, while the folks were visiting, proceeded to tell me the storyline to every comic ever written. Nerd alert. Cruel & unusual punishment. Etc. But I'm willing to try to understand the appeal. After all, the X-Men movies are awesome and Wolverine is HOT!!

Segue to the shopping center this afternoon where I pulled up, thinking cosmic comic thoughts, and LO and BEHOLD, right in front of me was a hair salon with the most perfect view of a stylist giving a haircut. And no, no, no, not just ANY haircut!!!! The style to top all styles -- the anti-style -- the MULLET! I couldn't believe my eyes or my luck that I had my tiny little spy camera tucked in my bag.

Here is Rare Photo Evidence that people actually ASK for mullets (and get them!!!) at real, professional salons. I wish I could be all Photoshop-creative-Glamour Don'ts-style-like and put black bars over their eyes, but the crappy zoom should suffice:

Now, before you think I am being a Mean Girl (btw, is this totally violating any sort of privacy law or anything?) I will say that I, MYSELF, have a (modified) mullet. I actually asked my professional stylist friend to do it, and she wouldn't. But since she moved to Taiwan, I have asked subsequent stylists to just "keep it short on top" and "ooh, I like some length in the back" heh heh heh. I need to come to terms with the fact I don't have Japanese hair that is conducive to the "fashion mullet;" in fact, my hair disregards my intentions and does a mullet/'fro combo. I think my most recent stylist decided to get back at me for tricking her into a mullet by cutting me some unruly bangs; which I deflect with a swift sweep of a bobby pin. POW!!

I'm going to hit you, baby, one more time and give you a Rare Photo Evidence trifecta:
One night last week, my tiny little spy camera came in handy as I placed my order, rounded the corner of my local Taco Bell and pulled up to the drive-through window. The light pouring out seemed especially bright, and that's when I noticed Jesus. No, the Latin drive-through worker was not named Hey-SEUSS; there was this familiar, pass-along image of our Savior, hand extended like my Taco Bell friend extending that cheese quesadilla to me. I think it's really great they post that image.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Is This Heaven? No, it's New York

If you've seen Field of Dreams, or lived in Iowa, you know what I'm talking about.

I went to New York City last weekend! This was the second time in my entire life going there, and it was great. High school friend and college roommate, Amanda, and two of her friends who, along with me, were bridesmaids in her wedding last year, decided to trek from Omaha and Phoenix to NYC for an all-girl get-together. Since I have free flight bennies thanks to my U.S. Airways-employed main squeeze, I hopped up there Friday night to hang out for the weekend. Amazing.

Here we are, l-r: Lady Liberty, (I hate taking pictures with her, she makes me look huge); Angie; Amanda aka high school friend & college roomie; Half-Breed Outlaw aka modestmuse; Lori. Check out the super-sweet FANNY PACK I'm sporting!!! It's my new favorite thing. I've wanted one like this ever since 2004. I don't care if it's passe. I've tried traditional fanny packs between 2004 and last weekend, and they are just too bulky. This thing is slim, almost flat and has a stylish belt and buckle closure. Plus it's "GUCCI," with the logo emblazoned all over it, in case you forget.

The whole thing is so tongue-in-cheek, I love it. I got it out of this crazy back room above a shop on Canal St. It was a hilarious experience. The other girls were all about getting knockoff purses, and I was so over it, but I decided to join in the surreptitious bag-shopping experience. So, behind the curtain, through the hidden door and up the stairs we went. It wasn't until I had helped talk everyone through justifying buying their heart's desire in handbag form that, on my way out, I spied the Holy Grail of fanny packs!!! And in moments, it was mine.

I tend to misplace and subsequently lose things quite often (see PDA phone left on seat of bus in Mexico), so this will solve all my problems. I will wear it everywhere and put everything I need in it.

Once, I lived on the main drag in Waikiki for 24 hrs. and I decided the 3 things you need to survive indefinitely in any city are: a debit card, a bottle of water and a cell phone. The photo to the right was from that adventure (circa 2005). I love old folks and I thought this guy was so cute and sad. His Japanese tourist family parked him outside while they tore Chanel up. Nice!! BUT, upon closer inspection, I JUST NOW noticed that his uber-trendy (as we know all Japanese are) granddaughter in the background is WEARING aforementioned style of fanny pack!!!!! Now I love this photo even more!

