My favorite NYC street artist. #hektad
My very colorful bike.
My favorite NYC street artist. #hektad
My very colorful bike.
“Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person.”
—R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983)
Architect, Engineer, Inventor
This week I’m mildly obsessed with the song “The Heart Wants What It Wants” by Selena Gomez (and don’t even get me started on that “Stars Dance” song. Oh Selena where have you been all my life? Oh wait, you weren’t born yet). To anyone who knows me as a Motley Crue/Cinderella/Arcade Fire/TV on the Radio/Bjork fan, I’m sorry. Yep, bubble burst. So speaking of hearts, I LOVE Valentine’s Day. A holiday created to sell cards? HELL YES! I love cards too! I even love index cards.
Valentine’s Day is a fantastic reason/excuse to pay-it-forward. There’s still time to Spare a Rose, Save a Child.
I don’t think of Valentine’s Day as a “romance” thing. It’s about happiness, smiles, being kind (even when you really don’t want to be), doing someone else a favor, surprises, simply saying “I LOVE you”, and grilled cheese. Why not right? My only real Valentine’s Day disaster was when I decorated a coworker’s desk with hundreds of heart stickers. Those stickers weren’t liars (so damn STICKY. Tragic clean-up). Well you win some, you lose some right?
And if you need a little inspiration (and who doesn’t love a little magic a la scavenger hunt), please join me in finding some hearts. Send’em my way (as you can see, February is looking a little skimpy): firstname.lastname@example.org
Do Good, Feel Good. LOVE. Oh and get some exercise. Be good to your heart.
I posted this earlier this morning on Facebook and was surprised to hear from 3 friends in a matter of minutes that they didn’t know this program existed. One is a T1D friend I met through JDRF Los Angeles a few years ago and another is the Mom of a recently diagnosed T1D who I was introduced to through a business competitor (yes, the world is small). I take for granted that there are people in the #DOC who do such an incredible job promoting the Spare a Rose, Save a Child campaign that a few tweets from me are enough. The messages I received both publicly and privately to the FB post certainly prove otherwise. So here you go (yep, Do Good, Feel Good) and spread the word
In many parts of the world, a child diagnosed with T1D will die in a matter of days, due to a lack of available insulin. By sending one less rose this Valentine’s Day, you can provide a child with a month’s worth of insulin. For the second year in a row, my Mom will be receiving a Valentine’s card thanking her for being my Mom and notification that in lieu of a dozen roses, she has instead kept a child alive for another year.
Roses die, kids shouldn’t. http://www.SpareARose.org/give
Alecia’s Stem Cells JDRF ONE WALK team is selling shirts again! New spin! These awesome shirts are NOT the shirts our walk team will be wearing this year. This design comes in a slew of styles and sizes…. mens, womens, kiddos.
Here was the idea…. design a shirt for sale to the public and the proceeds will go to JDRF. CHECK.
Design a shirt that is a conversation starter…. One arrow none? Oh what does that mean?
Design a shirt that anyone and everyone would wear.
Design a shirt that embraces both JDRF and Alecia’s Stem Cells…. yep, done.
Use red! Red is the color of energy, blood, desire and PASSION! WE have the PASSION to PUSH Type ONE to Type NONE!
Want a shirt? OnetoNone
Care to help? Share this link: http://inktothepeople.com/marketplace/ink-detail/38593
And a HUGE thank you to Ink to the People who are so supportive of me, ASC, and fighting T1D!
Happy Labor Day weekend! xo
There is so much D stuff going on around here that I crashed yesterday and …
TOOK a NAP (I am NOT a napper). While my brain tries to process and absorb the past few days, I have some pics I just can’t wait to share.
I (oddly, nervously) HELD the encapsulation project from ViaCyte.
My friend Cindy took this pic. She is a lovely and a really funny D-Mom and we tend to make each other cry. You know what she’s not? A photographer! Hello Blurry pic.
Next up: #JDRFOneWalk Conference in Washington, DC was wonderful. HOPE is so beautifully motivating. Facial tattoos while on a 20 minute walk by oneself in this nation’s capital, lends to some pretty confusing conversations (I kept forgetting I had it on my face… most of the confusion involved the World Cup).
Mike Tyson without the ear biting.
My bike riding has taken on a new angle. Details later, but I’m riding a 3-speed Citibike or a stationary bike at the gym, but more. My joking is no longer a joke. I’m training-ish. I ring the Citibike bell like nobody’s business BUT mostly when no one’s on the path. Yes, I’m a 10 years old. Want to join the Manhattan/Brooklyn JDRF One Walk? That’s the bridge in the background of my bike training pic. Gorgeous right?
And finally, I had an incredibly magical moment on Saturday.
Exhausted and pedaling along when I saw a BIG heart!
