Tag Archives: United States

Must Be Me….

Boston Skyline

Boston Skyline (Photo credit: brentdanley)

Currently, I work on the seventh floor in one of Boston University’s many campus buildings. Never being as physically fit as I’d like “I’m working on it” is typically not far from my thoughts when pondering my fitness. I have, however, since moving to Boston begun to walk a substantial amount more. It’s simply not practical to drive in this city with parking being as ridiculously priced as it is here one tends to take public transportation and when that fails one walks. A great thing about Boston is that it is a walkable city. Since arriving I have had to invest in some really good shoes to cushion my feet from the hard concrete sidewalks. Sadly, some of my cute heels and sandals are gathering a fine layer of dust as I favor comfort over style. I ride the subway and walk the remaining distance to work each day in sneakers. Most larger city dwellers do.

As I said I’ve never really been all that fit, but that doesn’t stop me from trying to get a little “workout” in on my commute to work and even while at work. Instead of the escalators I climb the steps at subway stations. I use the elevator at work only if I need to go up more than three floors: therefore, only in the morning when I arrive and in the afternoon at quitting time and the occasional outside lunch.

Stairs sign with braille at an office building...

Stairs sign  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You can see then why it would never fail to amaze me when a healthy able-bodied male or female decides to ride the elevator to ascend to the next floor! What?! Why?! I want to ask every time I see someone get in and push the shiny little button for the next floor. Did they miss the big sign that announces the stairwell? Are they afraid to accelerate their heart-rate? Or perhaps they are afraid they will get lost on the trip up the flight of steps and come out in another dimension or country. I know I am beginning to write silly things, but when you do something silly you should be treated in kind.

WALL-E

WALL-E (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quit being a lazy bum! I once watched the Disney/Pixar film Wall-e with a friend who laughed hysterically at the part where the world’s civilization was obese and riding around on hovering recliners. This post isn’t a plug about obesity I promise I am more worried about the decline of our minds in truth.

I am just saying maybe you should try the stairs. 

Peep-peep-peeping

Never considered myself much of a peeping-tom, but lets face it sometimes you just can’t deny that insatiable curiosity unless you just go ahead and look. The hardest time for me to not look into the lives of those around me is when it’s evening time and I’m out walking the neighborhood. You see the glowing light cast on the pavement, see a form cross the light’s path, and wonder “Huh, wonder what/who caused that?” Your head turns almost on its own accord and before you know you’re watching someone set the table for dinner or changing the channel on the TV.

Tonight, I was walking upstairs to my room and had one such peeping-tom experience. To the limited few who have seen my new home in New England, I was on our second floor heading to our third but it’s not an all important detail for those of you who haven’t. We do not have curtains- none of us here like them in the first place. This detail gives us unhampered natural lighting, but also allows for unhampered viewing in both directions (inside and outside).

I was walking to the next staircase and happen to see light from across the way to the next door neighbors. There I spied chaotic movement. Naturally, I stopped and thought “What in the world???” Care to take a stab at what I saw?

Hooked I see. 🙂 Don’t worry, we all have that curiosity.

Anyway to continue, one of the the neighbors is repeatedly jumping up and down. My suspicion is that this woman is playing one of those Dance Revolution Games where you have a pad of the floor and have to jump on the proper square in order to score points. Watching the neighbor was entertaining as hell for a little while because I couldn’t actually see what she was doing other than jump-jump-jumping. And she was pretty involved in her jump-jump-jumping. The picture is of Jim Carey in Yes Man playing one such game.

I’m guilty of having one of these games for my Wii. It’s dangerous when I play because I’m not very coordinated. I’m sure that doesn’t come to much of a surprise to many of you. Graceful one thing “I ain’t!”

P.S. She’s still at it an hour later.

Lily in the Land of Oz: Part One

Tired of living in the Black Forest and living with the stigma of being a disagreeable and wickedly evil ogre, Wormroot, decided to make the long journey over the fields full of bountiful prairie crops, over the rickety wooden Crick Crossing Bridge, down Main Street with the local townspeople gawking and pointing at his presence in their clean town and into the local tavern to see if he could change his fate. Wormroot wanted desperately to be liked. Being an ogre is not easy since most people would upon seeing him immediately dislike him for had a certain ogre-y air about him.

Carefully ducking into the establishment as to not ruin anything, Wormroot was greeted by a silent room of townsfolk, mouths agape and shock showing on their faces. To most, this type of treatment would be a warning, a sort of foreshadowing of future events, but to Wormroot- who was as stubborn as any ogre- the local peoples reaction only mad him angry. He had every right to come into town. There was nothing anyone could do about it! Looking every patron in the eye, Wormroot moved toward the barkeep and greeted him with a friendly enough, “Hello!”

The barkeep having previously interacted with ogres, reservedly greeted Wormroot back as to not irk the ogre further. “What brings you to town, stranger?”

“Name’s Wormroot. I have come to change my fate. I was hoping to start anew and make a good name for myself. Have you heard of any farmer looking for help with the harvest? I’m a strong worker and do not mind doing the heavy lifting.”

Carefully framing his reply for he knew no one would hire the ogre, the barkeep said, “I am sorry, Wormroot. I haven’t heard of any farmer needing an extra pair of hands. I’ll keep an ear open and, if any such help is needed, I can send a message out your way to the Black Forest.” Hoping the ogre would be on his way, he offered the ogre a drink for the road. “Shall I pack a canteen for your trek back home?”

“I was hoping to be able to stay in town or with the farmer that hires me. I haven’t a place to return home to. If you don’t mind, I’ll make a quick announcement advertising my willingness to work.” And with that the ogre turned to the open room and bellowed “I have come to work! I will work hard and long. I can protect livestock from wild predators and can lift large and heavy objects. Please take pity on an ogre trying to make a name for himself!” Having said his piece, Wormroot again scanned the group of gathered townsfolk.

