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APW Book Club: The Bitch In The House


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

APW Book Club: The Bitch In The House | A Practical Wedding

It’s APW Book Club time again!

It seems like ages and ages since we’ve had a book club, but the holidays came and went, and then I went through the flurry of going full time on APW, and here we are. As a quick review for those of you that are new, APW Book Clubs work like this:

  • A book is picked (usually I pick after a consultation with readers)
  • Those of us who are interested read it
  • We have meetups all over the world on one day to discuss the book (and drink)
  • Then we come back and discuss the book online.

Our first two book club picks were Dan Savage’s The Commitment and Elizabeth Gilbert’s Committed. This time, for kicks, I thought I’d pick a a book that doesn’t start with Commit. Just to see how it goes. So, after lots of discussion, I’ve selected The Bitch In The House, edited by Cathi Hanauer.

One of the first posts I ever did on APW about marriage was me quoting a Cathi Hanauer article that I’d clipped and saved, because I found it so moving. So The Bitch In The House seems like a fitting APW book club selection, and one where there will be tons (and tons and tons) to discuss.

Cathi Hanauer put together this book of essays after finding that, even though she had a husband she loved, two healthy children, and an intellectually stimulating writing career, she was pissed off all the time. She was over taxed and over stressed, and didn’t understand why. So she started asking friends what was going on with them, and realized that talking was helping her find clarity. In her intro to the book she quotes Peggy Orenstein’s Flux (another book I clearly need to read) saying, “Orenstein offers suggestions for women, one of which is to share their experience with one another, to ‘talk across lines of age and circumstance.’ As I read those words, I realized that this was what I was already doing: gleaning comfort and advice, sympathy and wisdom, from friends of all ages in all situations.” If that’s not a description of what APW is about, I don’t know what is. And by my reckoning, that makes it a near perfect book for us. Plus, with 26 different perspectives in the book, there will be lots for us to debate and chew over.

At the end of the introduction, Hanauer offers this description of her marriage, “In considering it all, I can’t help thinking of a T-shirt I once saw, touting a whitewater river known for its currents, that read “This place sucks. Let’s stay.” I’ve chosen this life, and I’d choose it again in a heartbeat, but like many of the women in this book, I’m a perfectionist and a malcontent with a too-full schedule, eager to reap every morsel I can from my brief time on this earth.” Me too.

So lets get reading. And oh, pick the day and time you’d prefer for the meetup, below:

(Note: All links in this post are associate links, which means if you buy the book by clicking through the site, you help support APW. Yay!)

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.

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  • http://bondingcarbonunits.wordpress.com/ the Sarah formerly known as Sarah K.

    Great choice. So great, I gave out my copy at a recent book swap…. a book swap group made up of Boston APWers. CLASSIC.

  • Brandy

    Just ordered it. :) Hoping there are some other readers in Orange County, CA!

    • Erin

      DUDE I LIVE IN ORANGE COUNTY. you made my day.

      • Brandy

        Awesome! Can’t wait to meet some other APW’ers. :)

        • Erin

          I am new to OC and hardly know anyone; color me ecstatic.

          • Brandy

            Erin, I’m in Huntington Beach…where are you? I just got married on 1/28…yet I can’t stop reading APW. ;) I doubt that will change!

        • Dianne

          I actually live in Redlands but I work in OC – I’d love to meet local APW-ers!!! I’ve been married more more than 2 years (second marriage) and I still come to APW every day.

          • Erin

            I live in Irvine. I’m engaged :)

      • Ashley B

        I live in Irvine, and am just about engaged!

    • http://emilys22.wordpress.com emilyrose

      I’m in Pasadena and I haven’t done a book club meet up yet, but maybe we can get something going in the LA area :)

      • meg

        Dude. There are more APW readers in LA than anywhere else (or as many as SF and NYC at least), yet LA has never really managed to pull together a meetup. Get on it, people! Do. It.

        • Marisa-Andrea

          On it! LA is going to make it happen this book around :-)

        • http://emilys22.wordpress.com emilyrose

          Okay, okay! We’ll make it happen!

        • http://www.orangeandbarrell.blogspot.com Emme

          I am in LA as well!

