Friday, March 14th 2008

Megfest update
posted @ 5:50 pm in [ ]

Some of you have been asking how Megfest was. I must point out that it is still going on. Yea, for tomorrow is Movie Day. It’s going well, though. Cheap Fun Day, as predicted, was cheaper and funner than EVER! The digital photo scavenger hunt will likely have to become an institution. The items included things like, “a fractal that is not Meg’s tattoo,” “EVIL,” “argon in action,” “rodent,” and “splicknackledoo.” It was great fun!

I will say this: having Daylight Savings take a 1-hour bite out of your birthday, well, bites. In addition to the loss of a full hour, it puts everybody’s schedule off, so nobody winds up going anywhere or doing anything. Yecch! That had better never happen again or I’m bending the Earth’s axis to make it stop.

The only other downer to report is that the changing attendance of Cheap Fun Day is a stark reminder that many of my friends have moved away, gotten married, had babies or otherwise generally started behaving like grownups. Sigh. I’ll still take Cheap Fun Day over being a grownup — just call me Petra Pan.

Monday, March 3rd 2008

Megfest 2008 continues unabated!
posted @ 10:11 am in [ ]

Megfest has officially begun, as the presents and tidings are rolling in. The exact start date could conceivably be a week or two ago when businesses where I have preferred customer cards began sending me birthday coupons. I graciously spent one of them over the weekend.

The only complaint I have is that Daylight Savings is ripping off a whole freakin’ HOUR of my birthday! Can you believe it?! One of the only people in America who savors every damn hour of her birthday no matter how freakin’ old she gets, and that’s the day that gets ripped off?! Pardon me, but that just blows.

Beyond that: whoo-hoo!

Tuesday, February 26th 2008

Megfest 2008 and Joshmas 2008: Attack of the Primes
posted @ 11:56 am in [ ]

Well, folks, it’s that time of year again. In consultation with Special Birthday Edition Josh, we have come up with the following itineraries. Cheap Fun Day is cheaper and funner than ever, due in part to many of the former staples of Cheap Fun Day no longer being particularly cheap. Josh and I were laughing so hard at one point while we were planning this that I thought I was going to drive off the road. The scavenger hunt list is particularly hilarious. Also, because Josh and I are both acquiring ages that are prime numbers, many prime number themes will be popping up.

CHEAP FUN DAY Saturday, March 8 - Pancakes, gas can mimosas and stairway golf / whale & dolphin harpooning / manatee or seal clubbing at Josh’s - Miniature golf (Adventure Golf is due to reopen for the season on the 8th! If too crowded or whatever, Boondocks instead) - Lunch at Patrick Carroll’s - Bowling at Elitch Lanes - Digital photo scavenger hunt - Backyard ballistics shopping at Wal-Mart - Backyard ballistics (Cincinnati fire kites, papermatch rockets, tennis ball mortars, etc.) - Raffle to dye Josh’s hair - Other weird contests, such as pirate leg, milkchugging, pepper snorting, and a possible water balloon fight

DAY OF Sunday, March 9 - Breakfast at Hamlin’s - Botanic Gardens - Lunch at Pints - Walking it off in the art museum - Zoo - Dinner at Le Central - Post-dinner activity to be determined later (IMAX, the ballet, etc.)

MOVIE DAY Saturday, March 15 Theme: mob movies In all likelihood accompanied by spaghetti

Wednesday, February 13th 2008

Megfest 2008 approaches
posted @ 1:14 am in [ ]

The celebration of my annual 29th birthday will soon be upon us, so I’m considering what to do. Full-day attendance at Cheap Fun Day has dwindled in recent years, suggesting to me that perhaps something else should take its place if we are all to maximize the fun of this special time of year. Also, my actual birthday is on a Sunday, presenting a few challenges with regard to scheduling activities. Suggestions?

Friday, August 17th 2007

Megfest 2007
posted @ 11:58 am in [ - ]

I neglected to mention that Megfest made it clear into July this year. The last present was received a few weeks ago, making Megfest 2007 the longest yet. Drunken peasants in the streets for weeks on end any year now!

