Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Another year closer...

To the Best. 30th Birthday Party. Ever.

Well, I did. It is official. I am now 28.
In honor of my 28 years of life I will post 28 stories about my birthday.
Wait... Come back... Don't stop reading... I am only kidding. I am not quite that narcissistic.

While there are number of stories to tell, and I do live my E-dub's motto "Do it for the story!", I will only highlight a few now. If I am going to blog every day in May, I really should conserve some material. So, here is a quick and detailed summary of the day.

8am- Run for Reading 5K (Yes, Junior Leaguers I love you enough to wake up early on my birthday)
11am- Go back to the dry cleaners to find the lining of my red dress. Success.
12noon- Food Glorious Food with Sarah (and guest appearances by Carol, Cindy, Lea and Rosie)
2pm- Pedicure (so needed!)
3pm- Harry's for Blair and Holly's Wedding Shower
6pm- FSU Baseball Game (where I was NOT the junior nole announcer...but I did get to sit in a Dugout Suite...and it was Sweet!)
9pm- El Tapatio (Thank you Blair, Holly, Erin and Shane for tricking me into wear a nasty sombrero and eating fried ice cream. And I SOOO think that Shane picked out that card.)
11pm- Bed

Oh and NO birthday is complete without a Hannah Montana Tropical themed party! Thank you Marshalls! And with those MoTEAto's, we really partied! (Note the red dress is complete!)

And here E-dub is thinking... If only I had some limes and salt.... hmm... then I could properly celebrate "Will Liner Day".

Oh... stay tuned for my perspective on re-gifting and "it's the thought that counts"...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I am interrupting the "Ode to Customer Service" to bring you a tale from my week...

On Monday, I attended a screening for Purple State of Mind (thank you Lea) and I was reminded that Tallahassee DOES have cool stuff going on. Oh The Village Square, how I love thee! (1) I got to pose in a "red" and "blue" photograph with the most attractive Democrat that I know. Yes, that is you Ms. Vita. (2) I got to see one of my new favorite Tallahassee girls. Yes, Whitney that would be you and not just because you brought an orange into a movie theater... (3) I attempted to prove Dr. Systma WRONG!* (4) I viewed a film that definitely provoked my thoughts and heard first hand from the men who made it. Twenty-five years after they were college roommates, John Marks and Craig Detwiller, with such differing worldviews got together to have a series of conversations...and filmed them all for us to observe and experience. When John would challenge Craig with very pointed questions, (I'm talking..."Do YOU think that I am going to HELL?" type questions.) I couldn't help but wonder... How would I answer that question if a friend asked me? Do I even have any relationships with people where we can ask such pointed and challenging questions? What could I learn from someone if I was less afraid and brave enough to actually go there? Would there be a difference in the world- if we were able to engage in more dialogue for the sole purpose of wanting to know someone else and to understand why they think the way that they do and abandon all hidden agendas?
See these guys really are friends...they have on matching pants. Democrats and Republicans really can be friends...we both can agree on great leather totes.

Just look at how strong that bond is!

*Dr. Systma is a Christian Sex Therapist in Atlanta who does freelance work for me :) and conveniently was my friend Lea's neighbor when she lived in Atlanta... He is of the school of thought that if I am ever going to meet a man, I should probably spend less time with Lea and her family and more time in environments where there are men my age. Little does he know, but Lea and I are on a mission to prove him wrong. And I am happy to report that there were some attractive guys at the film screening on Monday. Granted I was too shy to talk to them...but they were there and that is half the battle! (Oh, and if any of my friends reading happen to know any of the above mentioned attractive fellas....have them call me...k thanks.)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Well Done #3

Dear Cole Couture,

Now as a small, local boutique, one would expect your service levels to be high. But, you, without fail, time and again exceed expectations. After living in Charlotte and frequenting many boutiques, I often experienced the "pretty woman snob effect". Heaven forbid I walk into a shop sans make-up, sporting a t-shirt and jeans. Do I not deserve attention? When I would walk into the shop in all my fashion glory... sales girls would drop their cell phones and commence drooling over me and waiting on me hand and foot.