      • aarika

        I’m in South LA =)

      • Tessa

        I live in Westwood and would love to finally get in on a book club meetup!

      • Stephanie

        I’m in LA too! Totally down for this!

    • Ashley B

      Me too!

      • E

        I’m not looking to be married anytime soon, or engaged or whatnot. But the boyfriend and I recently read our way through this and then the Bastard on the Couch and I live in LA….so I would go…possibly.

  • http://eclpse.livejournal.com Kimberly

    Gaaaaahhhhhhh, I loved this book! So much goodness in it!

  • Jillian

    I’ve had this book in my library for years but have yet to read it. Now seems like the perfect time though, I’m engaged and planning my wedding. I can’t wait to break it out now.

  • http://www.allisonandres.com Allison

    I was just thinking about book club yesterday and how I miss wine, cupcakes, and the SF Bay are crowd!

  • http://jolynn.wordpress.com Jo

    WOOT!

  • Sarah

    Oh hooray!! And now I’m torn …

    The weekend of the 12th, to be with my DC ladies? Because I’ll be in Merced the weekend of the 5th.

    Then again … being in CA means I can go to the San Fransisco meetup instead!

    HA! WIN WIN!

    • Sarah

      San Francisco. Gosh, Sarah, learn to spell. ::winks::

  • ANI

    the ONLY time of these choices that I can do is Sun Mar 6, so i’m really pushing for that. except, I just had a crazy good idea! Fri Mar 11 – Mon Mar 14 I’m in Seattle. Are there Seattle ladies I could join if Meg picks that weekend?

    • http://linseykitchens.wordpress.com Linsey

      Seattle ladies! Whoop whoop!

      • Jenny C.

        New to Sea-town and it will be my first meetup!

  • Jessica

    So when/where do we get to sign up to host a meet-up? I haven’t made any motions on the last 2, but I know for a fact there are other smart women in New Haven, CT. I just hope some of them are reading this site!

    • http://hartandsolphoto.com Maddie

      If not, you are welcome to train-pool with me on the Metro North to NYC! (I’m in Norwalk, so a little closer).

      • Amy

        Maddie – you’re in Norwalk? Me too! We should totally trainpool :)

        • http://hartandsolphoto.com Maddie

          No way?! Yes, then train buddies for sure. :)

          • Amy

            Excellent! I’m also going to encourage a friend from Greenwich to join as well, she’s also new to CT and I think we’re both looking for more of a community up here :)

    • meg

      Once we pick a date, we’ll get that started over on the Facebook page. So next week, probably.

      • Jessica

        Sweet!! Thanks, Meg. Maybe I’ll offer to host in New Haven and see if I can get anyone to come :)

        • El

          I’m in New Haven!

        • Savychacha

          I’m in Ansonia, so I’m only 15 minutes from New Haven!! I’m totally down to meet some ladies and have a discussion (and perhaps a cocktail)!

    • lolo7835

      I’m keeping my fingers crossed that there’s at least one other apw reader in State College, PA. I can’t be the only one right? Right?

    • Joan

      I’m in New Haven! These dates are tough for me, but I’m hoping it will work out.

      • Jessica

        yay Joan! Yay New Haven!

  • Kathleen

    So excited! I bought myself this book after seeing my fiance reading The Bastard On The Couch. Any other Portland, OR readers out there?

    • Marina

      Me! And I know there are some others, although we’ve had tiny meetups so far. Maybe this will be our breakthrough big meetup. ;)

      • Megan

        I’m in Portland, OR too. Haven’t been able to attend a meet up yet, but would like to!

    • http://eclpse.livejournal.com Kimberly

      Okay. Am I the only one who hears “The Bastard on the Couch” and starts singing that song from Les Miserables, “Master of the House”? Every. Single. Time.

      Anyone? Anyone????

      • http://webecomeus.wordpress.com Caitlin

        me. totally there. :)

  • http://www.stitch-witch.net Christina McPants

    Totally excited, but I will point out that the poll currently listing Saturday the 12th and Saturday the 13th. =)

    • Alyssa

      We’re having two Saturdays that weekend. We decided.

      • meg

        Fixed! Though two Saturdays sounds good to me.

