Category Archives: About Me

Lucky Number 13

Well, it’s February, so it’s about time I do my end-of-the-year wrap up.

2013 was an absolutely incredible year.  On New Year’s Eve last year, someone made a joke about 2013 being unlucky, which Galen was quick to dispute, pointing out that he was born on a Friday the 13th and that the number 13 had always been a good one for him.

It was definitely a great year, and it was incredibly busy.  Here’s what happened:

  • Both Galen and I turned 30.  Galen would like me to note that I was 30 for 2 months before he was.
  • In June, Galen graduated from his MBA program and got to wear a big fancy silk hood.  He took a whole weekend off before starting a new job the following Monday at a company he really likes.
  • The same weekend, I had my graduation ceremony, even though my program technically went through August.  My classmates nominated me as our graduation speaker, which was an incredible honor.  After hearing me talk almost nonstop for 2 years straight, they somehow thought I needed a microphone and a stage.  I made some of them laugh, so I consider the speech a great success.
  • In August, I finished my degree and officially got a “MS” after my name, making my full title rather palindromic.
  • While doing my internship over the summer, I started the job hunt.  I was lucky enough to get a job at the place I really wanted to work.  It’s not quite full time, but I’m hoping they’ll have more hours for me next year.  Either way, playing with preschoolers is pretty awesome.
  • We got married!  After 4.5 years of dating, 1.5 years of being engaged, and lots of planning and organizing, we did it!  The whole day was perfect.  And now the adventure continues, which is really the best part.
  • Galen couldn’t take time off work for the honeymoon until about 6 weeks after the wedding, which ended up working out well since we both got sick immediately after the wedding.  But by October we were healthy and thrilled to go to the Greek islands for a week.  It was a quick trip when you take travel time into account, but it was so totally worth it to see Santorini and Naxos.   I can’t wait to go back again.
  • We had been looking for a new place since June, since we had outgrown our grad school apartment, but the rental market in Seattle is cutthroat, so we weren’t having much luck.  The day after we got back from the honeymoon, I went to an open house and loved the place.  We applied on the spot, schmoozed the landlord, and got accepted!  We signed a lease a few days later and made plans to move December 15.  We now live in a whole house!  All to ourselves!  The address is so easy to remember without apartment or unit numbers in it… It’s fabulous.  And the best part?  We have a guest bedroom!  Everyone make plans to come visit. We’ll be waiting for you.

So after a wonderful year that included big birthdays, master’s degrees, new jobs, a wedding, a honeymoon, and a move, I can confidently say the number 13 has been really lucky for us.  I’m incredibly grateful for everything we have.  Now I’m just hoping 2014 is really… chill.

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My Mountain

We had a guest speaker in one of my classes today who does research in New Zealand. After her presentation, she talked a little bit about New Zealand’s unique research requirements, particularly those involving the Maori population. Before any of her research studies can be approved, among other things, she must attend a Maori meeting and discuss how the study will affect and include the Maori population. And she has to do this in their native language (which she doesn’t speak), so she has to memorize translated scripts.

When we asked her to say a few words in Reo (the language of the Maori), she said she can only remember part of the greeting she usually does. Apparently, whenever you introduce yourself in Maori culture, they want to know where you’re coming from. She was taught to start out by honoring those present (both physically and spiritually) and then introduce herself by identifying her mountain and her river, then discussing her ancestors. Further research indicates this is normal. So I’ve been thinking about my Maori introduction.

My mountain is Sentinel.
My river is Clark Fork.
My tribe is Missoula.
My sub tribe is Seattle.
Obama is the chief.
My marae is a kitchen table.
I am Mego.

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Two Truths and a Video

1. When my parents named me, they had never met anyone else named Megan before.

2. In 2003, I studied abroad in Ireland with about 30 other American students. I was one of four Megans in the group.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Also, I watched this episode of 30 Rock when I was visiting my friend Meghan in Arizona. We were sitting on the couch together, laughing during this scene.

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Twenty-Eight

On this kind of cool date (3/2/11), I turn 28 years old. Somehow, this birthday feels like it snuck up on me. Normally I’m planning a party way in advance and thinking about what I want to do to celebrate, but this year there were so many other things going on (all good things) that my birthday has become a much more laid-back affair, at least in terms of how I feel about it. And frankly, it feels just right. (Plus, I have to save up some celebrating for my 30th, right?)

Please help me celebrate (even if you’re reading this post in 2015) by either telling me what you were doing when you were 28 or telling me what you hope you’ll be doing. I was thinking last night that I had no idea where I would be at this age, but I’m pretty damn happy where I am.

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Gratitude

This year, I was going to do one of my annual photo collages, but some things are easier put into words.

I am grateful for:

The people who started as my coworkers and became some of my closest friends.

Homemade whipped cream.

Flowers, all sorts.

Family members who know me so well, sometimes I don’t even have to use words to describe my feelings to them.

Baking.

Jeans that fit well.

Songs that cause me to sing out loud and stay in the car after I’ve already parked.

My “college friends” who I wasn’t friends with in college, but who mean the world to me.

Sunny days that make me feel like I’m glowing.

Christmas lights.

My boyfriend, whose love is always with me, even if he can’t be.

Craft projects.

Aunts, uncles, cousins and baby cousins.

Traditions, memories and sentimental values.

Galen’s family, who always make me feel welcome.

Ebenezer Ale.

Sudoku.

Boots with the fur.

The wonderful people in my life who are patient with me as I try to understand the uncertainty that surrounds me and try to remember not to judge others too harshly.

