Category Archives: Boys are Dumb, Girls are Crazy

On the Lam

The University of Washington police department has an alert system that sends text messages and emails to student and staff when there’s any sort of safety concern on or near campus.  Today, they sent this message:

UW Alert – Seattle: Armed Robbery Wells Fargo, 4100 Blk Univ. Ave. Suspect WM 40s med build 6 ft glasses beard stay clear of area

I immediately texted Galen:

Did you just rob our bank?

And his reply:

Can’t talk. Running. I regret nothing.

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I Pledge Allegiance

Five methods of choosing your allegiance to professional* sports teams:

1. Grow up in the city of the team. This is a no-brainer, but doesn’t apply to those of us who grew up in states with no professional sports, so we had to…

2. Move to cities with professional teams. Not that this is a good way to choose a city to live in, although it is how my brother Peter wanted me to choose where I went to college. He told me I should go to Macalester in Minnesota because the Timberwolves were better than the Blazers. I’m continuing a long-standing tradition here and making fun of how amazingly wrong he was.

3. If the first two don’t work for you, you might have to randomly choose teams. For instance, I decided in middle school to be a 49ers fan because the fact that I was born in San Francisco made me feel special. I felt that Niners fans and I had a common bond. I’m sure some of them were born there, too! I’m pretty sure Pete randomly chose his teams as well, because he somehow ended up a fan of the Bulls, Steelers and Red Sox growing up. This option might also be called “bandwagoning.” Which leads me to the next option…

4. Absorb the preferences of the people around you. I didn’t know a whole lot about professional sports growing up (and I don’t know a whole lot more today), but I knew my brother and my dad were into them, so I rooted for the same teams they did. This is why, to this day, I still choose UNC to go WAY FURTHER in the NCAA tournament every year than any rational person should. And I’ve lost a fair amount of money on them over the years. Pete loved everything Michael Jordan ever touched, which included the Tar Heels. Plus, my grandma lived in North Carolina, so we had an in when it came to merchandise.  #4 also explains why I own a Boston Red Sox hat (many extended family members are fans) and a University of Oregon sweatshirt (tons of my friends went there). It’s the reason I have an inexplicable soft-spot for the Celtics (my dad loved Larry Bird and the old Boston Garden) and a horrible distaste for anything related to the Pistons (my dad always thought they were jerks).

5. If that’s not your style, though, you can always root for the rivals of your family’s team(s). My friend Kara is a DIE-HARD Cowboys fan because she grew up with a dad and a brother who were all about the 49ers in the early nineties. Wanting to simultaneously make things interesting and piss them off, she rooted for their rivals. Unfortunately, once she was in, she couldn’t get out.

All of this leads me to the San Francisco Giants. When I started dating Galen, I told him, in all seriousness, that everything I learned about the rules of baseball I learned from playing competitive kickball.  I mean, I understood the concept of swinging the bat and running around the bases… But if it weren’t for my kickball league, I never would have known what “tagging up” was or understood the relationship between fouls and strikes.

Galen grew up in the East Bay with a dad who taught all three of his children a lot about sports, particularly Giants baseball and Cal football.  Galen used a mix of methods #1 and #5 to become an Oakland A’s fan with a Giants problem.  I am told that Bay Area baseball is an anomaly in that it doesn’t polarize people the way you would think.  In fact, a barista at Starbucks today explained to me that everyone in the Bay prefers either the Giants or the A’s, but they would totally still root for the other as a second favorite.  “It’s not like the Raiders-Niners thing,” he told me, “where you might get stabbed by the other team’s fans.”

So I’ve continued my habit of #4 bandwagoning and decided to get into the Giants and A’s, even though I own a Red Sox hat.  I went to Spring Training in Arizona with Galen’s family in March and got to see a Giants game (with Tim Lincecum pitching).  All season, Galen has patiently answered my elementary questions about perfect games and no hitters and closers and errors.  We watched a few games on TV.  Then the Giants made it to the semis and things got interesting.

