Megnut

Search terms on the site

Now that the search has been up for a little while, aren't you curious to know what the most popular terms are? Alas, they're not that interesting: "sex", "megway", and "jason" lead the pack. Sex? Have I ever talked about sex on this site? Probably not in the way the searchers were hoping -- megnut just isn't that kind of site, and I'm just not that kind of girl!

Here is New York photos

September 11 was, of course, all around me and in my thoughts frequently during my trip to NYC last week. I heard many moving stories about people's experiences during that day (most of whom were in Manhattan when it happened) and I visited Ground Zero and looked at plywood barricades scrawled with messages that stretched blocks. But our visit (by happenstance) to the Here is New York exhibit on Prince Street had the most impact on me.

Subtitled "A Democracy of Photographs," Here is New York is an exhibit of photos taken by amateurs and professionals alike, displayed anonymously in a room. Take a few moments and browse the gallery; the collection of images is beyond impressive, beyond words really. I am haunted by this image of a woman standing in her doorway.

Vegetable Stock

Ingredients

olive oil
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
1 onion
1 leek (white part and some of green)
2 cloves of garlic
fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
salt & pepper to taste
8 cups water

Megway in USAToday

USAToday Hot Site While I was out of town, the Megway was recognized by USA Today as a "Hot Site" in their USATODAY.com Web Guide. We're all very excited here at Megway headquarters.

Information display at the museum

Mountain GorillaWhile in NY I was nearly attacked by an enraged mountain gorilla, oh wait, no...while in NY I visited the American Museum of Natural History, where I spent many wonderful hours viewing all kinds of exhibits that brought me back to my childhood. I can't get enough of those habitat displays filled with stuffed animals arranged in action-like stances, posed against richly-painted backdrops of their native landscape.

Something that I observed at the time but failed to capture with my camera was the way information is displayed next to the exibits, and how it's changed over time. At the older exibits, like the habitats I mentioned above, a simple paragraph of text beneath or to the side of the window explained the contents. "The Mountain Gorilla blah blah blah..." Very clean and straight-foward, almost what you'd expect from a text book. But upstairs on the fourth floor, home of the dinosaurs and primative mammels, it was very different, for that floor had recently been renovated—the information displays had a very modern, multimedia feel to them. There were underlines and arrows directing one's eye to various bits of text, and certain words were written in a larger font, often emphasized with bold or italic.

Gone were the simple paragraphs in favor of "hipper" layouts that forced the eye to track across a wide plexiglass-type sheet to take in all the information. (Why oh why didn't I take a picture of this?) More colors were used, more fonts, more visual aids, and yet, I found it much hard to read than the simple text presented on the first floor. While it certainly looked cooler, I'm not sure it did the job of presenting information any better. In fact, it might have been worse. But the dinosaurs were very cool.

On a totally different, and far more ridiculous note: Free Winona t-shirts for sale. But why does she look like Jackie O? Or the woman on an English Beat t-shirt? The answer to some of life's mysteries can never be known.

On being sick

The one good thing about being sick is that I've spent the passed two days curled up on the sofa, alternately sleeping and reading, and the reading part has allowed me (finally!) to finish The Count of Monte Cristo. Now I know many of you didn't believe I'd ever finish this book, and there are those of you who wrote counseling me to give up, but I persevered and was rewarded by the exciting revenge-laden climax of The Count. A thoroughly enjoyable read, well worth the effort.

radio city music hall, nyc, usa

Sick now from NY

It snowed last night and for the first time since the winter of '98 I was out and about during a snow storm. It was lovely, albeit cold, and Jason and I walked the twelve blocks back to our hotel to experience it. I'm not sure why I love snow so much, it must be a relic from my childhood with its associations of closed schools and hours spent building forts and playing outside. Or perhaps it's because of skiing and all the time I spent on the slopes during the winter as I grew up. Or perhaps it's just because it's so pretty and quiet when surroundings become blanketed in snow, transformed from something common and gray to something sparkley and new.

Also, I'm sick.

Hello from NYC

So far so good here in NYC. The weather is cold, which I was looking forward to but have decided now that I was crazy to look forward to cold, and the gloves I've brought are not very warm. Snow is predicted for this evening, which I'm looking forward to (and I may later decide I was crazy to look forward to snow as well, especially if it really dumps 6".) Lots of neat sights seen and people talked to and a wonderful bed at a very nice hotel slept in, so two thumbs up. I have lots more to discuss but not now, not yet.

