I Got That Feeling

2011/10/25

What is home? Is it the structure you live in? Is it where your significant other resides? This philosophical question can only mean one thing: another Let’s Blog Off.

One answer to the ‘What is home?’ question is the cliché ‘Home is where the heart is.’ However, home is more than heart: it is a feeling. It is a warm-fuzzy that you receive when you walk in the door. It is that intangible piece that is indescribable to anyone else but you.

Where is home for me? Sit back and I will tell you. I have moved frequently over the last ten years, and only one place gives me that special warm-fuzzy feeling – Oxford, OH. Oxford is home to my beloved alma mater Miami University. It is true that I reside in Dayton, OH, but Oxford will always be home.

Why is Oxford so special to me? For starters, paying my own way through Miami taught me that I can stand on my own without help. I had good friends at MU that stood by me when times were tough. Oxford was the last place I lived where I felt as if I had a purpose. Lastly, the feeling I get when I go back is one of euphoria. Words can not describe exactly how I feel, but I always feel at home. I feel as if I belong.

I have a different purpose now, to test product and crunch numbers, but it is not the same. Walking into my house in Dayton does not give me the same feeling as walking into a building on campus. It has been awhile since I have lived in Oxford, but it will always be a part of me. It is my home.

Upham Hall


Cross Your Thumbtack

2011/09/13

Thumbtacks are a basic item. We don’t normally think about them unless asked. So when the Let’s Blog Off topic of thumbtacks was announced, I struggled. For some strange reason, I reflected upon my travels and remembered an incident at the Greenville, SC (GSP) airport. Aha! Let the blogging begin.

While working as an engineer for a Texaco joint venture, I travelled to a supplier in Greenville, SC. It was March 2002, a few months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks so airports were still trying to deal with new security procedures.

As I was going through security at GSP to return home, the metal detector went off like it was New Year’s Eve on Times Square. Female police officers swarmed around me and pulled me aside. I opened my carry-on & purse for inspection. One officer pulled out the wand to inspect these items. Silence. She asked me to raise my arms and waved the wand around my upper body. Noise city. The officer asked me if I had an underwire in my bra. I did not think this was a serious question, so I ignored her. She asked me the question two more times before I realized she was serious. My response: “I have a set of 36Ds on my chest. What do you think?” She laughed and cleared me.

Thumbtacks are similar in nature. They support various business operations. From phone directories to basic equations, thumbtacks are used to sustain documents with valuable information. Walk into any cubicle or office. Better yet, think about your own work space. Get my drift?

Another similarity between bras and thumbtacks is that they hurt like heck when they poke you. Five years ago, the underwire in the above-mentioned bra broke. After a few months, this became annoying. I walked into the Victoria’s Secret on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia and bought a new bra. The salesperson was surprised that I was such an easy sell. I did not care; I just wanted a bra with the underwire in its proper place.

Thumbtacks are the same way. Try stepping on thumbtacks that fell on the floor or poke a finger with one while multi-tasking. It hurts.

I am certain this post offends some people. To these people, I challenge you to use your critical thinking skills. Hopefully you will see the analysis. To the rest of you, I hope this post gave you some joy. Until next time, support each other and stay safe.


A New Approach

2011/07/25

I realize it has been awhile since my last post. There are a few reasons for this. First, as many of you know, my first cousin was recently married, so I was busy being cheap labor. Second, I just plumb ran out of ideas. The second reason is what I would like to elaborate on.

Originally, I created my blog as a way to vent. When that blew up in my face, I began to participate in a bi-weekly event called Let’s Blog Off. After reading the blogs of the other participants, I felt like a chump. “Holy cow! These people can write.” I thought. I became discouraged and have not participated in awhile.

I really would like to write, but I do not know what to write about. As someone who is unemployed, I do not lead the most exciting life, due to funds (or lack thereof). Also, I do not want to be compared to some of my Twitter friends, who are absolute pros when it comes to blogging. Many of them write for a living. I do not. I am an engineer; I tear things down and rebuild them. I crunch numbers, I do not write.

Recently, I began attending New Media Dayton events. One theme that kept popping up was providing value. This made me think. I am not showing the world I can contribute or provide value. Time to retool and start over.