At Cole, it is consistent. I receive the right amount of attention EVERY time I walk in (regardless of appearance). You give me room to browse and assistance when I need it. You pull countless pairs of denim, as I am incredibly picky and never seem to wear the same size. You wait patiently as I try on pair after pair. And if I leave without buying anything... it is OK. You welcome me kindly on my return visit. Oh, and I thank you for adding ME as a friend on facebook and not waiting for me to add you! I also appreciate knowing that as soon as you get a shipment with those trouser jeans in my size, you will call me and I can't wait!


Friday, April 17, 2009

Well Done #2

I can't believe that these words are going to come out of my mouth but.....

Dear Figg Dining Hall/ Training Table/ Student-Athlete Nutrient Supplier,

Well done.

As you are now well aware, E-dub and I frequent your establishment for our weekly lunch. (And before I was there with her on a weekly basis... I was there with Brian, Jeffrey, Maggie and Co.- What can I say? I like a routine.) But back to the point of this commendation. We usually have a very pleasant dining experience at Figg, which is surprising given the campus dining/ cafeteria nature of the place, but today took the cake. I would like to point out that the circumstances today in the dining hall were the recipe for disaster. I even whispered in a wide eyed panic state to Erin as we walked toward the entrance... "kids, kids, kids, kiiiiddss, there are kids everywhere!" Low and behold, a field trip of magnificent proportions had thrown up on the Athletic Center. While I usually don't mind kids, I am not used to seeing them outnumber the adults at lunch. I braced myself for the worst. I saw grubby little paws pushing each other out of the way and touching all of the cookies that I love, I saw Coke flowing freely from the fountain, I saw a line for corndogs that was out of control... and no room to sit and dine. When suddenly I was brought from this overwhelmed state by a staff member who kindly told me that if I wanted salmon or baked chicken, I could walk over to the far corner where there was NO line of kiddos. Score! Erin and I were on our way. That little customer service tip allowed us to masterly skirt the lines and fill our plates with goods. Not a second after I filled my tray and turned to frantically find a seat, another staff member invited us to eat down the hall in the museum (a.k.a. kid free zone). As we walked into the room, chairs were set for us, the napkins that we needed were provided without request. Figg, today you made our day. Erin and I were able to discuss the finer things in life. (Yes, recounting are favorite lines from The Office counts as "finer things".)

And while your chicken may be dry, your staff is top notch. Well done, well done, well done.

We will see you next Friday!


Should I?

At the risk of losing 100% of my male readership, here goes...

Reasons why Thomas should be banned from reading my blog:

- He will catch EVERY single little typo or misspelling and CALL me out publicly. (Whatever happened to a courtesy e-mail?)

- He dissed the title of my blog. (If we had more face time, he would realize that whenever something funny happens, one of my taglines is... wait for it... "If only I had a blog!")

- He selfishly believes that my starting a blog was a birthday gift to HIM. Afraid not. The timing was just coincidental.

But since I am a compassionate, caring and beautiful woman and I know that he only puts others down to build himself up... I will not actually ban Thomas from reading my blog. Well, that and the fact that I am WAY too busy to monitor his excessive internet use. So, Thomas, Happy belated birthday!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Well Done #1

I'll admit it. It really is no secret. My friends have blogged about it. My name has been mentioned. There is no denying....

I am SO over poor customer service. And that means you- Home Depot, ForNEVER 21 and Jerry's Artarama! (Yes, I have a bone to pick with a place called "Jerry's Artarama".) But you all deserve NO more of my time, thoughts, and energy. Although, I did enjoy creating a gang to fight against your customer service injustice. Thanks E-dub! (Don't worry... I still have my skull scarf waiting in the event that we need to move to action.)

Friends, it is official, I am going to focus my attention on the businesses who deserve it. Those that exude customer service excellence. They have earned my praise! So, prepare yourselves for a little series that I like to call "Well Done". Now my obvious first choice to highlight would be JCrew... in the store, online and on the phone... all EXCELLENT. But E-dub got that shout out covered- so on to the next...

Dear Publix,

Shopping in your store really is a pleasure. Your store is always clean and stocked with goodness. Your staff is always offering tasty treats for me to salivate over while I shop and I appreciate that, as I am a hungry gal. Your staff rushes to my aid when they see me struggling to reach the SmartWater. (p.s.- could you move it to a lower shelf?) They make my subs with such delight (even when I ask that they be cut in fourths- thank you Brandon! And for the record, he is the nicest deli guy EVER). When Brandon the cashier (not to be confused with Brandon the deli guy or the Brandon in the bakery- although all three are great) asks me how my day was... I really thinks that he wants to know. So, I tell him. And he has a nice smile. I think that he likes his job. (If there wasn't a line behind me, I would have asked.) Publix you are so good to your customers and I THANK you.