      • Dianne

        Two Saturdays in one weekend???? That’s genius!! Why didn’t we think of that earlier?

  • Laura

    Minneapolis, anyone?

    • http://shellynn.wordpress.com Michelle

      Yep. And we’ve had 6 or so people at each of the previous meet-ups.

    • http://bunniesnbeagles.blogspot.com Ms. Bunny

      I’m hoping to make it this time.

  • Hypothetical Sarah

    Is there a London crowd? I hope so!

    • anna

      I’m here & looking forward to reading this again…

      • http://peacockfeathersdiamondrings.blogspot.com/ Peacock Feathers & Diamond Rings

        If the meetup is the weekend of 5/6 March I will be in London and it would be lovely to meet other London APW ladies. Although, if there are readers in Somerset I will gladly meet them too. :)

    • http://arielgraphy.blogspot.com/ Ariel

      I’m in London as well. But not back in town until March 12. (we’re going on a second honeymoon because our first was marred by crazy family wedding stuff). If it’s decided to meet on any day other than the 13th perhaps we can arrange a second one, just for cocktails.

    • http://www.otheramusements.com Someone

      Is there anyone around the UK who lives further north?

      • http://www.asafemooring.blogspot.com Kirsty

        I’m in Scotland – is that too far north??

        I’m going to San Francisco in the summer to visit family – is it wrong that I totally want there to be an APW meet-up while I’m there…?

        • meg

          I KNOW we have a crew in Edinburgh, at least.

          • http://www.asafemooring.blogspot.com Kirsty

            Ooh really?? I am going to be ALL OVER that facebook page. So excited.

  • http://carmarblogs.blogspot.com CarMar

    Caitlin and I are both in Cincinnati (and met after boo hoo-ing the lack of Ohio APWers) so if anyone in the Ohio/Northern Kentucky area wants to meet up, let us know!

    • Jessica

      I’m in Lexington and would love either a Cincinnati or Louisville meetup!

    • Ginna

      I just moved to Ohio to live with my fiancee. Anyone closer to the Cleveland/Akron area? Or is there is a middle ground between here and Cincinnati?

    • Michelle

      I’m in Dayton and would definitely rock a trip to Cincinnati!

    • Saretta

      YES! I’m totally in for Cincinnati.

      • Katy C.

        Another Cincinnatian here! Yaay. Let’s make this meet up happen.

      • http://carmarblogs.blogspot.com CarMar

        Yay, so many Cincinnati APWers! Exciting! Check out the FB discussions once the date is selected, or email me through my blog and we’ll try to get something together!

        • http://webecomeus.wordpress.com Caitlin

          wow! holy cincy crowd! this is gonna be AWESOME! :)

  • http://pinchofthis.wordpress.com Jen

    Anyone in the Madison, WI area??

    • http://gfpumpkins.wordpress.com gfpumpkins

      Yes!!! Me!!

      • http://pinchofthis.wordpress.com Jen

        Yay!!

    • http://racheltapley.tumblr.com Rachel

      Yes! I am not much of a commenter but I would love to meet some other APW women!

  • Amanda

    DANG theres no Kindle version for this book yet! I just sent a request to the publisher for it :) Wonder how fast they can get it…finger crossed! ;-)

    • mere…

      I’m submitting a request too! I was really hoping to get this digitally. Until then, looks like I’ll be making a trip to the library.

    • http://irisira.wordpress.com irisira

      Ha! So glad I’m not the only one who thought that!
      I’ll request it too … it probably won’t be fast enough though. Boo.

    • Cass

      My Kindle has become a haven for self-help & advice books. I, too, requested it for Kindle!

    • http://www.twitter.com/kahlia kahlia

      How did you guys request the digital version? I’ve been able to do it for others in the past, but I don’t see the link on this particular book to request it.
      I actually still haven’t read Committed because I couldn’t get a digital version and I’m overseas with a lack of English-language libraries and book stores. I could technically have a paper copy shipped here, but I just can’t justify the expense (either monetary or environmental), which sucks.

      • http://fromasmallstep.blogspot.com/ Kinzie Kangaroo

        When I was in France last year, I found out that Amazon (the one in the UK) has free shipping a lot of the time for other European cities. This is vaguely verified information at best, but it might be worth looking into. amazon.co.uk. Check it out!