One thing I haven’t explained yet is that my boyfriend is hilariously superstitions when it comes to sports.  Up until about a month ago, I thought we were on the same page – you wear your team’s colors and hope you don’t say anything to jinx the team.  Now I realize that it’s totally different with him.  You are not supposed to discuss the possibility of winning or losing until it has already happened.  Sometimes exceptions can be made, but ONLY if you’re pessimistic (i.e. you can talk about the possibility of losing but not winning).  That way you can’t possibly jinx them; only get what you expected.

Before Game 5 of the Phillies-Giants series, when the Giants were leading 3 games to 1, I let it slip that the only Phillies win happened to coincide with the one day I wore my Giants shirt that Galen had bought me at Spring Training.  He then politely suggested that I only wear it on non-game days.

Also, Galen and his dad went to Game 1 of the World Series in San Francisco last week, where Galen purchased a hat for himself and a (totally rad) sweatshirt for me.  I later found out that the next day when he was watching Game 2 on TV, he “figured out a system” wherein wearing the hat forward during the bottom of the inning was good luck, but he had to turn it around and wear it backward for the top of the next inning so he didn’t give the good luck to Texas.  This is why San Francisco won Game 2, in case anyone was wondering.

So, I’ve been wanting to post for a week about the World Series and how cool it is that I got to see the Giants at Spring Training in person and now they’re in the World Series, but I was terrified I might ruin it!  What if I posted something about how I wanted Galen to be Brian Wilson for Halloween and I could be Tim Lincecum**, but then they lost the series?  It would be my fault.  I was even worried about wearing the sweatshirt he bought me, until he and his dad told me it would be okay if I did.  It’s like someone giving you a voodoo doll to use as a pincushion without explaining to you what your needles could be doing.

So after the game last night, I texted Galen from class (where I was refreshing the score on my phone every 10 seconds while trying to focus on the lecture) to congratulate him on his 2nd favorite team winning the pennant.  He responded, “Does not compute.”  Apparently even when he wears his hat the right way and I wear my sweatshirt and we make the baseball gods happy and the Giants win, he’s still skeptical.

* Obviously, college sports are a totally different matter.

** This idea was shot down because he didn’t want to make anyone think he was bandwagoning.  Apparently, he doesn’t wear his bandwagon proudly like I do.

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How My Man Does Laundry

Me: “Hey Galen, can I bring my laundry when I come visit you this weekend so I can do it at your place?”

Galen: “Sure. No problem.”

M: “Okay cool. Do you have detergent? I can bring some if I need to.”

G: “I have detergent.”

M: “Awesome. Do you have dryer sheets?”

G: “No.”

M: “Okay.”

G: “Are those useful?”

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All is Good in the World

I’ve recently started following this blog, and have decided that if my blog ever goes through some sort of reincarnation or my life changes in some huge way (or if I just feel like it), I might make this blog more like that blog. ‘Cause it’s a really neat idea.

Editor’s note: If you are cranky right now and/or don’t want to hear me gush about my fabulous boyfriend and wonderful life, do not read on. Go here instead. (Not that I’m judging you. I’ve totally been there. I just wanted to give you a snarkier option). You’ve been warned.

Last weekend, my cousin Kevin, his wife Jen and their daughter Molly were in town (blog post coming soon). At dinner Saturday night, Kev said that he and Jen like to play this game where they imagine what they would do if they won $50 million (or some other astronomical amount of money). He asked me what I would do. I said I would buy a house in Missoula, buy a cabin at Flathead Lake, buy (or build) a house at Waterton big enough for my whole extended family to stay in, and quit my job. Not because I don’t want to work, but because I’d like to do something different and work less but pesky things like rent, bills, car payments, and health insurance keep me working full time.

Later on, after dinner, I asked Galen what he would do. And you know what he said? He wouldn’t really change a thing. How awesome is that? He is actually so happy with his life that he wouldn’t change anything if he had all the money in the world.

