We encounter each other in Hundred Oaks, too, apparently

Last night after work Ian and I headed over to Hundred Oaks theater to get tickets to see Milk at 8:15. We had about two hours to kill, so we walked to the nearby Rafferty’s to see if we could get a table or seat at the bar for a quick bite to eat. They were busy as hell—about 15 people waiting and the bar was completely full—so we decided to head back to the theater, get my car and drive a block or two down to the Applebee’s.

As we were leaving Rafferty’s though, someone hollered my name—it was Colleen! We know each other from Twitter and the blogosphere, but had never met before, so it was cool to finally meet her. We have talked several times about meeting up for lunch or drinks; maybe this was the Universe’s way of telling us hey, guys, get on it!

So after chatting with Colleen for a minute, we walked back to the car and headed to Applebee’s. We were seated quickly, ate and drank. It was the end of happy hour, how could we not throw a few back? Plus, we’d have the whole movie to sober up before we (ok, I) had to drive back to the ‘Boro.

After we ate we headed back over to Hundred Oaks, and as we were turning down an aisle to try to find a parking space, we noticed a guy dressed in all black with shoulder-length black hair get out of a really sweet Mercedes (I thought it was just a regular Mercedes until Ian said, “Holy shit that’s a sweet Mercedes.”) alone and walk toward the theater. Ian said, “Was that Jack White?” And I was all, “What the fuck would Jack White be doing at Hundred Oaks?” But Ian told me he lived around here, and then we got really curious.

So we walked into the theater and low and behold, there was Jack White with a chick and a dude with hipster geeky glasses and super long, straight black hair at the concession stand.

We got in line behind them, but nobody was coming over to help them. We waited a minute more, and then I (obviously fueled by the alcohol I had consumed at dinner) stepped all up in between them and said, “Is this line open?” And they kind of chuckled and Jack said something about he didn’t know and nobody was coming over there, or something like that. So we all moved to the next line over, behind some people who obviously were not important enough for me to remember what they looked like.

I do remember that those non-important people were taking FOREVER to order, which turned out to be awesome because that gave Ian and I to be all, “DUDE IT TOTALLY IS JACK WHITE LOOK AT HIS RING! IT’S THAT EYE! I TOLD YOU IT WAS HIM SHOULD I TAKE A PICTURE MAYBE I CAN SNEAK ONE WITH MY IPHONE SHHHHH”

In my head we were whispering but I’m sure we sounded like assholes.

So I get out my phone trying to be all sneaky and take a picture of the back of his head when the following goes down:

Ian: You look really familiar… What’s your name?
Jack: Jack
Ian: Jack… White?
Jack: Yeah
Ian: Oh, hey (or something like that… they shake hands)
Me: Hey! Nice to meet you! (Shakes his hand)… Sorry, I know people in Nashville usually aren’t all, ‘Hey, how’s it goin’ to famous people… (or something like that)
Jack: No, it’s ok… (smiles)


Fucking awesome, huh?

So anyway, we’re still waiting in line and Jack’s wife is asking about coffee, and the concession stand dude is smiling a 3-mile-wide smile and offers to let her taste the coffee. So as Jack and the other dude (who the concession stand guy told us later was the bass player) were ordering, his wife sipped on the coffee sample. And then the concession guy is ringing them up and asks if she wants the coffee, and I guess she said no because when we got up there the cup was sitting on the beverage dispenser grate.

So anyway, we order our shit and everyone behind the counter is tittering with excitement (and the woman, who I guess was the manager, was all, “Yeah it’s like that time Tom Hanks came in here…” And I can’t believe my half-drunk ass didn’t blurt out, “WHAT THE FUCK WOULD TOM HANKS BE DOING IN HUNDRED OAKS?”)

So we head into the movie theater and there’s like six people in there. Three of which are Jack White, his wife and the bass player. Sitting smack in the middle of the theater.


So now my brain starts racing with “I really want to sit in the middle but I don’t want to block them and I kind of want to be up higher but we already talked to them so I don’t want to make them uncomfortable by sitting behind them because they might think we’ll just be staring at the whole time which we totally would be” so we sat in the row in front of them, to their right a little so we didn’t block them.

And then of course some douchebags came in and sat right in front of them and laughed annoyingly throughout the movie.

And then the movie was over and they left and we walked behind them for a bit, and Jack and his wife walked arm and arm.