Lots of love,


P.S.-I also really like those $5 off of a $30 purchase coupons, so if you would be so kind as to drop some in the mail, that would be great!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Pop it. Lock it. Polka dot it.

Me: I need one ticket for.. Hannah Montana

Ticket girl: what?

Me: Hannah Montana

Ticket girl: huh?

Me: HANNAH MONTANA ... you know... THE MOVIE

Ticket girl: (laughs out loud)

Lea: I need two tickets for "whatever she's seeing" .

Thanks Lea. Way to leave me hanging there!

Our Saturday at movies was quite an undercover adventure. And I do mean undercover...
But my love for that Miley Cyrus and for her pop hit "The Climb" was too strong to keep me out of that theater and that theater filled with adults! Well, adults with little girls.... but there were other adults in there and that is all that matters!

For those who have not seen this little cinematic masterpiece (I will safely assume all of you), it is quite a fun movie. Well, once you get past Billy Ray's poor acting ability. But Miley's cutie boyfriend makes up for all the weak acting. (Little public service announcement... Lea has been stalking him on the internet... no not Billy Ray... I'm talking cutie boyfriend... looks like Zac Efron has some competition!) The scene with Miley and Tyra Banks fighting over a pair of shoes is worth forking over the cash to see! Oh and it may even have you to dancing to this little number... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtQo1_9mED4. I am quite the fan of anything called "Hoedown Throwdown". (No comments, please.)

Well, here is the kicker.... my mom and I both saw Vanessa Williams on Saturday. I saw her starring in HMTM. My mom saw her at the pool at the beach resort where they were both staying. I have reached a new low. My mom's life is cooler than mine.

(Oh... and my mom said that she was with an LA Laker... hmm... are Rick and Vanessa getting back together... or does she just have a "type".)

A chocolate cross?

One of many things that my mom did right.... Easter baskets. Let me just say that Cheryl wins in this category year after year. I am not talking the "Oh I forgot and ran to Walmart the night before Easter and got a massively tacky basket wrapped in cellophane". I'm talking walking into the kitchen on Easter morning and spying 3 perfect baskets filled with the perfect ratio of candy to presents. Without fail, year after after, the basket would have a new movie (which used to be whatever Disney movie came out of the "vault" and then became whatever movie Reese Witherspoon had starred in that fall). Then there was always got something that you didn't even know that you wanted or needed.... Some years it was jewelry, other years lotion or gift card to Starbucks. I loved that unexpected (and usually undeserved) gift.

You all can see where this is going. The best (and saddest) part of celebrating Easter is remembering that we were given such a great and unexpected gift. That can be so hard to remember sometimes. I believe that we lose sight of that gift because it reminds us that we are indeed not like my Easter basket...we are not perfect... And that can be so challenging for us (well, at least for me) to admit.

This is the first Easter weekend that I have spent alone in a long, long time. I mean alone in the sense that I am not with my family- I sure don't want the people that I have seen this weekend to think that they mean nothing to me! I also promise not to dive into a "whoa is me..I am all alone" word fest...so keep on reading....

The quiet in our house and my activities this weekend have given me opportunities for reflection. I have learned that there are a few places were I feel more "single" than others... Two of those are at church and at the movie theater. I know, silly and random, but true nonetheless. And because not going to either of these places is not really an option for me, I must embrace the self awareness that they bring. (And I went to both this very weekend.) While I was sitting in church alone on Friday night (again, not bitter), I was thinking about what Jesus' last days on earth must have been like... (well, I was thinking that and I was secretly wishing that there would be another sound mishap with techno music slipping in again this year.) But back to Jesus... talk about feeling ALONE! He had friends betraying him, denying him, and mobs of people ready to kill him (or technically, just watch him by killed). And while I consider my roommates both leaving town for the weekend a small form of betrayal- it in NO way compares to the isolation that Jesus had to feel.