And although I am totally happy with my life, too, and wouldn’t change anything (unless I won $50 million), I still like to dream. So I said, “You wouldn’t even buy a jet to fly back and forth between Umatilla and Portland?” And he smiled.

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Best. Boyfriend. Ever.

IMG_1056

Yep. Those are a dozen roses. They were delivered to my office today and I took them home because we have a staff retreat tomorrow. I couldn’t stand the idea that they would be at my desk without me there to admire them. The seatbelt worked quite well, I must add.

I was totally blown away by this. Galen and I had talked on the phone last night about how gloomy the weather is these days and how I’ve been feeling a little seasonally-affected. He was very sweet and understanding, as usual. We made plans for this weekend (I’m headed to Umatilla in search of sun and boyfriend) and then we hung up. I never expected anything as amazing as flowers delivered to the office.

After they arrived at my desk, the sun came out.

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2009; a year in review

Just like last year

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?

Got an Oregon Drivers License, lived by myself, bought a car (photos coming soon!), successfully navigated a long-distance relationship.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I did pretty well, honestly. And I’m going to try to revive the ones I’ve been slacking on.  I’m also adding one WHOPPER for 2010 – I am going to run a 5 mile race.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes! I got two new baby cousins this year.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No. Thank goodness.

5. What countries did you visit?

Just Canada. Wait, does Vegas count as a foreign country?

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?

Patience.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

January 20th – Barack Obama’s Inauguration Day (and the day the Kilmorey burned down).

May 9th – Galen took me on our first date.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Living on my own has been very empowering, as silly as that sounds. I always thought I’d hate it, but it’s been pretty nice.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I don’t like this question. I failed to pay a couple of bills on time?

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing more serious that the Swine Flu, thankfully.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I’m hoping my new(ish) car will fill this role.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

The Blazers.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I’m going to change those words to “disappointed and confused” and say President Obama. Not overall, mind you, but I’m still sort of confused about a few things, like the deployment of so many troops to Afghanistan.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Rent, car.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Pretty much every time Galen came to visit. And my cousins having babies.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?

“Boom Boom Pow” – Black Eyed Peas
“Don’t Trust Me” – 3Oh!3
“Battlefield” – Jordin Sparks
“Poker Face” – Lady Gaga
“I’m Yours” – Jason Mraz
“Love Story” – Taylor Swift
“Single Ladies” – Beyonce

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

happier or sadder? Happier
thinner or fatter? Thinner, I think. Maybe the same.
richer or poorer? About the same

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

I wish I’d spent more time in Montana.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

I wish I’d spent less time worrying about the future.

20. Did you fall in love in 2009?

Yes. :)

21. What was your favorite TV program?

The Daily Show, 30 Rock, So You Think You Can Dance, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Boston Legal (reruns).

22. What was the best book you read?

It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita by Heather Armstrong

23. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Zac Brown Band

24. What did you want and get?

A new job, a new car, A fabulous boyfriend.

25. What did you want and not get?

More sunshine. It’s never enough.

26. What was your favorite film of this year?

Wow, I saw so few (as always). I’m going to have to go with either The Hangover or Bolt. I saw both of them without knowing anything about them, really, so I was pleasantly surprised.

27. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 26 and went to one of my favorite bars with almost all of my favorite people in Portland. It was a wonderful reminder that I have friends of all ages from many different areas of my life, and they’re all amazing.  It was also a reminder that tequila shots are never a good idea.

28. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I’m going to state the obvious here and say that living in the same city as my boyfriend would have made a huge difference.

29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?

Jewel tones. And jeans whenever possible. (Damn you, new dress code at work! *Shakes fist*)

30. What kept you sane?

My mom.

31. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I’m going to change “fancy” to “admire” and go with Heather Armstrong.

32. What political issue stirred you the most?

Healthcare stirred me so much it left me exhausted and more than a little depressed.

