Tag Archives: Pittsburgh Penguins

N is for Niceties

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Hello my wonderful readers, how are you today?  I hope you’re enjoy the snow, and the fact that February is slowly coming to an end.  Come on March!!!! 🙂

It’s been a good weekend.  A Die Hard marathon, Penguins hockey, and the season finale of Downton Abbey tonight (although I don’t want to watch it because I know what happens and I’m super mad!!)  If Initech wasn’t driving me so crazy during the work week, I’d say I would be having a blast!! 😀

So if you’ve been waiting all week to find out what I’ve been up to with my alphabet weekends, I’m happy to tell you I can finally let you in on my closely-guarded secret.  Not too closely guarded, mind you, but close enough!

When I decided to start this year-long adventure, there were a lot of weekend activities I chose that were different, outside the normal realm of my average weekend.  I chose things I had never done before, things I was afraid to try, things I hated doing, things I knew would be once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.  If I was going to invest an entire year to blogging, I wanted to make sure at the end of the year I could look back and say, wow, I did a lot of stuff!! So far about 6 months into this, that has definitely been true.

A few things on the list were added simply because I wanted to be goofy, and have fun, and have funny stories someday when people asked, “What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done when _______?”  And this weekend was no different.  I wanted to do something wacky, something crazy, and I decided to do it at the library.

I love surprises.  I love giving surprises, and I love receiving surprises.  To me, surprising someone is the ultimate way of showing them you care, you love them, you were simply thinking about them.  And in a way, I think it’s a super humbling experience.  I honestly can’t get enough of them.

What I love more than surprises, though, are random acts of kindness.  I love when you find a stranger has done something wonderful for you simply because.  At Christmas I paid for the car behind me in the drive-thru.  A few weeks ago someone left an extra quarter at the soda machine that I desperately needed.  Those experiences are the most humbling of all, because it shows that you want to do something nice, but expect no recognition in return.  They help me believe that even in a world that is full of wars, crimes, violence, and drug problems, there is still a small part of human nature that wants to do good in this world.

So I decided to do a few random acts of kindness this weekend, but venture a little more to the crazy side of it.  I couldn’t go pay for everyone’s meal at Eat N’Park, nor could I really afford to go and play the lottery for everyone (I wish).  But in my opinion, sometimes the biggest acts of kindness come from a small inspiration, and that’s what I tried to do this weekend.

20130217_125337To set up my sting (as I called it), I headed out to the Hampton library.  It’s a wonderful library, nice and big, and deserted (damn you, Kindle!) the perfect place to get lost and set up shop.  I headed in, found a back corner where I couldn’t be disturbed, and dug the supplies out of my over-sized purse.

The idea was simple: I was going to write out inspiring thoughts, compliments, and quotes on index cards, and hide them in books all over the library.  Completely harmless, absolutely anonymous (unless some crazy goes dusting for finger prints), and best of all, hopefully positive and/or uplifting to the people who eventually find them.  On the back of each card I simply put the URL for this blog post, in case they wondered why in the heck some random card was stashed in their book.  And then I went to work.

Half of the fun was choosing which books to place the cards in.  On one card I simply  wrote “You are beautiful”.  I found a well-worn copy of a popular diet book on one shelf and hid the card within the pages of it for someone to find.  Hopefully it will remind them that no matter what they think about themselves, they are still beautiful. 20130217_125408 One quote about the power we find within ourselves I hid in a book about 20th century dictators (see the irony there!)  Some cards were hidden in best sellers, others in books I’m not sure had been removed from the shelf in over 20 years.  Some were left in books I love, like on the right, a card left in the book Unbroken, while I purposefully also stuck a card in Dante’s Inferno, one of my least-favorite books. 🙂  I figured if some poor soul was stuck reading Dante, they might need a little motivation to not gouge their eyeballs out.

In the end, some nosy librarian might have stalked me around the building, documented every book I touched, and then removed all the cards after I left the building, and no one will be able to see everything I hid.  But maybe, just maybe, a few will be discovered by random people throughout Allegheny County, people who need a good reason to laugh, or a smile, or a kind word.  They might throw it out, they might think it’s creepy, they might even ignore it.  But that’s the wonderful thing about random acts of kindness: you never know where they might lead, or who they might help, or how they might change the world. 🙂

Be inspired, and find a random act of kindness to do sometimes this week.  Maybe we can start a new trend, blowing up libraries around the world with index cards.  If you leave index card compliments in any books, leave me a comment and let me know so we can see if anything comes of it.  Maybe some how we’ll be the voice of good in 2013. 🙂

I hope you have a wonderful week, wherever you may be in life.  Stay warm, and stay tuned, because we have a super exciting announcement coming up next week!!! 🙂

E

T is for Tourist Trap

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crosbyBefore we get to the meat of this post, let’s take a small moment to post this once and for all…HOCKEY IS FINALLY BACK!  Big happy sigh. Penguins, come home, we miss you.