The good news in this story is celebrated today... yes, yes my roommates will return and I have promised to blog amount the experience that I had at the movie theater yesterday... But more importantly we will celebrate this good news, "He is not here; he has risen!" And with that, we will rejoice in a way that is much larger than an Easter basket.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

We got over it...

The story that I am about to share has great potential to embarass... With that little disclaimer, here goes! This past weekend, I headed up to Charleston to run the Cooper River Bridge Run. This was the first race that I ever completed and it is a special run for that reason AND the fact that I got to run it with my first running buddy ever! GB and I met when I was working at Wingate and one day we decided that we wanted to challenge ourselves to run over this little bridge...

That was the beginning of a great friendship, my love for running and a little crush that I have on a city called Charleston. But this story is not about me or GB and unfortunately I have promised not to disclose the name of the individual involved. She did, however, go to high school with me and go with us on our second experience of the CRBR. (People- I am a woman of my word- I am not sharing her name... but she is a counselor and lives in Tampa and has two super cute dogs and she is single, well sometimes.)

So what actually happened? Well, early Saturday morning (and I mean EARLY), the 4 of us runners headed to the race start... a bit grogging, but very excited to RUN (and dreaming of finishing in under 1 hour). The race starts and along with 37,000 of our closest friends, we take off! We are just running along, doing what we do, when unnamed friend says, "You all just go ahead, if I find a bathroom, I am going to stop." I remember thinking to myself that we were in the last mile....there is no way that she would find a bathroom until the finish... but not my problem.

As GB and I cross the finish line (at 1:00:10...ugh!), we head to the pre-designated meeting area (we are smart girls- for the most part) and wait for unnamed and her friend JJ to finish and find us. Well, unnamed finds us and immediately begins to share that while going up the bridge (note- at mile 2 of 6.1) she felt "the wave". You all know what I am talking about- don't even pretend you don't! (Cheetahs- you DEFINITELY know.) And from that point on... she honestly thought that she was, and I quote, "going to poop [her] pants!" She continues to tell us all of the ideas/ potential solutions that came to mind over the past 4 miles. Demonstrating to us all, that in moments of crisis, clear judgment will vanish! She considered asking a fireman/ paramedic on the bridge if they had somewhere for her to go.... (remember we are on a BRIDGE?!) She also debated using a local business to do her business...although on a Saturday morning, downtown, nothing is open. My personal favorite was when she saw a sign on the side of the road and thought, "If I poop my pants, I can wrap the sign around me and finish the race! Yeah!" (Because running with a sign around your waist is always a good back-up plan...)

Not to worry, she did not actually "poop [her] pants". Although it probably would have made for a better story....

The best part of this story is that she was recounting her experience in a public park with 37,000 people surrounding us.... using the expression "poop my pants" at least 58 times...

I'm still not sure why she didn't use that porta-potty at the end of the bridge...go figure!

A post-run picture of GB and me for everyone (all 2 of you) to enjoy....

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The moment that you have been waiting for... or fearful of...

I now have a small forum to unleash some creative energy. A few have casually mentioned that I should have a blog. I would like to think that those suggestions came because my life is so fascinating and my perspective is so entertaining that everyone wants check in regularly to see what MG is up to... but who I am kidding? I am NO Lea Marshall. (Clearly, as you can see, I capitalize!) As this is my first ever blog entry (yes, I do realize that I am behind most of the world), I am feeling some pressure to make it a stellar entry. (hmm... maybe I should have given up high expectations for Lent.)

I may just settle for a simple introductory post. Why get all fancy and complicated? I seriously doubt that this little way for me to communicate with friends, family and random blog stalkers will result with much fanfare. I doubt that I will have a cult following like those ladies that talk about fashion, home decorating, or recipes. Not that I think less of those who spend their days scouring the internet looking for tips on perfecting meatloaf or decorating with damask and toile. These things just come naturally for me.... I do not need to read about it in some one's blog! I plan to discuss things of substance, things that really matter in this world... Like finding a hot pink gel pen, lying unclaimed in front of the elevator just waiting for me to come by, pick it up and give it a nice home in my ever so lovely green tote from Aldo. (Best purse purchase ever, btw.) Ladies and gentleman ('cause surely at least 1 man will read my blog), that is the sort of thing that matters! Well, that and Jesus.