I would also like to say that I was amused that they did not look Hollywood at all. Or even rock-star, really, except maybe the bass player but he just looked like maybe he was really into living in East Nashville or something. But Jack’s wife was wearing this coat… you remember the kind of coats that were popular like six or seven years ago… they were brown suede but had white or off-white furry/fleecy seams and collars and wrists? She had one of those. And her hair was red.

Anyway, I know I sound very starstruck, and I guess I kind of was. But not enough where I feel like I mad an ass out of myself. I wanted to get a picture with them SO BAD but I felt like I would be violating the Nashville code of ethics, the whole “stars live here because Nashville people leave them the hell alone.”

But I’m going to go ahead and get this out, right here right now:


We encounter each other in words

Today at work we gathered in the conference room (with pastries!) to watch the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States (on our 30″ Apple cinema display!). I sat in the back row, in the corner near the window, with my iPhone and a green napkin in my lap. I ate glazed doughnut bites and cinnamon roll pieces. I wore a gray turtleneck sweater and gray/black/white plaid pants. I felt insecure about the length of my newly shorn hair when my boss took out his camera.

I’m telling you all this in unnecessary detail because I want to remember it all. I want to look back and remember how I felt again—the second time since the election results were announced—a glimpse of what it feels like not to be ashamed of my country. To feel as though we’re heading forward, heading toward something—anything—good this time, instead of digging ourselves deeper and deeper. To imagine that one day I will travel abroad again and might not be warned to tell people “I’m from Canada” because Americans are so hated internationally. To be able to tell people I’m from the U.S. and not have to add a “But I don’t support our president!” disclaimer after I see them start to judge me, silently but unmistakably.

I want to remember what it felt like to watch the swearing in of someone who I did not fear was going to try to legislate the circumstances under which I had control of my reproductive organs. And how for at least the next four years, I probably won’t have to explain to people that no, it’s not a stupid fear, and you don’t get to dictate what causes are important to me.

This election was a contentious one, and tumultuous for me personally. I sparred with friends over many issues, and there were many nights that I ended up in tears, sure I would never wax political with anyone again. One night I escaped a conversation and ended up hiding in my bedroom closet with the cat, hugging my laptop as I waited for it to be over. For most of the election, I felt like Ian was the only one on my side, even if at times he didn’t completely understand the level of emotion specific issues brought out in me. I saw the discord in the eyes of a couple I know, and realized how lucky I am that Ian and I think so similarly on political and social issues.

I am not stupid. I know that Barack Obama cannot fix everything by Friday. He is not a messiah, Jesus, witchdoctor, magician or Atreyu. George W. Bush spent his eight years fucking shit up, and there’s no telling how long it will take to undo the harm he has done the people of this country. There are scars that will never disappear.

There are scars that will NEVER disappear.

But Obama has the brains and common sense to give it a better shot than anyone else who was in the running (except maybe Hillary Clinton, but because people still fear a Vagina in Charge she got a bad rap), and the election showed the country believes the same. I mean, honestly, it can’t get any worse than W.

The election tired me out. I’m still exhausted emotionally from it. If I even hear people start to debate abortion rights, gay marriage or welfare programs my gut seizes up and I look for the quickest exit. I’m tired of arguing.

So this morning, watching the inauguration, I had a secret little party in my head. The next four years are going to be like a crazy road trip. I love road trips. I’m really, really hopeful.

I feel like I am about to witness great things in slow motion.

And what if Elizabeth Alexander is right?

“What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.

In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.”

The headline of this post was taken from my favorite line of the inaugural poem.

A wedding in progress

Old lace, originally uploaded by MeganMorris.

One of my BFFs is getting married. After 11 and a half YEARS with her boyfriend. So excuse me while I get a little carried away with the pictures.

Also, Internet, we need your help. She is torn between two dresses she saw at David’s Bridal, and tomorrow they are having a huge sale. So I ask you, which do you like better?

Dress 1 (alternate view here)


Dress 2 (alternate view here)

What say you?

Back from the dead

OMG you guys. So last Saturday I went wedding-dress hunting with my BFF, and my other BFF and her son came along. My other BFF and her son were just getting over the stomach flu. Which I found out when they showed up. And breathed all over me.

The next day I met another friend for lunch. Who had babysat sick BFF’s son the other day. And she had been puking the day before. Which I found out when she showed up at the restaurant.

So Sunday night I ate an eggroll and started feeling queasy. I chalked it up to either the eggroll or the pizza I’d had earlier that day.