Yes, that is a piano that appears to have washed ashore on the tiny bank of the East River. I hit the breaks and wondered just how tired and dehydrated I could possibly be.
These pics are my proof that I did indeed see a piano in the sand, tagged with A HEART.
Magic, I’m telling you, magic.
More to come. xo
I hopped the subway last week, late in the afternoon. It wasn’t rush hour, but was just crowded enough that I didn’t get a seat. I stood against the door and within a second I noticed the woman sitting across from me. She was older, significantly overweight, and had a haircut that reminded me of Tennile (of Captain and Tennile fame… yes I date myself with my old lady Pop culture references). I’ve lived in NYC a long time. I have encountered my fair share of crazy. Heck, I’m pretty sure there are people who readily describe me as crazy. I’m not gonna lie, she gave off a crazy vibe.
My eyes immediately spotted something on her lap (you know, after I’d finished thinking myself quite the smartie recalling Tennile’s name and hair style). The woman on the subway held onto a box with both hands. The box was bright yellow and I immediately recognized the device photographed on the front. That mini Freestyle blood glucose meter. The top of the box was ripped off and paperwork was sticking out. My heart lept. One of MY PEOPLE. I kept staring in a you-are -half-staring-at-people-on-the-subway sort of way. I wondered what her story was. I thought I should tell her I’m diabetic too. My internal dialog then laughed at me. If I saw another woman on the subway would I say to her, “hey I’m a woman too” and high-five her? If I saw someone with the same brand of sneakers on would I say, “Oh I love Brooks too.. we should be running friends”? I kept my non-staring, staring. At the next stop, the person next to Tennile With The Freestyle Meter, got off the train so I grabbed the seat. I sat there thinking, “Should I say something? Am I crazier than this lady since I’m having this whole conversation in my head? Why is there so much stuff sticking out of that box?”
I made a deal with myself. If she didn’t get off at the next stop, I would say something. We diabetics need to stick together right? Being kind is a personal goal of mine and chatting is kindness right? Sort of? Or am I just a busy body who should be reading my book and minding my own business?
The next stop. Tenille FreeStyle didn’t budge. Neither did I.
“Hi. I noticed your glucose meter box (me, pointing at box). Do you have diabetes?”
She barely turned her head (another sign of crazy maybe) and answered, “Yes”.
“Me too!” (I tried to sound like “yeah, whatever, cool” but am pretty sure I probably sounded way too excited, like a cartoon character).
She turned slightly but was still looking at me out of the corner of her eyes. I also now had the attention of some fellow commuters who were practicing their non-staring-totally-staring look. She said, “Doctor says I got it again real bad. Blood over 300. They gave me this” (I’m going to assume this was the box with the BG meter).
Hmmmm. “Again” threw me a bit. “Got it real bad” made me wince slightly in that my-pancreas-quit-when-I-was-6-years-old-and-I’m-pretty-sure-I-don’t-have-it-“real good” kind of way. Oh and did your doctor actually say that, because if so I’d like to rattle them.
“Well I’ve been diabetic for almost 35 years. It isn’t easy, but if I can do it, you can do it too.”
Tenille FreeStyle turned to look at me. She quickly looked me up and down and turned back to facing forward.
Nothing. Awkward silence. Ummmmm.
Next stop a woman got onto the subway with a very small child. There were many more people now. Unlike my fellow seated commuters who apparently were raised by wolves, I offered my seat to the woman with a kid who looked exactly like Dora The Explorer. She nodded, took my seat, and pulled Dora onto her lap.
I stood to an angle overlooking Tenille FreeStyle. Her eyes darted around but she definitely was NOT making eye contact with me. Next stop, more people. Now I had to move further from Tenille FreeStyle. Well that was a bust. At least Dora the Explorer was smiling at me.
My stop. Dora and her Mom were getting off ahead of me. I saw Tenille Freestyle give me a darting look as she slid into the corner spot where Dora and her Mom were sitting. I thought I should say something. What? “Good luck”? That sounded so lame but I needed to get off the train and way too many people were exiting all at once. I looked down. Tenille FreeStyle beat me too it.
“Thanks for talking.”
I’m not sure if she meant diabetes stuff or just that I spoke to her.
“I meant what I said, even when it doesn’t feel like it, you REALLY can do this.”
She thanked me again and said OK and I gave her a big smile.
I got off the train. The whole thing was odd. I blocked people getting on the train and they were clearly angry pushing into me as they tried getting where they were going. I was the lone salmon swimming against the 6 train.
I walked down the platform thinking about Tenille Freestyle. She’d smiled back at me as I left the train. Her teeth were very mangled. I thought how I really need to make a dentist appointment. I thought how this little experience wasn’t a diabetes thing at all (I mean it is but it’s more than that). It’s about being compassionate. It’s about being kind. But was I just kind because of diabetes? I never would have spoken to her otherwise. My immediate reaction was something was off with her. I spoke to her because I thought she probably has diabetes and therefore I felt compelled to say something. Hmmm.