        • http://www.twitter.com/kahlia kahlia

          Thanks Kinzie! Because of your suggestion, I ordered it through Amazon UK & it cost less than €5, including shipping! :D

          • Kinzie Kangaroo

            Awesome! I never ordered from them so I wasn’t sure how it would go, but I’m so glad it worked out for you!!

  • http://gfpumpkins.wordpress.com gfpumpkins

    Oh yeah! I picked this book up for myself and just started reading it yesterday. I’m four essays in an LOVING it! Now hopefully my local peeps will come out this time (unlike last time).

    • http://pinchofthis.wordpress.com Jen

      you know I’m game!

  • Meaghan 2

    Any APWers from Indiana?

    • N

      I am!! Yay!

      • goodheart

        another in indiana, just catching up on my blog browsing.

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  • Dream

    Anyone near Tempe, AZ?

    • Tina

      Uhhhhh yes! We’ve been trying to rally a Phoenix one for awhile. Let’s do this! As long as it’s not March 6th. The one day I’m booked. Fingers crossed.

      • http://www.jehara.blogspot.com jehara

        For real! Let’s get AZ on the map. :)

  • Denzi

    Okay, Atlanta ladies and gentlemen, we are DOING THIS this time around. Can I get an amen?

    (Seriously. I will go sit at a bar or restaurant all day by myself, just so y’all know there’s someone waiting to come downtown for.)

    • Rasheeda

      I’m so in for the Atlanta meet up– just as long as its not March 19th- I got this little thing called a wedding happening that day. But any other day- forreals!

      • Denzi

        Hee, Rasheeda. What, a little old thing like that getting in the way with meeting up with super-awesome classy gals like us? :-P

  • Janey

    Looking forward to meeting up this time around. Last meet-up was on our Wedding Day and I was a tad busy!! :)

    Looks like a great book too, will pick it up this week!!

  • Tina

    Just want to say it again so people see it. Hello ladies (and gents) of greater Phoenix. Let’s get this one to work!

  • Julia

    Come on Chicago, let me hear ya’!

    • Stephasaurus

      Totally there!

    • anonymous

      Chicago–present and accounted for. (Hoping for a Sunday…)

    • Kate

      I’m there–it was already on my request list at the library! Can’t wait to meet you all!

    • http://fromasmallstep.blogspot.com/ Kinzie Kangaroo

      I will SO drive up from Champaign-Urbana to meet you guys. I missed the last one, but had a great time at the first one. I <3 APW ladies.

      • http://fromasmallstep.blogspot.com/ Kinzie Kangaroo

        Unless, of course, there’s anyone in central Illinois???

        • Becca

          I am also in Champaign-Urbana on the weekdays and Chicago on most weekends, so could probably do either. If we get a central Illinois crew I’ll make sure to be here.

    • Aly

      Chicago ladies: you can download this as an audio book from the Chicago Public Library if you have an account! So if you are both lazy and poor, like me, you can have it in your possession in about 3 minutes without ever leaving your couch.

      Hoping for Saturday the 5th as I will be out of town the next week (and at my own wedding shower!)

    • http://theatreprojects.blogspot.com Jessamarie

      I’m there

      • http://pinchofthis.wordpress.com Jen

        If we don’t have enough folks from Madison to do one here, I will drive to Chicago and meet you ladies!

        • Heather G

          Count me in for Chicago!

          • Heather G

            PS. “This place sucks, let’s stay” kind of reminds me of Chicago during the winter. “This weather sucks, let’s live here!”

    • Lizzie

      Oh, I’m in! The last meetup fell too close to my wedding day, so I am really looking forward to this one.

  • http://www.mauradeedy.com maura

    FYI – NYC APWers.
    meet up this sunday.
    come!

    http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=190442857646496

    • (Other)Amy

      So mad I can’t make this Sunday’s meetup! I so wanted to tell Katie Jane how awesome she is for donating her time and expertise :)

  • http://amusinglist.wordpress.com Christina

    Cannot wait. This is my favorite part of APW.