But at 11 p.m., my stomach unleashed a fury from hell that I hadn’t felt in a long time. And it kept. on. going.

For two days I was a puking/shaking/dizzy/coughing/aching/102-degree fever-having monster. Ian, who thought he had the flu also, brought me Gatorade, crackers and soup and stood warily next to me as I expelled what felt like the last 10 years of stomach contents over and over.

I didn’t think I’d ever eat real food again.

Then, on Wednesday morning, I felt a little better. Thursday I wasn’t nauseated anymore. Friday I felt pretty freaking great. I woke up this morning feeling back to normal. And then I got a text message.

The BFFs want me to meet them for more wedding-dress hunting.

Another update on the Honda Civ issue

Apparently I am a squeaky wheel about to get greased.

So you remember from this and this about my 2007 Honda Civix EX’s defective rear upper control arm, which in turn jacked up my alignment and therefore my rear tires, right? And how the dealer said Honda wasn’t paying for it because my car was no longer under warranty, even though it is a part that has been defective since Day 1, not something that has gone wrong due to the number of miles on the vehicle?

And remember how I called Honda and was told that sometimes they do pay for stuff like this, but I needed the service bulletin number for them to look it up and so I had to call Reddell and get it, and then when I called Honda back, the bitch who was “helping” me said there was nothing they could do, the car was out of warranty and too bad that the part was defective when I bought the car? And how I was all, “Look bitch, I paid $20k for a car that I was told was NOT defective, and now you’re telling me that it is defective but you’re not going to fix it and where’s Ralph Nader because I’m pretty sure that violates some kind of lemon law.”

And she was all, “Well I can’t help you” and I was all “Then forward me to your supervisor or someone who can because this is bullshit” and she was all “Fine I’ll take down your info but you probably won’t hear from us til after the holidays.”

And then on Dec. 22 a nice man named Tony left me a voicemail at work telling me that apparently I had raised enough of a ruckus that they assigned me a case manager, and he was it, and he was going to be reviewing my case and would call me back after the holidays.

So today I got a call from Nice Man Tony asking me if Jim the service adviser from Reddell had called me back yet, and I said no (all the while picturing him sitting on his stool glaring at Ian and I from across the service department while Eric, our service rep, went to ask him on our behalf exactly why we should have to pay for this issue when it was obviously a Honda problem). Nice Man Tony sounded sounded surprised that Jim hadn’t called me, and he told me that he was going to make a quick call and I would be hearing back from him shortly.

About 20 minutes later I received a call from Eric at Reddell letting me know that Honda is going to pay for the repair. And not just the defective rear control arm. They are also going to pay for the alignment my car needs because their defective rear control arm jacked it up. The only thing they’re not going to pay for is new rear tires. But in all honestly, I was expecting to buy new tires sooner rather than later anyway since the tread is getting pretty low.

Ha, but Eric says, “And the tires are $139.99,” to which I replied, “Well that’s OK, I can get tires for cheaper anywhere else so I’ll just bring the car in to you guys for the repair.”

No fucking way am I paying $300 for TWO tires. Especially when I can get comparable tires at Sears for probably just a little more than half the price. Plus they do that $5 per tire roadside assistance thing that’s pretty sweet.

Anyway, I scheduled an appointment with Honda to bring the Civ in on Jan. 17 to get the repairs done. Let’s hope they aren’t so pissed off at me that they screw something else up just so they can still get money out of me. Although they should be getting reimbursed from Honda for the repair so they should still be happy. Though I bet they were inflating the price JUST A TAD when they thought I was going to be rolling over and vomiting up the money to them.

So, yay. This saves me anywhere from $300 – $450, depending on what I get the tires for at Sears.

I think this calls for a celebratory “I fought the car dealer and I fucking WON” beer, don’t you think?

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Adios, Crapcast

I just called and ordered us DirectTV. I’m nervous because I’ve never had satellite TV before (and I had to sign a fucking two-year contract), but I can’t imagine it could be worse than our experience with Comcast lately. Actually, I’m sure it could be. As an eternal cynic, I know it can always be worse.

But ever since Ian and I switched over to digital cable with Comcast a few months ago, we’ve had nothing but trouble. First, it was the phone tech giving me one price for the digital basic + HD + DVR and getting to the service center to pick up the receiver and finding out it was a different price. It was cheaper and included Showtime (which we didn’t even want but were basically forced to get included in the package), so I made sure to ask if I called and canceled Showtime BEFORE the three-month promotion period I wouldn’t be charged the full amount for the past three months. I was told no, go ahead and cancel whenever you want.