New York really was amazing. I got caught up in the whole shopping experience and bought way too many Pashminas, but at $5 a pop, who wouldn't? I think I need to take a trip there sometime just to eat. There are 20,000 or 32,000 restaurants in NYC, depending on which tour guide you have; nonetheless, it is apparent there is a LOT of food to be eaten there, and I think I'm up for the challenge.

Friday, September 28, 2007

It's Aloha Friday!

OK my portrait is scary. Let's clear the air with the limited photos I have at my disposal:

My sister has a pet hedgehog! I haven't yet met him, but he apparently likes office work. My mom sent this to my cell phone a while ago, but I don't get pictures on my cell so I retrieved it from the VZW Web site.

Same thing happened here:

I still don't know who this was from, because VZW's Web site doesn't include the number of who sent it, but it had a message along the lines of "Saw this poster at the outlet mall and it made me think of you and the rock at Waimea." Thanks, mystery friend! Makes me think of my former life, too. Which is OK to think about once in a while. Like on Fridays.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Case in point

I'm going to have to illustrate this blog with photos of people and things other than myself. As you can see, I wasn't lying when I said I'm not photogenic. I wouldn't lie to you. There's a cliche that bugs me: "I'm not going to lie to you, --" followed by an obvious statement that is clearly not a lie. Like, "I went to Antarctica, and I''m not going to lie to you -- it was cold!" Blogs aren't supposed to be pet peeve-inspired rants, are they? Maybe once in a while? I'm not going to lie to you, this statement bugs me. It seems like I hear the "I'm not going to lie to you, --" disclaimer flying way too freely over the pulpit at church, and when I hear it I think to myself, "THANK you for not lying to me; moreover, why would you lie about whatever it is you just said, and why would you lie over the pulpit?! You'll incinerate on the spot and go straight to hell!! I'm serious, I saw it happen to a guy in the New Carrollton Branch when I was 9, and I'm not going to lie to you -- it scared the crap out of me!" Oh, wait ...

In other news, I received an e-newsletter this morning from the Richmond Marathon people, and the most newsworthy part of it is this:
"There will be plenty of food for all runners, and marathoners can look forward to Papa John’s pizza at the finish line."
!!!! If there's one time I probably won't feel like eating Papa John's pizza it will be after running 26+ miles, but I'll probably do it anyway because Papa John's pizza is incredible! HOWEVER ... Pizza Hut has a new pizza that won in taste tests (how would you like to be in that sample group) against Papa John's. If you're jonesin' for pizza, I have to recommend it.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Now, usually I don't do this, but uh ...

So I've started a blog. This thing looks like a mess because I can hardly figure it out. Sad. I have no pictures to post: 1) I don't have any good ones (despite my half-bred good looks, I am quite possibly THE most unphotogenic person on the planet) and 2) I tried to post one and it was HUGE. I'll have to figure the formatting thing out.

I am a fairly private person and I have never been inclined to post myself to the WWW. Mostly because I am paranoid. Also, I think this thing is weird and not an authentic version of me at all. Plus I have nothing clever to say. So the Half-Breed Outlaw online version was born mostly out of boredom. Or was it conceived? I don't like the reproductive analogies, so let's just say I decided to start a blog for something else to do. Plus I like to look at your blogs, so it's only fair.

What I've been thinking about a lot today is this: In The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (watched it last night) how come Nila, or whatever the girl's name is, has an Australian accent? She said her mum, who died when Nila was 10, was from Australia -- but Nila was born and grew up in Japan. Also, how come the serene dude who was always eating shrimp chips was apparently from Japan but had hardly any accent, but escaped to "his Mexico" -- Japan -- apparently from the U.S.? And how come DK's nickname was DK (Drift King), and not some Japanese acronym? These things just do not add up. Then again, maybe it's me. I don't think I "get" movies a lot of the time because I am so visually overwhelmed I don't listen to the dialog. I discovered this a few months ago while watching Pride and Prejudice (the Keira Knightley version) for the fourth time; it took on a WHOLE nother meaning when I put the subtitles on and read what they were actually saying.

Friday, September 21, 2007

hmmm why did I do this?