Monday, March 12th 2007

How goes Megfest 2007?
posted @ 1:11 pm in [ - ]

Quite well, thanks! The previously reported-upon events were fun, novel, and helped remind me that I’m really into doing fun things. Repressing my instincts to have fun for months on end so I could finish a book doesn’t seem to have done any permanent damage. Saturday’s Movie Day with the Bond theme included many flavors of microwave popcorn: Butter, Kettle Corn, Buttered Kettle Corn, Extreme Butter… and mojitos. I’m not much into mixed drinks, but MAN, I love a good mojito.

One of the only things about my birthday I haven’t been crazy about is that I’ve been under the impression that it’s an underrated day in history — kind of a reporting dead zone. This year, my mom disabused me of this notion, sending me many links to exciting things and people that happened on various March 9ths. Okay, some of the reporting is still pretty sparse, here, and there is really a lot of obscure stuff. Still, some of it is pretty exciting. To that end, then:

TOP 15 MOST EXCITING MARCH 9THS (other than 1971):

15: 1987. Bow Wow, American alleged rapper and actor, born.

14: 1629. Tsar Alexis I of Russia (d. 1676) born.

13: 1945. Robin Trower, British rock musician, born.

12: 1796. Napoléon Bonaparte marries his first wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais.

11: 1942. John Cale, Welsh musician, (The Velvet Underground) and Mark Lindsay, American singer/musician (Paul Revere & The Raiders) born.

10: 1955. Teo Fabi, Italian racing driver, born.

9: 1918. Author of pulpy detective novels Mickey Spillane born in Brooklyn, New York.

8: 1943. Bobby Fischer, American chess player (and famous nutjob) born. Also Charles Gibson, American television journalist.

7: 1981. Ketchup is declared a vegetable, by the Department of Agriculture, to help public schools in the USA with the balanced meal. 

6: 1959. The Barbie doll debuts.

5: 1954. Bobby Sands, Irish republican (d. 1981), born.

4: 1932. The first Ford Flathead engine left the assembly line.

3: 2006. Liquid Water discovered on Enceladus, the sixth largest moon of Saturn.

2: 1964. The first Ford Mustang rolls off the assembly line. Also rolling off the assembly line was French actress Juliette Binoche.

1: 1933. Newly-inaugurated President Franklin D. Roosevelt called a special session of Congress and began the first hundred days of enacting his New Deal legislation, beginning with the Emergency Banking Act, and continuing with almost daily new bills. “Among the new federal programs created were the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, which distributed half a billion dollars to the poor; the Civilian Conservation Corps, which employed people to work on forestry projects; the Public Works Administration, which employed people to build bridges, dams and roads all across the country; the Tennessee Valley Authority, which built and maintained dams on the Tennessee River, controlling flooding and providing cheap energy; and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which provided for the first insurance of banking deposits.”

Ongoing Holidays and Observances: Belize: Baron Bliss Day. Catholic Liturgical Feasts: - Saint Gregory of Nyssa
- Saint Frances of Rome - Forty Martyrs of Sebaste

Saturday, February 24th 2007

The boundaries of Megfest
posted @ 10:00 am in [ ]

Well, it’s that time of year again: the time of year I hope someday will become one of those medieval weeks-long parties with peasants passed out all over the place (or at least a parking holiday): Megfest! For those of you just joining us, Megfest is the annual celebration of my 29th birthday. This year marks the eighth annual (don’t forget to count the first one!), so the celebrations are really stacking up. Surely such tradition calls for a parking holiday.

This year, the celebrating having to do with crashing face-first across the finish line of my doctoral requirements is a nice lead-in, and it does blur the boundaries somewhat. Normally, I place the precise boundaries of Megfest as being the arrival of the first birthday card or present and the opening and enjoyment of the last, but the congratulatory messages from last week’s sweaty academic tape-busting are still coming in. But hey, just having that “problem” is a nice present!