  • http://lookingtoapril.blogspot.com/ Em

    Ok! I was bummed out I’d missed the last 2 (got on the APW train a little after they’d happened), but I searched, and the local library has this book, so, if there’s anyone else in Melbourne, Australia (and I think there was last time) wanting to do this, then I’m up for it! :D

    • karen

      I don’t think Launceston, Tasmania is close enough… :(

      • http://lookingtoapril.blogspot.com/ Em

        I think the Spirit of Tassie is doing ‘cheap’ fares at the moment? ;) Looooooooooong boat ride for a book club (as awesome as I hope it will be)

  • Sarah H

    Anyone in Central PA (Harrisburg)? I had a book club when I lived in Philly but haven’t had one since – I would love to find a new one!

  • Stephasaurus

    Looking forward to the next (and also my first) Chicago meet-up!

  • http://kristythecoffeegirl.blogspot.com Kristy

    Yay book club! I was just wondering when we’d have another book to read. :)

    Also, yay for associated links. Just bought my copy. :)

  • http://sarahsurgeon.blogspot.com sarah

    i’ve been looking for a new book, and the description of how this book came to be is perfect. this is my next book and i hope to be able to make a meet up if we have one in seattle. anyone in??

  • http://lagniappe-bride.fearyourself.net/ Erin

    Ok so I’m in Paris. I’m REALLY hoping there is either A) a video chat (which I don’t know how to do but will learn) or B) PREFERABLY: one random APW expat in Paris. Anyone? Anyone at all?

    • http://fromasmallstep.blogspot.com/ Kinzie Kangaroo

      Oh man, this time last year, I SO would have been there. I was living in Rouen, just an hour away from Paris. What I wouldn’t have given to have met up with another APWer there last year!

    • Hypothetical Sarah

      or C) Take the Eurostar to London for the weekend :) I’m hoping we pull together a group here. If not, I’ll join you on video chat!

      • http://lagniappe-bride.fearyourself.net/ Erin

        I am going to have to think about that actually. :)

  • http://irisira.wordpress.com irisira

    A couple of us in Albany, NY are planning to pull together a meetup, too. Please be on the lookout!

    • Zan

      Yay upstate! I split my time between Hudson Valley and NYC but our farm is only a hour from Albany and I’m there on weekends. Maybe if Albany people want a scenic book club everyone can come to the farm. I’ll sweeten the deal and bake!

    • Zan

      Yay upstate! I split my time between Hudson Valley and NYC but our farm is only a hour from Albany and I’m there on weekends. Maybe if Albany people want a scenic book club everyone can come to the farm. I’ll sweeten the deal and bake!

      • http://irisira.wordpress.com irisira

        I would definitely be game for that!

      • http://www.notintentonarriving.blogspot.com Kristin

        I’m also in the Hudson Valley, and while I would normally go to the NYC meet-up, I could definitely swing a between NYC & Albany farm visit more easily!

        • Zan

          Great! I will keep an eye on facebook to see if we can organize something…

  • Ceebee

    Video chat sounds good, more people could come in

    • http://www.twitter.com/kahlia kahlia

      Yes, please! I’d love to be able to join via video chat!
      But keep in mind that in order for a video chat to work, it would have to be fairly early in the day in the U.S. London is 5 hours ahead of the east coast, the rest of rest of Western Europe (I’m in Florence, Italy) is an hour ahead of that, and obviously California is three hours behind the East Coast (so 9 hours different from those of us in Paris and Italy). And I don’t even *know* how much further ahead Australia is!

      • meg

        If someone wants to run a video chat, they should. That is WAY more than I can handle right now, however.

  • A-L

    Anyone want a meetup in New Orleans?

  • Lele

    Any Milwaukee folks out there?

  • V

    Hey Austin ladies (and gentlemen), come out of hiding! The folks who’ve been coming so far are awesome, but I just know that there have got to be more of us about. I would love to meet more like minded people.

  • Emily S

    Wow, I JUST finished reading this! I’ll have to hurry up and return it to the library so other NYC APWers can read it too.

  • Emily Elizabeth

    Is there anyone in Newfoundland wanting to meet up?

