Sunday, April 24, 2011

Checking the Googles

I couldn’t sleep last night. Changes on the horizon, pretty much all of my own making. More on that in days to come. But during my extremely uncharacteristic insomniac hours, I found my brain mulling over all the little nicknames and phrases we of the elderly set have come up with to make the Internet less Internetish and therefore more “in” our domain.

Here’s a sampling of ones I hear regularly:

·         The Interweb or the Interwebs
·         The Internets
·         Checking the Googles
·         Going to the Yahoos
·         Twitterizing
·         Twitterfacing
·         Doing the TwitterBook

These make me laugh, almost without fail. I’m predictable like that. What are some words or phrases you use or you’ve heard to sweetly mock this fine Internet we ride?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hope and Awe

This past week, I had the great honor of being able to participate in helping a family in need. There was a fire near our house where the hydrants failed, and the families and firemen had to watch helplessly as the homes burned to the ground. What a tragedy, and what a travesty. And yet…

What I’ve been privileged to witness in the few days since has been nothing short of inspirational. In this day and age of greed and depressing news and Charlie Sheen and economic woes, a bunch of people – some I know, most I don’t – reached into their hearts, their homes and their wallets to give something to one of the families whose home was destroyed in the fire. This family was left with no residence, no clothes, no belongings, nothing. And today, thanks to the kindness of friends and strangers, they have a few precious items to help them feel a little less lost and a little more hopeful.

Now, I take zero credit for any of this, of course.  These folks are friends of a friend of a friend – I guess they’re friends thrice removed? But when I say I’m honored to have been allowed to help out, that’s no exaggeration. There is nothing as fulfilling to the heart and soul than knowing you have helped someone else, nothing better than knowing that you have contributed to someone’s security or happiness: no bonus, no country club membership, no flat-screen TV or Super Bowl win. Not even MARTA parking lot cookies. Nothing.

What’s even more amazing and heartening, to me, is the response of my neighbors. Two people I’ve never met before came to my door to donate whatever they could. Even more amazing (just how amazing could this get, you ask???), these individuals thanked me for giving them the opportunity to help someone in need. Let me state that again… these individuals didn’t know me prior to two days ago, and they definitely didn’t know this family, and yet they were grateful for the chance to give whatever they could to these people who find themselves in such a desperate situation.

If you haven’t done something meaningful for someone else recently, give it a try. I guarantee you’ll get back more in inner peace – many times over more – than what you gave.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Power of the Atta-Girl (And Other Stories of Joy)

So today, my peeps, finds me all flushed and swoony and giddy. No, this doesn’t have anything to do with my husband (not that that would be out of the question, mind you).  And no, before you get all suspicious and panty-waddy, it doesn’t have anything to do with *gasp* another man.  It does, in fact, have to do with another woman. You can safely pull your mind right up out of that gutter.  Don’t trip on your way out, by the way.

The cause of my joy is a compliment. It’s as simple as that. I had to give an informal presentation in my literature class this morning, and after class my professor – let’s call her Jan, because her name is Jan – told me I did a “fabulous job.” From my visceral response, you’d think I either was in love with her or had never received a compliment in my life prior to today. Seriously. My heart pounded, I found myself smiling a big, dorky smile and I almost tripped over my own feet. Not that I don’t trip over my own feet pretty much every day. (Ask me about the time I was less than a quarter mile into a 3-mile run when I tripped over my own feet and banged up my knee and seriously skinned my knee, hands, elbows and chin. Recently. In Florida. On a very flat road.)

Anyway, back to today. My point is this: if you’re in a position of influence – teacher, professor, parent, spouse/partner, Josh Gates – don’t underestimate the power of praise. A sincere atta-boy or atta-girl, a “great job!” or even just a “thank you” can have a pretty dramatic impact on someone who looks up to, likes, respects or even adores you. Want to hold onto that great employee or that romantic interest of yours? Want to convince your child to follow your lead? Don’t convince them they don’t merit going elsewhere or that they’re inconsequential… convince them that you think they’re pretty great.  Gifts and money and stuff is pretty cool (if you have any extra laying around, I’m happy to take ‘em off your hands… no, seriously, I am), but the complimentary stuff really hits at the heart. It’s powerful stuff, so use it with care.