Most looked on him with distrust and loathing, some with fear, but none with pity. They had all heard tales of the chaos and havoc an ogre could create. Ogres are known for their short tempers and violent fits. Wormroot was disheartened looking at the crowd of unfriendly faces. He did not understand their hostility, he had come to them humbly asking for work. Just like them, he wanted to earn a living by doing honest work. He was willing to work hard and do what others couldn’t. Wormroot turned back toward the barkeep hoping the barkeep would provide a friendly face and advice as to what his next step should be, but the barkeep was not quick enough to wipe the growing look of fear from his face. Quickly becoming frustrated with the townspeople, Wormroot grabbed a pitcher off the counter, turned to the full room and prepared to launch the glass container across the space.

Standing feet from the ogre looking up into his face stood a beautiful maiden with long flowing chestnut locks and stunningly brilliant green eyes. At once, the ogre became ashamed of his actions and looked down at the pitcher in his hands unable to meet her gaze. He had not noticed her slip up behind him.

“I am sorry for the less than friendly greeting you have received while in the Land of Oz. I am Lily. We are unaccustomed to the presence of- forgive me for saying- an ogre. You are from the Black Forest, yes?”

His speech having failed him for she was breathtakingly beautiful, Wormroot eagerly nodded his large head.

“I have never ventured that far, but have heard tales of its beauty. What is your name, stranger?”

“Wormroot.”

“Well, Wormroot, my father owns a farm about half a day’s walk to the northeast from town. As my father is getting older and has two daughters and no sons- there are several chores with which we could use a strong back and an extra pair of hands to help us. If you are willing to journey with me, I believe we could use your help around the farm. Mind you’d have to sleep in the barn, but you would be warm and fed as long as your help is needed. To reach the homestead before nightfall, we will have to leave immediately.”

“Oh boy! Thank you! Thank you!! I promise I won’t let you down. I’ll be so helpful you’ll never want to let me go. Lead the way! After you, dear lady!” Wormroot clasped his hands together forgetting that one contained the glass pitcher causing it shatter and splash its contents down Wormroot’s tunic. Looking bug eyed and sheepish through lowered lids, Wormroot smiled at Lily hoping she would not change her mind.

Unsure of what to say to this display of clumsiness, Lily regarded Wormroot and offered a friendly smirk. “We had better set off now. It is a long and winding road. One can never be sure what kind of trouble one will encounter on the road.”

To be continued….

Heroes

he·ro

[heer-oh]

noun, plural he·roes; for 5 also he·ros.

1. a person of distinguished courage or ability, admired for their brave deeds and noble qualities.

2. a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal:He was a local hero when he saved the drowning child.

Definition courtesy of dictionary.com one of my favorite go-to tools. (This is only the first two listings for this term.)

Heroes come in all sizes and shapes and are of any creed. They usually make an appearance in our lives when we least expect them which- rightly so- has a tendency to make their impact all the more noticeable. When was the last time you had your last look at a everyday hero? Was it a parent that kissed away your tears? Or was it a glimpse of your wife after she spent hours in childbirth to bring into this world your first born? Was it the complete stranger who gave you a hug because you were crying in the middle of the school day?

Yesterday, as I was making my daily commute home on Boston’s finest public transit, the Green line (for all the non-Bostonians reading this- I’m being sarcastic, very sarcastic), I spotted a glimpse of one such hero. Of course, technically, everyday I’m sure I come across a bunch of heroes, but yesterday I was privy to witness to an heroic deed. To me as a third party, Craig was a good samaritan. To Megan, he was a hero. (I made up names because I didn’t actually get either person’s name.) Craig saved Megan from being squashed in the subway doors. The subway driver wasn’t patient enough for both Megan and I to get on the train. As I was mostly on and more alert than Megan, Craig grabbed Megan and pulled her into the already packed train. When I say packed think six people crammed into a standard Johnny-on-the-Job and that’s what an entire subway train car was like. Yes, I was in Hell. It didn’t smell much better than a Johnny-on-the-Job either. All those unwashed bodies…. people in need of a breath mint…. I’m cringing just reliving the twice daily experience- better stop.

Gently swaying branches, the sound of rustling leaves as the wind playfully passes through the branches of the towering trees that are located on the cliff upon which I stand. Fresh mountain air blowing over the tops of the trees of the forest that lies at my feet. Sun shines through the canopy of clouds and treetops. 

Hanging Rock, North Carolina. Trees are Pinus ...

Hanging Rock, North Carolina. Trees are Pinus pungens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sorry had to calm myself after my “Doug Moment”. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, firstly, SHAME ON YOU!!!! Secondly, finish reading this and go immediately “Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200s” and rent Up, yes it’s a cartoon, but totally worth it for the scene that my “Doug Moment”stems from. For those curious, I was imagining I was on Hanging Rock at Hanging Rock State Park in Danbury, North Carolina. I hiked it a couple of times (see Facebook pics).

Any-who, Craig rescued Megan from the terrifying jaws of the Green line B train doors and she lives today- with all her limbs attached and intact- to tell the tale. Craig impressed me, not only because he was cute, 🙂 but because he wasn’t in a self-absorbed cloud that most city people live in to help out a person when it was within his power to do so.

So in closing:

Dear Everyday Hero,

I thank you on behalf of myself or for whomever your unsuspecting damsel might be. It is nice to be reminded that humanity and compassion has not left this earth completely. I thank you for the opportunity afforded to me to witness your heroic deed, thus restoring my waning faith. 

I pray help is bestowed upon you in a time of need. And that in turn you experience the same lightening of heart as your damsel felt and I, as a witness, underwent.

Sincerely,                                                                                 

Me