Well, last month our first post-Showtime promotion bill shows up and it’s $180. That’s about $60 more than it should have been. So I call, and the guy tells me that because I called and canceled Showtime a month before the promotion was up, they took back my credit. I told him that not only did I ask when I signed up for the promotion WHICH I DIDN’T WANT IN THE FIRST PLACE if this would happen and was told “Oh no, cancel whenever you want,” when I actually called to cancel I asked the woman who was helping me if it was OK and she said sure, of course, cancel whenever you want.

Well this guy cops a ‘tude and tells me that I got the wrong info and while it’s their fault, they aren’t going to do anything. I think it was at this point that I unleashed a bunch of F bombs on him and asked to talk to his supervisor. He puts me on hold and comes back and says he looked in the notes and realized the woman who helped me cancel Showtime worked in his department, so he asked her about me. And get this: She says that even though it’s not written down in the notes, and she probably helps thousands of people every single fucking day, SHE REMEMBERS ME AND REMEMBERS TELLING ME I WOULD HAVE TO PAY A PENALTY.

Ok, first of all that’s just fucking ridiculous that she would remember me. It’s also ridiculous to think that a customer who is already pissed off is going to say, “Oh yeah, now I remember being told I would have to pay another $60 to cancel a FREE SERVICE early.”

So I unleashed seven kinds of other F bombs on the guy, say just cancel the service, and all of a sudden he can fix it. I just have to add back Showtime for another month and pay $14.99 and they’ll credit me the $60. At this point I’m so pissed off (and cannot afford a $180 cable bill) so I say fine, whatever you want to call it. I mean, a $45 credit is better than nothing. So he adjusts the bill and tells me I can’t cancel Showtime until Jan. 9, 2009, and to call back on that day or later.

Well today I get home from a party and get the cable bill and low and fucking behold, it’s $180 again. That $60 credit they were supposed to put back on there because I had added Showtime? Not there. Well, I mean it was ON THE BILL it just wasn’t subtracted from the total.

So I call, and the guy’s like yeah I don’t know what’s going on and I don’t really understand the previous notes, but you have to pay this $180 bill even though like three other people have told you it should be $130 (which is still ridiculous, even factoring in $49 a month for Internet). So I get really exasperated and tell him that I’m tired of no one there knowing what’s going on, and people signing me up for “promotions” that end up costing me more in the long run, or that I can talk to three different reps in the same day and get three different prices and service plans.

So I started asking about canceling my service, and all of a sudden, dude’s like, Oh well I can add you back on the Showtime promotion again and give you the credit back! And I’m like, dude you just told me that didn’t make sense and I had to pay for your other rep’s mistake.

I told him to keep his fucking promotion, and I was going to call back later in the week to cancel cable. I got online, compared DishTV to DirectTV and decided that DirectTV was the better value (same number of HD and regular channels—plus the local and local HD channels and no extra charge—for about 60 percent of the price), and called to set up service. No equipment/installation/activation charges. When we move, they’ll transfer the service for free.

They come out Jan. 24 between 8 and 12 to set it up. They could have been here sooner, but I wanted Saturday installation.

So while we’re waiting for DirectTV to come out, Ian said he’s fine with going down the street to our friend’s house to watch any football or basketball for the next couple weeks, thanks to some friends we’re getting two Netflix movies at a time now, and we have pretty much every gaming system under the sun.

I think we’ll be OK for a few weeks without TV. In fact, I’m kind of curious to see how the hippies do it.

2008: A Year of Changes

The past year has been an interesting one. In the last 365 days I got married, redefined my smile, strengthened my relationship with my mom and sisters, finally put my foot down and took steps toward ending the unhealthy and abusive relationship with my father, became an aunt, helped elect the first president since Clinton I’ve believed in, finally bought an iPhone, got a new tattoo () a liver cyst and a badass TV, survived the Great Gas Crisis of 08 and some difficult changes at work, cut most of my hair off, played a shit-ton of video games and drank a sumo wrestler’s weight in wine.

Did I mention I got married? Me. Married. Secretly. Barefoot in a creek.

Yeah. Overall, 2008 was a great year.

Some of my favorite moments:

Some favorites from 2008

(p.s. I’m snorting a pixie stick in that one picture. That’s what happens when your friends go into the other room to fight for an hour and you’re bored.)