The Christmas tree

A thought occurred to me today as I closed a pop-up ad window and a new one sprung up behind it saying something like, "Don't close that window just yet" before I closed it too. Can you imagine if your TV, upon having its channel changed away from a commercial, went back to that same station, and the ad said something like, "don't go away just yet!" Rude beyond all belief, but that's what happens every day with this unwanted in the first place pop-ups that spawn generations of pop-up children.

Off to NYC

I'm off to NYC tomorrow for a few days of visiting with friends, some family, and some work-type folks. I'm looking forward to stretching my brain and seeing the sights, and I'm hoping for some snow while we're there as well. I'm going to try and update from the road, since it isn't as much a vacation as a relocation (albeit temporarily).

The Christmas tree

We took down the Christmas tree today and I kept thinking, "we could keep it up a little longer. It still appears fresh, and it smells so good and looks so pretty." And then it dawned on me: I have the potential to turn into one of those crazy women that keep the Christmas tree up until July, or worse yet, all year. I'm sure it will happen gradually, first I'll keep it 'till the end of January, the next year, February. Then one Christmas, it will be August and I'll be watering the tree and turning on its lights. And probably feeding my fifty cats too, because I think I have that tendency as well...

Megnut Marketing and Telecommunications Bill

I would like to propose the "Megnut Marketing and Telecommunications Bill of 2002" for consideration by the United States Congress:

Section 1: It shall be illegal for telemarketers to call outside the hours of 9-5 local time for the number they are dialing, Monday through Friday. If they call outside the designated hours, they will be fined $1,000 for each violation, 50% of which goes to the victim.

Section 2: It shall be illegal for financial companies (like credit card companies) to label envelopes with formal-looking warnings like, "Requires Immediate Attention" or "Signature Required" when in actuality the envelop contains some stupid credit card offer and requires no attention at all on the part of the addressee. This section can be summed up: It shall be illegal to make junk mail look like real mail.

I'm sure this bill requires additional sections that escape me now, but this is a start.

Also, I'm going to start referring to ATM's as "automatic T machines" from now on. You should too.

Search on megnut.com

I added a "search" to the site on the right there (yes, eons after everyone else has already done it. We don't make trends around here, we follow them, way way after the fact...) Anyway, I did it because I couldn't find content I knew I'd written, and Google wasn't any use. They don't seem to be indexing my archives and rather than figure out why (well I know why, but rather than change how I archive), I just added the easy-to-use and free Atomz search. Voila! Search away, my friends, search away.

Now that the Five Days of Huskers Mourning have passed, I'm ready to resume posting. Actually, I wasn't in mourning, and there's no five days of mourning or anything like that for the Huskers, like they used to have years ago when people were widowed (first mourning, etc.) I had a zillion deadlines (or two) which needed to be met and prevented me from focusing any energy on ye olde megnute.

Trains in Cali

I've always thought we could do with a high-speed rail system here in California, so imagine my joy when I found this on Nick's site: The California High Speed Rail Authority ("Moving Californians Into the Future"). Though they don't have a high speed rail to Vegas, or to Tahoe, it's a start. I hope it gets built, though it will be something like 20 years before it's done. Still...20 years is better than no years.

And while they're at it, they should do something to improve the current ride up to Tahoe. Here's an article about a great idea: taking the train up for the weekend to go skiing. Alas it takes six hour or seven hours, one way, and is over $100. Plus the trip is often delayed. But it sounds so pleasant. I'd be more inclined to head up there via train (if it took three hours and cost $50/rt). Maybe someday.

Today's the Big Day

Go Nebraska!

Today's the Big Day and I'm working very diligently so this afternoon I can head to a party to watch the game. If my dream from last night (I swear I'm not making this up) comes true, it should be a good game. I dreamt Nebraska was up 40-19 with 7:17 left in the 3rd quarter. Unfortunately my dream didn't carry the final score, but my hopes are high. GO HUSKERS!

Yahoo! maps is a bit confused

I rely on Yahoo! Maps frequently and it's a very useful service, rarely if ever wrong. So I was really surprised today when I got a totally useless result. The address "Ord, San Francisco CA" yields driving directions to ORD, or Chicago's O'Hare International Airport in Illinois, 2142.8 miles away. But if I add "St" to the address, transforming the obscure (to Yahoo!) "Ord, San Francisco CA" address to "Ord St, San Francisco CA" I get the directions I'm looking for. Ord Street is only 2.7 miles away, a distance that's more achievable today in all this rain. Seems like there's a mistake in the "Get Directions" logic since I'm obviously not looking for driving directions to O'Hare. If I were, I'd have entered "Ord, Chicago IL." In this situation, the "San Francisco CA" part of the entry should be more heavily weighted than the "Ord." Or a simple "St" should be appended if necessary.