To add to the glory of my morning, a classmate of mine and I were talking before class began, and she complimented my hair. She said she thinks I have great hair, and that she occasionally stares at it during class. I’m a girl (as I hope ya’ll have sorted out), so a hair compliment first thing in the morning is like… WINNING! The really cool thing is that, ironically, I totally love this girl’s mane, stare at it all the time and am tres envious of it.

Maybe she and I should start a Hair Club for Us. Not a company to implant more hair on our heads, but a mutual admiration society. Not a profit maker for sure, but definitely a way to boost the ego and keep the happy going. Powerful stuff.

And with that… Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

MARTA & A Thousand Rose Petals

Earlier this week, when I got to my MARTA station to make my way to school, I noticed that someone – a MARTA attendant? a helpful blog reader with a cleaning obsession? – removed the broken cookies from the MARTA platform. Hurray for progress and cleanliness!

It’s kind of comforting, in a dull, yawny way, when my MARTA station returns to its typical state of boring boringness. Therefore, imagine my shock and… and… dismay? rapture? shock again?... when Thursday brought a new surprise at my MARTAstation! There I was, trudging down the stairs from the parking deck toward the entry platform, when I saw this:

What is that, you may ask? Snow in Atlanta in Springtime? No! In fact, this photo shows a pile of white rose petals. The photo does not do justice the rosey petaly vision that was the MARTA station. There were thousands – literally thousands! – of white rose petals strewn about the floor. Petals in singles and pairs around the main area. Petals in tiny piles around the MARTA pass machines and in larger piles (like the one in the photo) around the various stairwells and columns. White rose petals swirling around commuting feet and skittering across the pavement on small puffs of breeze.

What happened to create such a scene? Well, I have a few ideas:
  • Some lovely young man, holding tight to a large bouquet of white roses, proposed to his beloved as she disembarked from her MARTA train. In a fit of rapturous joy upon her acceptance of his proposal, this young man threw the roses down on the paved MARTA floor and carried his intended off to his only slightly rusted, off-tan, 1994 Mazda 626, awaiting him on floor 4 of the parking deck.
  • The night before my arrival at the MARTA station was the first, and ultimately the last, night of a new business idea.  You know how you can be at a restaurant or a romantic locale and there are nice men and women wandering around selling roses to add to the ambience (and profit) of the place? Well, perhaps someone got the idea that this would succeed during evening rush hour and would bring joy to the masses heading home from a long day at work.  And perhaps one of the rush hour commuters, after a particularly bad day, disagreed… hence, white rose petals scattered everywhere and a new business idea ended in its infancy.
  • A traveling magician arrived at the MARTA station after a long flight and a seemingly equally long ride up the north-south line. As he exited through the turnstiles, he noticed an odd agitation coming from the covered birdcage he held. Whipping off the blanket covering the cage, he realized that he’d accidentally fed his magic doves a volatile concoction of beans, hot sauce and strong coffee (an easy error to make, of course). Realizing what was about to happen, this magic man grabbed his wand and yelled, “Abracadabra!” at the exact moment that the edible explosives took their deadly toll. Fortunately for all around – except the doves, of course – the magic trick worked, and rather than the mess that could have ensued, the MARTA station denizens found themselves in the midst of an explosion of thousands of white rose petals.
Those are my ideas. What do you think happened? Please share!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

You Missed.

You came.
You tried.
You weren’t denied.
You held, delayed,
You then betrayed.
You counted years.
You offered tears.
You grieved.
You hurt.
You then assert
You missed.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thank You, MARTA!

I’ve been at a bit of a loss the last few days for blog material, between abject exhaustion and relatively continuous immersion in schoolwork. Also, in case you haven’t noticed, there’s been an overabundance of horrible, tragic, overwhelming, devastating [insert other expressions of distress here] news coming in from around the world, and I just don’t feel like commenting about that here. Here is for fun (generally).

So there I was this morning, beginning my long slog to school and feeling glum about having nothing to ramble about to ya’ll, when MARTA came through for me. Twice, even!