Typical features of Megfest include: Cheap Fun Day, where I announce an itinerary of visits to cheap and fun attractions around town and people join in as their schedules allow, in effect creating a little surprise party at every stop; Movie Day, where celebrants get together in a herd and have a sort of themed film festival; Day-Of Festivities, which are often a little more quiet, but certainly open to the public; and Random Celebrations at the Convenience of the Celebrants. I’m afraid my birthday is not to be avoided, or even “just like any other day.”

Cheap Fun Days In the past, Cheap Fun Day has always been an all-day Saturday affair. This year, though, a lot of folks’ schedules have changed, so I think we’re going to spread some of the activities around. The famous Pints Pub luncheon followed by walking it off in the Denver Art Museum will be Saturday, March 3, because the art museum is free to Colorado residents on the first Saturday of the month. There will likely be a 5:00 activity (TBA) and a dinner/evening outing, and there may be cheap breakfast that day as well (Breakfast King?). I think there should be some miniature golf in there somewhere, too. I’m still working on this one.

Movie Day Movie Day will be Saturday, March 10 at Josh’s place. The theme this year is, oh yes: Bond. Knitting is encouraged but not mandatory.

Day Of Friday, March 9th includes a host of cheap and somewhat cheap activities that may be joined by those of you who work Saturdays these days. Scheduled activities include: breakfast at Taza, a trip to the Botanic Gardens, tea at the Brown Palace (definitely not as WEAK as the picture makes it look — the reservation is for 4, so the first 3 callers can hop on board), a trip to the zoo (1 free guest pass available), a trip to the Museum of Nature and Science to see the new Ben Franklin exhibit and possibly take in some IMAX (two free general admission passes are available, but the exhibit itself and any IMAXing might be extra), dinner at Le Central, and a performance of Where the Wild Things Are at the Colorado Ballet.

Random Celebrations By appointment.

Saturday, March 11th 2006

So how was it?
posted @ 9:20 am in [ - ]

My 7th Annual 29th Birthday was delightful, thanks. I got all kinds of good stuff in: breakfast out, Botanic Gardens, tea at the Brown Palace, dinner at my favorite local French joint… I had a headache late in the day, but it turned out to be nothing my man Louis Latour couldn’t handle. We had the most delightful pinot noir with dinner (shout out to Marce for dinner!). I should drink more red wine.

I also reflected a lot on Wednesday (I know, I was just too damn shiny) about getting older, because it was my last day being 34. When I was in my teens and early 20’s, it really used to freak me out that I would get all old and wrinkly and would be more or less unable to prevent it (stupid linear experience of time!). I’m not sure exactly what bothered me so much. Maybe I thought my foxiness would just unravel or something, or that I would wake up one day and be 80 and have no idea where the hell my life went. Lisa used to try to talk me down by reminding me that my parents were the two hottest middle-aged people she knew. I’m sure those fine, fine, superfine genetics play a role in my being carded for beer at 35.

Well, getting older is not for the faint of heart, but it’s pretty good, and I imagine it will just get better until my organs start to fail. Some of my former students were anxious upon turning 20 that they weren’t teenagers anymore. I told them it was okay, and that if I had known my 30’s were going to be this good, I probably would have blown off a big chunk of my 20’s. 22 and 24, I have to say, were especially sucky, but I’m not telling them that. Lisa and I each had birthday cakes on our respective 23rd birthdays that said, “Good Riddance 22!”

How I used to feel about getting older was the same kind of anxiety I used to feel as a child when I thought about what my life would be like without taking Emily, my smallish Raggedy Ann doll, everywhere I went. Gradually, my priorities changed, and I didn’t feel so badly about leaving Emily at home. I imagine some of the things that are important to me now won’t be as important to me later, and I won’t miss them as much as I think I will. My ass being where I left it, for example.

But seriously, my close friends, who knew how generally freaked out I was about aging, all paid really close attention five years ago, when I turned 30. Was I going to require hospitalization? Perhaps a tanker truck of Alize? As it turned out, turning 30 was pretty good. A lot of things fell into place for me that year and I just stopped worrying about a vast array of other things that had plagued me previously. I became SO much more comfortable in my own skin. I discovered that, athletically speaking, you don’t “hit a wall” at 30. I decided it was not a big deal that I didn’t have a lot of women friends, and acquired several new ones quite by happy accident. It was just as if almost all the anxieties of my 20’s went away. I wasn’t sorry to see them go.