I thought about how there are plenty of times that I feel burdened by diabetes. That I am scared, sometimes really scared and that there are times I don’t feel I can necessarily just do it. I usually keep these thoughts to myself. Saying it out loud could make it true (and send up a major red flag to people who know me and give me a few more points in the crazy column).
Did I just lie to Tenille FreeStyle? No. I told her the truth. I do think she can do it, and it is not easy. If I’m willing to believe in a stranger, I need to believe a bit more in myself too.
Thanks Tenille FreeStyle.
*Please note: in an earlier paragraph I referenced people raised by wolves perhaps lacking the manners to give up their seat on the subway to someone in need. I do not personally know any wolves. I’m sorry if any wolves were offended by my comment.
And here are some more Found Hearts.
Now back to being an undercover Wonder Woman (well, except my Rope of Truth is really pump tubing).
As a New Yorker, as an American and simply just as a human being, 9/11 is wrought with emotion, deep sadness and many memories. I have stories I could tell, my fellow Alecia’s Stem Cells teammates have many, many stories too, some of survival, some of hope and kindness, but quite a few of unbelievable horror and grief.
I can’t possibly do justice to any of these stories today and planned to post some Wordless Wednesday photos I’ve taken over the years of the Twin Towers, the blue lights that symbolized the towers from past 9/11 memorials, construction photos of One World Trade Center, and the 9/11 memorial pools.
If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram (especially Instagram), you know over the course of the summer, I became keenly aware of “hearts” in my world. On the sidewalk, in graffiti, a crumpled piece of paper in the street, gum on the curb. Frequently, I see a “heart” somewhere. Depending on what’s going on in my world, they symbolize different things to me. I usually see them when I’m alone and they always make me think (or change my thinking), and usually stop me in my tracks (well I’m not taking action photos, so I do actually need to stop). I try to change my walk routes now, in the hopes of finding an undiscovered heart. Often these hearts give me hope.
This morning I passed 2 familiar hearts on my way to work. Hearts I now see all the time. I was secretly hoping I would see a NEW heart today but it didn’t happen. The 9/11 TV coverage I’d watched as I walked out the door weighed heavy on my heart. I thought of the friend I was with on 9/11, who has since passed away, and how very much I miss him.
At the office, my BG skyrocketed, work stress elevated (like crazy yo), I very politely but firmly argued with a medical supplier and I glanced out my window. I have pigeons that land on my windowsill often. I call them Pigeon Spies. I claim they are stealing my designs and that they are annoying, but secretly, I love them (even though they occasionally give me a heart attack when they tap the window as they land). They taunt my dog and fall asleep inches from him. They are bold, brave and curious. Those pigeons are New Yorkers.
Every once in awhile, two pigeons will be on the sill at the same time. One is always going after the other and there are never two on the sill for more than a few seconds. Today, I watched something new. Two pigeons. One much bigger than the other one. They stood together, side by side. They watched me for awhile and mirrored my movements (yep, spies) and then they turned and sat down, touching, looking out on a corner of New York City. The smaller one leaned over and the big one got down a little lower. There’s a term for this, allogrooming, meaning grooming performed by one animal upon another animal of the same species. Perhaps we all see what we want to see, but the smaller pigeon spent so much time fixing the other pigeon’s head feathers, it was remarkable. I was less than 6 inches away, they would look at me, but they didn’t leave. There was something tender about it. I felt exactly like when I see hearts. It felt like love.
So today, just remember to love. On some level, we are all in this together. Whether it’s helping someone in the DOC, or reaching out to a friend or a family member. Just remember to love.
Thanks for bringing me some magic today, Pigeon Spies. Tomorrow you can go back to taunting and stealing.
I had another post planned today for Throwback Thursday, but I read something this morning that trumped what I had planned.
As long as I can remember, my Dad has had inspirational/motivational quotes typed on index cards and taped to his office desk. Very cool. One summer, I had a part-time job and to fill extra hours (ugh) I also worked at my Dad’s office. When he wasn’t there one afternoon, I sat at his desk and connected ALL the paperclips in his drawer to each other. A paperclip chain if you will. I giggled endlessly imaging him reaching for a paperclip and about 50 of them would be attached to one another. Tee hee hee. I also remember sitting there and rereading quotes on his desk. Quotes he frequently told us, his kids. When I was in college, my Dad would periodically send me pieces of inspiration… quotes typed on index cards. I grew-up loving a good quote.
THIS is the quote that felt like a hug this morning.
“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”
Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)
poet, playwright, essayist
Oh and I almost forgot. I waited and waited for my Dad to discover the paperclip chain. When he FINALLY did, he called me. As annoyed as he TRIED to sound, I knew he thought it was funny…well sort of.