33. Who did you miss?

Galen, my family, my friends who live elsewhere.

34. Who was the best new person you met?

It’s hard to believe I only met Galen in April…

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.

I have very high standards when it comes to my close friends. In return, they have my undying loyalty and love.

36. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Now my feet turn the corner back home
Sun turns the evening to rose
Stars turning high up above
You turn me into somebody loved

Somebody Loved, by The Weepies

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Filed under Bleeding-Heart Liberal, Boys are Dumb, Girls are Crazy, Good Reads, Musical Notes

I never wanted this for me.

Both of my parents have told me independently their theories on why marriage changes a relationship, and the premise is basically the same.  They both believe that everyone has deep-seated ideas of what marriage looks like and no one knows it until those ideas surface in their subconscious and, eventually, their behavior.  Even if you live together before you get married and don’t reorganize your finances… Even if the only things that seem to change are the jewelry on your left hands and maybe her last name… You’re not safe from those repressed ideas bubbling up and taking over.

I call my dad’s theory “The Tapes.”  You know how sports teams watch “tape” of themselves and their opposing teams to learn from their mistakes and look for patterns that they can manipulate?  My dad says that everyone has similar “tape” filed deep in their mind under “marriage.”  So they come home from their honeymoon to the same home they lived in with the same significant other and the same job and the same car, assuming everything is the same.  Then they start using words like “husband” and “wife” and “marriage”… and their mental marriage file is suddenly flung open and the tapes begin to play in the background like an outdoor movie.  The person can continue along with their life pretending they aren’t watching the tape, but they can’t ignore it completely.

Suddenly, the wife gets frustrated with her husband because he isn’t home for dinner every night.  The husband has never been home for dinner every night, so he, in turn, gets angry because his wife isn’t making her (changing) expectations clear.  Then the husband is aggravated because his wife decides to visit a friend who just had a new baby the same weekend he is supposed to attend another friend’s birthday party.  In the past, they would have just done their own things, but now he expects them to go to the party as a couple – a united front.  She thinks it’s clear that she needs to be with the new mom to help around the house, so she is frustrated with her husband’s lack of understanding.

Clearly these are oversimplifications that revolve around stereotypes, but they illustrate the point.

Back when I was single,  I used to console myself by saying that I would make an awesome girlfriend.  I would be the cool chick that all my boyfriend’s friends would want to invite out with them because I didn’t make my boyfriend leave early or stay home with me when I had a headache.  I would be understanding when he wanted to hang out with other people and wouldn’t make him check in with me all the time.  He wouldn’t have to drive me to the airport early in the morning because I’d take the bus instead.  I wouldn’t harp on him for his imperfections or ever try to change him… Because I would be The Perfect Girlfriend.

However, it’s becoming increasingly clear to me that I have “girlfriend” tapes.  Sometimes things come out of my mouth and within nanoseconds I’m doing my damnedest to shove them back down my throat.  Galen will go a few weeks without trimming his beard (NOT a big deal – nor anything that concerns me) and I’ll say something really sweet like, “Haven’t had much time to keep up the beard, huh?”  And then punch myself in the kidney.

Then there was the other day when we were hanging out at my apartment getting ready to go to a party with friends.  He was wearing a hat because it had been raining, but I thought his hair looked particularly good that day.  So, naturally, I said, in my most passive-aggressive voice, “Are… you going to wear that hat to the party?”  Being the incredibly nice person he is, he just looked at me and said, “I don’t know.  Do you think I should?”

I don’t WANT to say these things.  I really don’t.  Nor do I care if he trims his beard or wears a hat…  In no way do those things reflect upon me.  In fact, I don’t really care how he dresses or how often he showers either, as long as he doesn’t smell (I do have SOME standards).  But it feels like there’s something that says to me, “Megan, real girlfriends comment on the things their boyfriends wear in very tactless ways.”  So I do.

I’m hoping this tape doesn’t last too long.

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