double e-g, double e…

I often claim that I don’t like surprises, because:

A. I’m a control freak.

B. I have poor in-the-moment reactions.

C. I’m an introvert.

D. I scare easily.

…Or maybe it’s all of the above?

At any rate, I realized last week that I secretly do love surprises, even if the act of being surprised throws me off a bit.

When my doorbell rang at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, my immediate reaction (as a result of living in our prior neighborhood for four years) was, “I know these people mean well, but they’re never going to convert me. They need to understand boundaries and check for mezuzahs.”

I was going to ignore it altogether, and then at the last minute I panicked that a neighbor may have lost a pet or child or something equally important, and I decided to press my luck. I opened the door to see my friend Angela from high school waving enthusiastically at me. Before I could ponder how she knew where I lived and what she was doing at my house, she darted back to her car and came back to present me with two extra large Eegee’s drinks. She told me they were a gift from my friend Amy, who lives in LA, because she knew I was having a rough week. Angela happened to be driving back from Tucson that week and Amy worked with her for the delivery.

Talk about stealth coordination.

I was floored that Amy would go to such lengths to bring a smile to my face and a sugar high to my head. Eegee’s is what we grew up on, and how we marked every important life event from birthdays to break ups. It’s the delivery-room cigar of Tucsonans. And it was exactly what I needed.

It’s funny because I was so excited that it almost didn’t matter what she had done; it was the simple fact that she worked so hard to show me she cared and deliver something I would truly appreciate.

I can thank her and thank her, but instead I’m going to try and return the goodness to the universe when the opportunity presents itself.

Grateful for best friends.

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Tuesday Confessions

1. Before leaving for work today I had the privilege of cleaning up a double whammy of dog urine AND dog vomit.

2. Last week I asked a delivery man at work to only speak to me in Spanish when he passed by. Today was our second conversation. “It’s all coming back, all coming back to me now” -Celine Dion

3. Everything on Facebook makes me cry lately. What gives. Inspirational stories of goodwill, pets up for adoption, sleep-deprived friends lamenting motherhood…I think it’s the holidays, but I may need to abstain so I can stop snotting all over my computer.

4. I have a knack for catching onto shows way behind everyone else. Usually two to five years behind. But I’m almost current with House of Cards (which is on, like, now), and I like it very much. Makes me miss working in the governor’s office and slightly remorseful that I never used my journalism degree to become an actual journalist.

5. I critique neighborhood Christmas light displays in my head with the intensity of a Romanian gymnastics judge. I have no experience but very competitive standards.

6. My oldest friend Amy lives in LA and lost her cell phone this week. This tragedy has been alleviated through several lengthy, humiliating and hysterical Facebook exchanges that culminated tonight in a photo of the cast of Dawson’s Creek.

7. Three jobs I’d be terribly suited to pursue are cab driver, calculus professor and exterminator. “Plumber,” adds my husband.

8. When I went home for Thanksgiving, I brought back about 120 plastic horses I’d collected as a child, that I’d forgotten about until I realized they’re now selling for a pretty penny on ebay. At the time, taking them from their safe stable at my mom’s seemed like an easy way to make some money, but now, I’m not wildly excited to begin selling and shipping plastic figurines in my spare time. Unfortunately, these giant boxes of horses are taking up a lot of space in the garage. I’m open to suggestions here.

9. Jim and I bought new living room furniture yesterday. I’m 30 and it still feels strange to buy furniture at places other than IKEA or Goodwill.

10. We painted the living room Wheat Bread and the bathroom Grey Goose. Guess we like grains. Draw your own conclusions on where the parties happen.

Can you bring extra carry-on if you’re going to prison?

Sometimes, I have really entertaining IM conversations. This one starts off slowly, but stick with it.  Quality increases toward the middle. If you know me and my friend, who I’ve chosen to keep anonymous, this is much funnier. If you don’t know us, I’m sorry, because we are awesome.

Friend:

ru there?

Me:

yep

Friend:

want to hear something weird?

Me:

always

Friend:

im at the airport

and im looking at a guy that im pretty sure is being transported from prison

Me:

WHOA

Friend:

he has handcuffs

Me:

no way

Friend:

with two cops

dressed in regular clothes, but i can see their bullet proof vest

Me:

that’s crazy. i’ve never ever seen anything like that.

Friend:

me neither. one cop is reading a book.

a child is playing near the person

Me:

omg

Friend:

i want to take a picture

Me:

DO IT

PHOTO

Friend:

eek

Me:

flash off

Friend:

i’ll try

ok. sent.

Me:

oh wait the cops are in regular clothes? i wonder if they’re bounty hunters. or something.

Friend:

what the heck is a bounty hunter?

Me:

um did you never watch Dog the Bounty Hunter??

they find the people in ‘wanted’ posters like private investigators and bring them to justice

Friend:

oh man….maybe it is a bounty hunter then

Me:

WHAT IF HE’S ON YOUR FLIGHT

Friend:

i’m stalking like a creeper

Me:

word

Friend:

face danger right in the face

Me:

BOOM

Friend:

starting with the bounty hunters

…..