The lock out’s been awful, especially considering how well Pittsburgh’s other sports teams have performed this year.  Oh you Pirates, you heart-wrenching awful Pirates.  And the Steelers…well, that was an embarrassing season.  But today, today hockey is back.  And for a brief moment, the world seems just a little better.

I’m not going to get on my soapbox about how the NHL “owes” me something, and I won’t be watching games anymore.  Let’s be honest, I’m annoyed and frustrated with the NHL owners, executives, and players.  I think both sides have acted incredibly selfish for several long months, and it hurt the fans most of all.  But will I be watching the first game in a few weeks?  You betcha.  Because deep down, all I want is to watch my beloved sport again.  And watch Letang’s hair flow behind him as he skates the puck into the neutral zone.  And watch Sidney raise that Cup again.  Is that too much to ask for?

I’m getting ahead of myself, though.  Today’s post is (sadly) not about hockey.  Today’s post is about my favorite city in the world, Pittsburgh, and all the fun I’ve had in it this weekend.

524778_609559287652_1041826364_nAs I told you in my previous post, this weekend’s adventure was about acting like those love-to-hate-’em tourist.  I wanted to get out, see the sites, have a bite to eat, paint the town red, and generally just have a good time.  Were lives going to change over this weekend, probably not.  Was I planning on having a good time, you better believe it.

So my old roommate Kara and I headed down to Oakland for the morning.  For those out-of-city blog readers, Oakland’s the area of Pittsburgh that houses the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon, and all of the Carnegie museums.  It’s a fun neighborhood to walk around, and while I have definitely explored the area before, I wanted to give it a closer look.

It was bitter cold on Saturday, and since all colleges are still on winter break it was also eerily quiet as well.  Without thousands of college kids streaming everywhere, the place seemed very ghost-town esque, if the middle of a major metropolitan area can ever feel like that.  We warmed up with coffee to help us brave the bitter winds, and set out to explore.

First we headed over to the Carnegie museums as they prepared to open.  Personally, even though I’m a history major, I’m not a huge fan of the Carnegie museums.  I can appreciate the culture and relevance they bring to the city, the chance for education and exploration, but I’m a sucker for the Heinz History Center.  It will always beat out the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in my opinion.  We did get to pose with some dinosaurs, though, which is something most people can’t cross off their bucket list 🙂

735175_609559157912_1979641394_nAfterwards we headed over to Pitt and the Cathedral of Learning.  It is the iconic building on Pitt’s campus, and though I’ve driven and walked by it dozens of times before, I had never been inside.   Luckily for me, I finally had the chance to head inside and tour the building.

The architecture inside is breathtaking, full of beautiful stonework, Gothic archways, and hand cut stone stairs. It is straight out of a scene from Harry Potter, and a little part of me wanted to shout “Protego!” as I wound my way through the grand hall on the first floor.  If we had been alone, I might have, but there was a high school mock trial competition in session, and it might have seemed a little weird…some day, though, I’ll make it happen.  Maybe I’ll add it to my ever-growing bucket list.

The cool thing about the COL is they have these “Room of Nations” all over the first few floors, and it’s almost like Pittsburgh’s own EPCOT.  Each classroom is set up and designed to reflect a different world culture, and each room was created to educate citizens about the different cultures in the world.  I will admit, there’s definitely less Mickey apparel in these rooms than in EPCOT, but once you get pas that the rooms are pretty fascinating.

185752_609559966292_496896217_nSeeing a new part of the city was definitely a great way to spend my Saturday.  Unfortunately the weather made staying outside for too long pretty much close to impossible, but we had fun exploring the museum and Pitt, and even got to see some amazing college tours full of apprehensive high school seniors.  Man I do not miss those days.

For now, I’m going to enjoy my Sunday off and catch up on some TV shows.  Seriously, what a great day.  Hockey’s back.  Downton Abby’s back.  And my laundry is finally done.  Is this not an awesome weekend or what?

I hope your Sunday is going as well as mine!!  Have a wonderful week my friends.

E