So, yeah, 35. Funny, I feel like I have more time left now than I felt like I did even a week ago. Looks like my midlife crisis is officially over.

Monday, March 6th 2006

How was Cheap Fun Day?
posted @ 4:05 pm in [ ]

Cheap Fun Day was pretty damn cheap, and insanely fun, of course! Here’s what we did:

Coffee. This was mostly for my benefit to get caffeinated, and for the benefit of those who might be familiar with my neighborhood, but not with that of the next few stops, so they might catch up and follow us. Special Birthday Edition Josh joined myself and a very helpful person with a SICK conversion van who had called in sick to work, and so will not be named here. Said SICK conversion van was stocked with extremely comfortable seating, AV equipment, and coolers full of Guinness, all of which added to the pleasure of the day between exciting stops.

Breakfast. We had breakfast at Senor G.’s, a delightful Mexican restaurant up north. Some of us had beer with our breakfast burritos. Why wait? I am also pleased to report that, although Cheap Fun Day had experienced some attrition due to people graduating and getting on with their lives, having babies and what-not, we got new participants this year in the form of erstwhile students/new friends. A nice combination this year of old friends and new. Thanks, everybody!

Minigolf and video games. Then, it was on to Boondocks, where, for the first time in my life, I was among my minigolfing peers. That is, none of us appeared to suck substantially more than the others. Usually, the appearance of suckitude is shouldered completely by myself. After a leisurely and hilarious round out on the links, we went inside to the arcade and played my favorite first-person shooter, “House of the Dead.” I still wish it would let me shoot the people who insist on giving me a lot of stupid backstory between zombie shootings, but other than not being able to shoot Backstory Bitch, great fun.

Lunch at Pints. Next, onward to the fabled Pints, where we were joined by one of my favorite former fellow shopmonkeys, who thoughtfully provided me with a wee dram of Laphroaig and caught me up on the lives of other former fellow shopmonkeys. In between these accounts, we affirmed (and toasted) our mutual smoldering hatred for each other.

Walking it off in the Art Museum. This was a brisk walk, as some floors were closed, and we weren’t that tanked. I still got to see some of my very favorite objets d’art, though, and share some cool stuff with folks who hadn’t seen it before.

Underwater 3D IMAX. Then it was off to the Colorado UA for geeky IMAX (TM)! Deep Sea 3D is some wild stuff! I’ve been diving in actual coral reefs where things didn’t look so sharp or close. I looked over at some other members of my party during the movie a couple of times, and it really looked like they were about to touch turtles, or get eaten by squids. Plus, we got to keep our 3D glasses, announcing to the world where we had been.

Dinner at Illegal Pete’s. An excellent call by Melissa! It was cheap, quick, AND there was a bar there. It was also (sort of) walking distance from the symphony and had the word “illegal” in the name, so that just added to the appeal.

Symphonic Pink Floyd was sold out, and it was really cool! I was expecting more of a Hampton String Quartet kind of arrangement with Pink Floyd tunes, but they had a singer and some electric instruments as well. It was still the symphony, so people received their Floyd in library-like silence, then hooted and hollered. The Colorado Symphony Orchestra is by far the most highly-trained cover band I have ever heard. They seemed to be having a good time.

We crammed really a lot of fun and frolic into about 14 hours. I was exhausted.

Saturday, February 25th 2006

And what, pray tell, is Symphonic Pink Floyd?
posted @ 1:36 pm in [ - - ]

Oh, yeah, that. Check it out: The Colrado Symphony is offering an evening of symphonic arrangements of Pink Floyd tunes, featuring: “Learning to Breathe, Another Brick in the Wall, Time, Wish You Were Here, Comfortably Numb, On the Turning Away, Money and more.” I was looking through the Arts and Entertainment section of the newspaper this week for something fun and cheap as an evening Cheap Fun Day activity, and there it was. Student tickets start at just $7.50, less than what you’d pay for a movie. Plus, it’s novel. Can’t beat that with a stick.

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