I paid closer attention to people’s posts and profiles. As I read, I thought about each individual and what his or her strengths are. Then it occurred to me. I can do this, too. All it takes is thought and some extra effort.

This new approach is quite exciting. I feel as if I have a purpose again. To those of you who inspired me, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You give me something to strive for. Cheers to a new approach!


Truth v. Fact

2011/05/10

This edition of Let’s Blog Off is a rather philosophical one. Asking people to discern between truth & fact is similar to asking, “What came first? The chicken or the egg?” Everyone’s posts should be interesting, to say the least.

To begin my quest, I started to look up the definition of each word. I thought that would be too obvious. I went back to the drawing board and hit upon an idea. I let the words “speak” to me and decided to use their connotation.

Fact. The word is short and hard. When I hear the word fact, I think of science and other cut-and-dry areas. It is something that can not be argued. No questions allowed.

Truth. The word is short, but soft. It involves emotion. There is room for debate in a truth.

Don’t get me wrong. I believe fact & truth go hand-in-hand. A truth a body of facts. A fact is an actual occurrence.

After writing this post, I did look up the meaning of each word on Merriam-Webster’s website to see how far off-base I was. It turns out my definition of fact (an actual occurrence) is M-W’s definition 4b.


Not All People Are Bad

2011/04/26

This week’s version of Let’s Blog Off is about where we get ideas.  A question was posed about what was our real fear. Being the analytical person that I am, I have decided to take this question literally and answer this question for my post.

Straight up, my true fear is being alone.  I know this sounds strange coming from someone who lives alone and paid her own way through college, but it is true.  While I enjoy my independence, I sometimes find myself missing the element of human interaction.  I miss talking to people.  Twitter & Facebook suffice, but it is not the same as sharing ideas over a meal with someone.  There is a difference.

Due to prior experiences, I am not exactly the easiest person to get to know.  I do not trust people very easily, and I am a control freak. Ironically, Twitter has taught me that not all people are bad.  I just wish that some of you lived closer, so we could chat.

Am I looking for Mr. Right?  No.  If it happens, it happens.  I could care less.  All I want is someone to bounce ideas off of, someone who will listen, and someone who will talk back to me.  My cat can only do the first two.


Storytelling

2011/03/18

A while back, one of the Let’s Blog Off topics was storytelling and what makes a good story.  I chose not to participate because I did not really know how to answer this question.  After a few weeks of stewing on the topic, I think I have stumbled upon my answer.

Having spent the majority of my adult life in college, I am used to writing.  Granted, I am not too great at it, but at least I try my best.  College term papers & essay exams are analytical by nature – e.g. compare & contrast, list the x number of qualities, etc.  They don’t really focus on storytelling.  (English & literature majors may have a different experience, but I am not familiar with it.  I avoided those classes like the plague.)

Storytelling, I believe, is like letter writing.  It is a dying art.  Many people are more focused on facts and figures than on creating a narrative.  I wish schools would focus more on storytelling.  Maybe society would be more relaxed.  Who doesn’t love a good tale?  I know I do.


Love and Honor

2011/03/01

My fellow Miamians will know that ‘love and honor’ is the first line of the university’s fight song.  Love and honor is more than words to my alma mater’s fight song; it is what I want my legacy to be.  This brings us to today’s edition of Let’s BlogOff, in which we attempt to describe our individual legacy.

I try to live my life by The Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.”  I can think of no better way to be remembered as honorable.  Below are a few examples from my life.

  • While helping someone drop an engine into a car, I fell off a milk crate and ended up with a 4″ gash on my left calf.  This person rescued me during a snow storm, when I had a flat tire.
  • Working 15 hours one day to complete testing for a customer who wanted results the following day.  One of the electronics engineers spent an entire day giving me a plant tour because I wanted to better understand the customer’s processes.
  • Taking a friend to the airport at 4:00 AM.  He listened to my problems for nearly two hours the previous evening without complaining.
  • Staying up until 2:00 AM for three days straight helping a friend move.  When my ex paid me a not-so-pleasant visit a month later, my friend was the first person I called and encouraged me to contact police.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not nice to people just to get something in return.  I assist people because I care, and it makes me feel worthwhile.

Love and honor are basic needs of life.  They are what most of us strive for.  I can think of nothing more than ask to be remembered as a loving and honorable person.