Speaking of Yahoo! Maps, they have one of my favorite disclaimers on the web, "When using any driving directions or map, it's a good idea to do a reality check..." Do a reality check? The incongruity of a formal disclaimer to the slangish expression "reality check" just makes me giggle. Good thing I confirmed my reality consisted of a desire to travel less than three miles in my own city, not travel half-way across the country, via car, to an airport.

Thanks to all who've written with birthday wishes, I appreciate it. You'll be happy to know I was treated to a delicious sushi dinner and am now not nearly as morose about turning 30 as I was pre-hamachi nigiri.

Thirty years old

Meg's diaper pins

When I saw my parents in Vegas a few weeks ago, my mom gave me a wonderful present: silver engraved diaper pins, mine, which were actually used to secure my cloth diapers when I was a baby. By the date on one you can see that 30 years ago today I was born. 30 years seems like a long time, much longer than I feel I've been alive. But then when I think about it I seem to have so many years of memories, like how I remember seeing Grease and Star Wars in the theatres, and how I loved those days during the Blizzard of '77 when I had nothing to do but play in the snowdrifts in front of the house. And I can think back to the 80's, to Billy Joel's Glass Houses and Madonna's Borderline, to dissecting frogs in science class and horrible memories of seventh grade boys, to high school and a Spanish class trip to Mexico and the bus rides after soccer games singing Doug E. Fresh's La Di Da Di on the way home. Somehow so many of those memories seem fresher than the 90's, which lack distinction and blur into a haze of rowing and reading in college, then working and working and working.

What freaks me out the most is how clearly I remember nearly all this stuff. Five years ago? Seems as clear to me as last week. Heck, I remember what I did on certain weekends in 10th grade. That was 1986! And all the sudden, I'm 30. People keep telling me it's great, that it's better than one's 20's and all that. But I'm not feeling quite up to 30 yet, mostly because it seems so old and I feel so young.

Aren't people supposed to be married when they're 30? Aren't they supposed to have kids? Or a job? Or own a house? Aren't they supposed to be grown up? I don't feel grown up. I don't know, I think there's been a mistake somewhere along the way, an accounting error of sorts. I can't possibly be 30. There must be a typo on my diaper pins, surely I'm not a day over 25.

The Good and The Bad of 2001

So everywhere people are writing about how bad 2001 was, and everyone I talk to keeps saying, "This was the worst year ever, I'm so glad it's over!" And while I agree it's been a difficult year for many folks, myself included, I like to be more optimistic. Rather than focus solely on the bad, I decided I'd write a list of the good things that happened to me in 2001 as well. So I present my "The Good and The Bad of 2001" list (I thought adding "The Ugly" would be too much.)

2001: The Good2001: The Bad
Didn't have a nervous breakdownHad to walk away from my company, Pyra, to prevent it
Wonderful trip to Paris and Antwerp in the springGot laid off from work upon my return
Landed interesting contract project quickly after layoffProject went kaput days before Sept. 11
I only know 1 person killed in the attacksI still cry when I think about Sept. 11 and everyone who was less fortunate
Exciting trips to Berlin and DC for conferencesStill unemployed
Blogger is still running and growingI'm no longer a part of it
The year is overThe year has no chance to redeem itself

Please have a happy and safe new year's celebration and I'll see you in 2002!

A rainy loss of motivation

The rainy season has begun in earnest. The cat has taken to sleeping on the heating pad, even when it's not plugged in. The tree is dropping many needles now. I have the motivation of an ant, no wait that's probably wrong, I think ants have lots of motivation, like when they carry those big leaves back to their ants nests or homes. I have the motivation of something decidedly less motivated, an animal of your choice.

Merry Christmas 2001

Our Christmas Tree

Well the presents are opened and now comes my favorite part: sitting and reading one of the books that I've been given. Today's selection is The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller. I can't wait to try some of these recipes. It's also inspired me to start saving my money in the hopes of going to the The French Laundry for dinner. I figure if I start saving a dollar or two every day (in a jar with the label "French Laundry Dinner Fund") I should have enough saved by May or so, when the weather will be delightful in Napa. That means around March I'll have to start calling to try and get my reservation. I think it will be worth it.

Enjoy your day and your presents if you're of the Christmas persuasion. If you're not, please enjoy your day nonetheless.

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