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Science Cheerleaders

My friend Bonnie shared this article the other day about “Science Cheerleaders,” a group of former and current professional NFL and NBA cheerleaders who are also scientists and engineers.  They recently performed at the U.S. Science and Engineering Festival to encourage people, specifically young women, to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math:

Although I understand where so much of the stereotypes and criticism of cheerleaders comes from, I still think this is an awesome concept.  Jezebel.com covered the topic, saying, “Science shouldn’t have to be sexed-up to make it an acceptable career choice for women, but hopefully the message girls take from the Science Cheerleaders is that your attractiveness is not a reflection on your intelligence.”  I agree with them, but as a girl who has always been good at math and science, I think there’s another important part to this message, which is that you can excel in “nerdy” subjects and still be girly.  You don’t have to be, obviously, but sometimes, as female nerds, we don’t realize we have a choice.  Sometimes in middle school and high school we feel pigeonholed.  Everyone is given a label (nerd, football player, cheerleader, druggie, hippie) and then expected to play their part.  It took me a long time to figure out that I could pick and choose from various stereotypes, INCLUDING the “girly” one without accepting the whole package.  There were a few years in college when I had acrylic nails and got them “done” regularly, not because I was a super girly-girl overly-concerned with my appearance, but because I wasn’t really girly and having fancy nails made me feel good and a little rebellious.  I liked that I could rock my naturally curly hair and hooded sweatshirts every day but still have some feminine touches like manicures and matching accessories that made me feel good.  To this day, I sort of like the way people react when I tell them I majored in math.  I like defying their stereotypes.  And I really wish someone had told me when I was thirteen that I could spend time on my hair and dance and do neurology research, without having to choose.

Now I’m just hoping they start some sort of program for science professionals who want to be BlazerDancers.

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Turning into our Parents

Once this summer, my friend Kallyn told me about how she has absorbed her mother’s worst fears. Kallyn said when she and her sister were growing up, her mom was always afraid they were going to choke on something, probably a grape. Because of this, her mom cut grapes in half for her daughters much longer than most parents and didn’t allow them to eat any round candy. The choking fear was heightened when there was food being thrown into someone else’s mouth, even if it wasn’t a grape. Kallyn said to this day her mom still freaks out if she even sees someone throwing popcorn into someone else’s mouth.

Her second greatest fear was that someone would dive into the shallow end of the pool and end up paralyzed. According to Kallyn, she and her sister have both internalized these fears. In fact, I think this whole thing came up when some of our friends were throwing food into each other’s mouths from long distances and Kallyn covered her eyes.  I believe we were even poolside.  I’m sure she’s shuddering just thinking about it now.

This made me think of the bizarre fears I’ve “inherited” from my mom:

1. Losing people in crowds.  Whenever we would go somewhere crowded (the fair, the mall, New York City), my mom would tell my brother and me exactly what we were supposed to do if we ever got separated.  There were also overarching rules (in case you hadn’t received specific instructions), like if you lost someone, you were always supposed to go back to the last place you saw them.  Then they would look for you there, too, and you would find each other.

Once when Pete and I were maybe 10 and 12, we were planning a family trip to New York City because my dad was going to a conference there.  My mom grew up in Upstate New York and has lots of memories (both positive and negative) of trips to the city with her family.  I think it’s safe to say that she was terrified of losing us the city, because she informed us that she would be looking into purchasing a couple of those plastic leashes parents used for their toddlers that looked like brightly colored telephone cords.  Does anyone else remember those?  I’m so glad the internet didn’t exist then, because that link was REALLY easy to find.  Anyway, Pete and I were obviously way too old to wear anything like that, and we told her so.  Although I think the real reason we didn’t end up wearing them was because she couldn’t find any.  Probably because they only sold them at STORES FOR PARENTS OF TODDLERS.

Although I haven’t had kids yet, I definitely worry about losing people in crowds.  I can think of two times I’ve gone absolutely ballistic when my friends didn’t have the same understanding of exactly what you’re supposed to do if you get separated in an unfamiliar place.  Once was on a school trip to Washington, D.C. in High School, before cell phones were part of our lives.  The worst, though, was when I went to Cabo San Lucas with a couple girl friends for Spring Break my senior year of college and lost my friend Casey in a huge bar full of people.  She had run into a guy that worked at our hotel who we had befriended and stopped to chat with him.  When we finally reconnected, I was so shaken I had tears in my eyes and Casey couldn’t figure out what was going on.  She must have thought I was absolutely nuts – we were probably only separated for a minute or two – but in my mind, it had been forever.  I was so upset I thought about going home for the night, but luckily she convinced me to stay.

2. Strangers who don’t know the password.  I don’t know how else to sum this one up in a sentence.  We always had a password that could be used in lots of ways.  If a stranger knocked on the door and we were home alone, we could ask them for the password.  If they didn’t know it, we didn’t have to answer the door.  If someone offered us a ride home from school and they didn’t know the password, we wouldn’t get in their car.  Of course, I can’t remember using this password in a circumstance like this, ever.  But it was a comforting thing to have.  Eventually the password was extended to mean “I want to tell you something but I can’t talk about it right now.”  For instance, if I was at a friend’s house and that friend asked me to spend the night, I could call my mom and ask if I could stay, then say the password* on the phone.  That way my mom would know that I had been invited but I didn’t really want to stay, so she would make up an excuse or a fake reason that I needed to come home.  Now that I think about this, I really need to make some more passwords with my friends.  I take it back.  You had this one right, mom.

3. Driving behind logging trucks.  One time, my mom told me she’d always hated driving behind logging trucks because she imagined the logs sliding off the back and hitting her car.  Just by telling me this fact, she instilled in me the same terror.  Galen has even explained to me all the different ways the logs are secured and strapped down on a truck and I’ll still change lanes as fast as I possibly can if I’m stuck behind one.

So, if the pattern continues, my kids will probably be afraid of all these things, plus spiders and going fast in boats.  Heaven help them.

*And no, I will not publish the password online.  Are you nuts?

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