After shuffling along the platform, I chose a sparsely populated MARTA car and sat down. After getting settled, I looked up and saw this:

MARTA passenger.

In my exhausted state, it took me a few minutes to realize that this MARTA denizen was no longer - shall we say - animated. Somehow, this lovely specimen had gotten its little footsie (scientific term) stuck, so there it remained even after its untimely demise, adding ornamental flair to the otherwise bland d├ęcor. Not only had no one knocked this thing off the wall between when it initially became entrapped and when I sat down, but no one removed it or even paid it much mind during the entire half hour I was on the train… AND no one seemed to bat an eye that I was taking its close-up.

After my class, I took the train home and started up the parking garage stairs. When I hit the third landing, I encountered this (minus the key chain):

Frankencookies, with keychain next to them for perspective.

Megan, you may say, what is so profound and fascinating about a few broken cookies?  Try this on for size: That broken cookie has been on this landing in this stairwell at least since I started school. At the beginning of January. Today is April 7. If you’re math-challenged, that’s three months (and counting). And I don’t think the pieces have budged from their original resting places. Even better, I’m not sure if you can tell from the picture – I have an old-school phone, not a fancy new smartphone that takes National Geographic quality photos – but the cookies are not noticeably decomposing. At. All. Is there such a thing as a Twinkie cookie?

Anyone want to come with me to the MARTA station to try a nibble of those cookie pieces to see if they’re truly in edible condition?  I’ll bring my good camera for that.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

When I Grow Up…

When I grow up, I promise to:
  • Stop kvetching about my group project teammates (aside from Project Coach) who can’t seem to get their heads out of their arses to contribute something to our project that is due in 2 weeks. Something. Anything. Please.
  • Be able to hear the word “moist” without feeling required to text it or email it immediately to my sister, who finds the word revolting. Moist.
  • Quit wearing pigtails. Except when I run. Or when it’s summer. Or when my hair is long.
  • Try to grasp the importance of mani-pedis.
  • Reconsider my sheer adoration of my white hairs. (They are not gray. They are bright white and make my hair look sparkly.)
  • Admit that I want the red wine, I don’t need the red wine.
  • Stop eating cookies for dinner. At least as far as you know.
  • Stop laughing when my 3-year-old says, in frustration, “Fucking ridiculous!”
  • Finally break down and watch Rocky. (Don’t judge me.)
  • Finally break down and have my Grease, Hair & Hairspray festival (you know what I’m talking about, M.E.).
  • Quit procrastinating doing my schoolwork by writing blog posts.

Okay, so maybe I won’t really do that last one.  What do you promise to do when you grow up?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Crying Over a TV Show

This is totally random and brief, but I just spent my lunch hour watching and crying like a sleepy baby over last night’s Grey’s Anatomy.  Bawling. My. Eyes. Out.  (Before I go on… quick note to some word-use-challenged friends: notice my use of the word “bawl” as opposed to its incorrect homonym “ball” which, when used in the sentences above, makes them mean something entirely different. Just trying to be helpful.)

Aside from the potential influence of PMS, I had to wonder why this episode – dramatic as it was – had me so wrung out.  Then it hit me!  Okay, so you guys know the character Callie, around whom last night’s episode was centered?  She totally reminds me of a very good friend of mine, and I think my strange little brain was tormented by the idea of her being on death’s door. (Everyone: “Awww!”)

I’ve adored Callie since the moment she joined Grey’s, and it’s been mildly bugging me why I’m so attached to her character, cheering her on and hoping she never ever ever ever leaves the show. Ever.  But thanks to my noontime sob-fest, I think I’ve figured it out. And said friend may sort out she’s my Callie buddy if she thinks through her similarities to the character.

Crazy, huh?  I mean, really insane and way over-thinky?  Well, either way, at least I know for certain that if a particular friend of mine ever ends up with her life hanging in the balance after a horrible car crash, she’ll have one buddy crying like a freak about it… and possibly singing ballads while wandering around the hospital?

Have you ever had some wacky realization about yourself akin to this?  Please share.  Help me not feel lonely in my lunacy.
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