Friend:

enter man in shackles

seinfeld episode born

Me:

done and done

Friend:

i don’t think anyone else sees this situation

Me:

if your life was a tv show and not real, you’d totally be going “psst” to the cops to wink at them and let them know you’re on their side

JUSTICE FOR ALL

Friend:

i’ll just give a big thumbs up

Me:

overexaggerated ‘ok’ sign

Friend:

– ding –

wink of the eye

what if he is on my flight?

Me:

maybe they’re US Marshalls

Friend:

that would be legit!

then i could be on 20/20

…..

Friend:

i should move so i stop staring

Me:

i wonder how they got thru security

so.many.questions.

Friend:

should i ask?

psst

i got a few questions for ya

Me:

starting with: what book are you reading, officer?

Me:

Can you give me a hand with this? no? oh, you’re shackled…

Friend:

can u watch my bag a second…oh wait ur already watching a human

my bad

Me:

HAHA

Friend:

i wish this was all made up

Me:

i’m so glad it’s not.

…..

Can you bring an extra carry-on if you’re going to prison?

Friend:

for an extra $25

Me:

will they feed him peanuts by hand mid-flight? or does he go without?

Friend:

does he get shackled to his seat?

Me:

and, does he get bathroom breaks?

Friend:

someone definitely has to adjust the AC for him

Me:

do they unshackle him if there’s an emergency landing i wonder?

cause he can’t use his seat bottom cushion for flotation otherwise

Friend:

he prob cant have an emergency exit seat

he is both unwilling and unable to assist

Me:

i’m crying

Friend:

so am i

but im at the airport

looking at him

and laughing

Me:

i wonder if there’s an extent of criminal at which you can’t go on a public flight?

Friend:

who knows

im so confused

…..

Friend:

he actually might be on my flight

Me:

this is a justifiable use of the word epic

Friend:

true story

Me:

i need so many details if he’s actually on your flight

Friend:

yesterday i saw a girl walking down the street in stilts

now this

Me:

i got the pic

it’s prob a misdemeanor that you took that

i’m doing a googleimage search with the convicts face 

hang on

…..

a pic of a baby came up as a match. fail.

Friend:

lol

Me:

and a puppy

Friend:

which was closer? the puppy or the baby?

Me:

puppy

def puppy

Friend:

nice

poor puppy

Friend:

i really wonder how many other people at the airport have bullet proof vests?

Me:

and i’m just still curious how they got thru security…

-end scene-

Free warm fuzzies, just read this.

I recently wrote about generosity, and how I’m trying to weave it more fluidly into my life. In order to do this, I first had to admit that I wasn’t being as generous as I could and should be. That was some uncomfortable soul searching. Not as uncomfortable as re-reading your high school yearbook inscriptions (maybe I did that this weekend, maybe I didn’t) but it worked out. So far, so good.

Today, I got an email from a dear friend. A friend I’ve known since the awkward days of junior high dances and gym-class uniforms, and who I’ve fortunately kept up with through the miracle of facebook and our blogs. I respect and admire her, and love her for her courage, compassion and gigantic heart. My efforts pale in comparison to the things she’s done and continues to do for others, and today her words warmed my heart.

Did I squeal with happiness in the confines of my cubicle when I read her email? Yeah, totally did.

It was exactly what I needed to hear on a long, long day. It restored my faith in humanity, and kindness, the same way the action itself likely did this for the people involved.

Yesterday I was at a red light and I saw a homeless man a few cars up. He had an eye patch on and a sign, but I didn’t even bother to read it, nor would I have been able to as he was too far away. I scrambled to find something in my car I could give him. I had just bought some cliff bars and as the homeless man walked towards my car I said, “I don’t have any money, but here are some Cliff Bars,” and handed him the entire box. The light had turned green and I didn’t want to hold up traffic so I kind of just grabbed the box and shoved it at him. I thought about giving him my red vines, but figured a granola bar is a little better than candy – and secretly I didn’t want to give up my red vines! Anyway, it made me think of you. I literally did have no money – maybe a few pennies, but I wanted to do SOMETHING for him. He thanked me before I drove away and I felt good about it. I love that you are giving to anyone who asks this year and I look forward to seeing how you feel at the end of the year. I imagine you’ll feel pretty pleased.

 

This is what it’s all about.

Acting with your heart. Doing what’s right. Just because. People helping people, without qualifying their needs or the long-term impact or anything that superfluous. Just being nice and doing good because it matters.

Give me your heart

give a little, get a lot

I spent all day on Tuesday at an ASU Career Connections event, a way for college students to learn about different professions from people working in the field. I initially volunteered for this several months ago, in the spirit of mentorship, but by the time it rolled around this week I admit I was far from thrilled. It’s been a crazy few weeks and being out of the office all day was a pain. Nevertheless, as I made the familiar drive to campus – the same campus where I spent four incredible years – I felt myself getting more excited.

I arrived feeling apprehensive – much like the freshmen that meandered into the event throughout the day – and quickly found my assigned seat. I noted that I’d be sharing my table with someone else, and that she was an editor, but didn’t think much of it. Little did I know I was about to make as valuable a connection as the students.

It turns out my tablemate was fantastic. We spent both sessions and lunch chatting like old friends, sharing family stories, professional anecdotes and college memories, while simultaneously delivering assorted insights to 18-year-old students. I can’t remember the last time I felt so comfortable with a total stranger, and I am honored to now call Mary a friend. I was so touched to receive a note in the mail from her today, and look forward to many more conversations.