  • http://www.ohdeerio.com smallwonder

    Houston people! Please meet up for this! My husband-elect is amazing but he deserves a break from what he calls my “feminist rants”. Not that he complains, but you know, he deserves it : )

    • http://redheadreports.blogspot.com Ali

      I’m in Houston, let’s do this!

  • Class of 1980

    “THIS PLACE SUCKS. LET’S STAY.”

    I would like to buy such a shirt.

  • Madeline

    I’m pulling for sometime in the first weekend – I have finals during the later dates (yes, on the weekend – it totally sucks). But I’m so excited for this! I’m hoping we get a bigger group together this time in Denver – I know there are more than just 5 (or was it 6?) APWers in this city!

    • Madeline

      Over-use of dashes and parentheses much? Heehee…

  • http://koruwedding.blogspot.com Koru Kate

    Excited! Now that my wedding is out of the way, I’m crossing my fingers that my job doesn’t interfere with the next book club. I’ve missed the last two & I’m still bummed about it.

  • http://mightycourage.blogspot.com/ Nicole

    I *know* we have Nebraskans here because we’ve had two amazing graduate posts. I would love, love, love to do a book club here (ahem, Lincoln). I’ll even offer my house! Please?!

    • meg

      Put up a Facebook post next week when we do it. Because you’re right, we’ve had two Nebraska posts in a row, so clearly you are out there.

      • http://mightycourage.blogspot.com/ Nicole

        Done. :)

  • http://eyesopenfeetfirst.blogspot.com Suzanne

    I’m about to be a new San Diego resident starting next week so this would be a great way for me to meet some people in my soon-to-be awesome new home! Any San Diego-ers?

    • Elizabeth

      I’m in San Diego. I’ve never done a meetup before, but want to read this book and would like to go if others are interested.

  • http://mrsmoment.blogspot.com Mrs. Moment

    HEY BAAAALTIMORE! Are you ready?! My order has been placed and I am very much looking forward to this. *giddy bounce*

    Blisses

    • LoveKiss

      I am excited and I hope it’s the 2nd weekend so I can make it to the book club for the first time! I am in the ‘burbs, and seriously relish an excuse to get out and meet other smart ladies.

  • http://www.jenepting.com Jen

    Hey! Any Brooklyn peeps??

    • meg

      While there are TONS, I think you New Yorkers are going to want to meet in one place, as per usual. Too many awesome people, you don’t want to miss meeting the others.

  • RachelLyn

    Anyone from DC? I’d love to do a meet up and just found out that another friend of mine follows APW.

    • meg

      Are you kidding? More than 20 DCe APWers got together last night for dinner, just because. I know because they sent me a picture.

      • RachelLyn

        That is so cool… how do I find them?

  • http://www.asafemooring.blogspot.com Kirsty

    So excited, just ordered my copy! This is the first APW book club I’ve participated in and I can’t wait.

    Seriously, I know there must be some APWers in Scotland – Cara I’m looking at you… although actually, baby twins probably does exempt you from book club participation. Anybody else????

    • http://www.twitter.com/kahlia kahlia

      Lauren MC is there! And she became an APW sponsor (photographer) not too long ago, so she should be pretty easy to track down. :)

  • http://lifeinwhite.wordpress.com Helen

    I’m up for another TN meet up. It was little last time, but it HAPPENED.

  • http://miscetcandmoremisc.blogspot.com Eliza

    AUSTRALIA! Let’s do it again! Melbourne, Sydney, maybe Perth? Where are you ladies? Would be good to see if we could manage skype this time even though we didn’t last time…

    (Also this is an *awesome* book, I can’t wait to reread it and discuss!)

  • http://fromasmallstep.blogspot.com/ Kinzie Kangaroo

    I must say, the APW book clubs give me hope. Because my honey and I are considering a move to a big city one of these days so he can pursue animation which just doesn’t have much market in our city. And I’m so nervous (and thrilled) about the idea of moving to a city where we don’t know anyone because how do you make friends in a new place? Answer: go to an APW book club in the new city and have instant awesome friends. Done and done. I <3 you guys.

    • http://webecomeus.wordpress.com Caitlin

      EXACTLY. that’s what i did. kinda :)

  • Caitlyn

    Out of stock on Amazon! Crazy Meg!