Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pay It Forward...

Or, How Sunny is Like A Solar Powered Daisy-Toy.

About a year ago, work was going through some pretty serious upheaval.

We were getting ready to move to a new office.

(Yeah. That was a year ago. I know... time flies.)

We were feeling pretty bedraggled as an office unit - We had lost just short of half of our workforce to layoffs and voluntary resignments due to salary freezes.

We were tired, we were beat down, and we wanted to hole up and eat cookies for the winter like fat little bears.

Which is why it became so important for me, at the Reception desk, to keep a smile planted firmly on my face.

I was more than a phone answerer (although my cohorts would never admit it). I was a custodian... a sticker-giver-outer... a therapist... and a positivity coach.

I was feeling pretty well used up.

At the same time this was happening, businesses were flocking through our doors with offers for services they could offer at the new building.

And sometimes they gave us presents.

(We called them presents, because then you can accept them. You can't keep them if they're bribes. It's in the handbook.)

One of these presents was a little solar powered plastic daisy toy.

The idea is simple - the little daisy in the little pot is run on perpetual motion generated by the sun.

(Okay... maybe it's not simple, and I just strung together words that I thought sounded intelligent enough to make it seem as though I knew what I was talking about.)

Anyway, when it's sunny outside and the little daisy can see the light, it dances.

And when it's dark, it peters out. It tries to keep wiggling for a little while, but eventually it runs out of energy and just can't keep going.

Recently, I dug my little plastic daisy toy out of the last box I had left to unpack from a drawer I had forgotten I stashed stuff in when we moved. As it was sitting in the drawer, it was wonky and pathetic. It listed sadly to the left and didn't move at all.

But as soon as I retrieved it and set it on my shelf...

It started to twitch.

And then it got a little wiggle.

And while it's got a hitch in its getalong now, it's still trying to dance for me.

It's a pretty inspirational little piece of machinery. So eager to please, if you only give it just a little attention and don't leave it forgotten in the bottom of a drawer next to a cup of fourteen-month-old Halloween candy.**1

And it made me think.

I don't take a whole lot of encouragement to be positive.

Just enough to make me feel as though my efforts aren't totally wasted.

So I got a little pep in my mosey today when one of the higher-ups here in the office sent me a note about how my positive attitude had helped her through a moment of accidental grouchiness.

And I bet I'm not the only one who feels this way. (How's that for self importance... My head's growing loftier by the minute.)

So let me share this moment with you, ReaderFriends:

When I'm feeling low...
Lower than the floor...
And I think that I don't have a chance...

(No. Not going there. There's no coming back from Vin Diesel doing the Panda Dance, and we cannot risk losing this pep-sharing moment.)

When I'm having a particularly dreary day, it always lifts my spirits to see that readers from around the world are enjoying the words I'm putting out there.

Even when I think it's just Boyfriend of Amazingness and my Mom who are doing the reading... I know it's not. Because neither of them are in Germany. Or in Brazil. Or anywhere else in the whole wide world that readers have pinged Dear EngineerFriend from.

Even when I don't have the time, the energy or the creative razzle-dazzle to pull together something new for you... You're still here. Checking in, seeing what there is to see and leaving your mark on my page.

And that brightens my day.

Thank you for being here, ReaderFriend. It's wonderful to have you around.

**1 Yes. I ate it. Don't judge.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

List It

Ten Things Sunny is Thankful For This Holiday Season

1. The opportunity to share her daily trials, triumphs and trivialities with a caring hoarde such as yourselves.

2. The opportunity to shake my shiny groove thang in so many fabulous ways.

3. The love and support of an Amazing Boyfriend who chose me for who I am now, instead of who I was or who I can be.

4. The compassion and understanding of a family that knows I really was born this way.

5. A job that affords me enough luxury to keep me comfortable, but still humble.

6. Friends who make amazing food and patiently teach me how to share in their idea of fun.

7. Pretty stars to look at when I gaze upward at night.

8. Little children who remind me to always keep wondering.

9. Snuggles.

10. Pie.

Happy Thanksgiving, ReaderFriends! Safe travels to those who do, warm thoughts to those who don't, and a hepaing helping of Thank You to everyone... with a side of gravy.

Friday, November 16, 2012


Conversational bon mot:

"Are you Sunshine today? Or are you partly cloudy?"

I hope it made you giggle as much as it did for me.

Have a Sunny weekend, ReaderFriends!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Random Act of Giggles

As the end of the year approaches,**1 I've been thinking about this year's New Year's Resolution. And how I really haven't seen it through.

I've had some serious cases of Stress Monkey over the past eleven months. That doesn't mean that the next month can't be a turning point... Or that the following twelve months will be an opportunity to slack off from this particular endeavor. It just means that I haven't gotten there yet.

As I was contemplating this fact today at my local soupery, a gaggle of teens in front of me were being just slightly obnoxious. First they weren't in line at all. Then they were all in line, in front of me. It was mayhem. And I was hungry. And they were between me and my soup.

But I tried to be positive.

I turned to the woman behind me and said "I think it's possible we may be stuck behind an amoeba."

She looked at me puzzlingly and said "What?"

I giggled. I explained the morphing-and-growing student body ahead of us, and how I really just wanted my soup.

She smiled and said "Do you want to hear a joke?"

Thinking that perhaps she needed someone just to listen, I obliged (albeit with a little confusion as to how we had arrived at that particular conversational point).

And she promptly made me giggle so hard that I dropped my purse.

To The Woman Who Stood Behind Me At The Soup Place Today:

Thank you for sharing your sparkle. You're an inspiration, and you totally brightened my day.

Thank you for your Random Act of Giggles.

With A Smile,

**1 Seriously. It's coming.

Why do mermaids wear seashells?
Because B-shells are too small, and D-shells are too big.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Sunny: <while filing> So. Filing.
CoWorker: <also filing> Yeah. It blows.
Sunny: For sure.
CoWorker: Seriously. If I'm going to spend this much time on my knees, it should be a lot more fun.

True, that.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Squeaking By...

I adore bubbly water.

It's tasty... And good for me... And the fizzles tickle my nose.

But sometimes it can be a little temperamental.

Like when I accidentally drop it on the floor, and then open it and it explodes.

Or when I open it and hold my hand too tightly around the lid, and the built-up gas explodes out like a squeaky flatulation.

Which is exactly what happened to me today.

Me: Yay! Water! <openopenopen>
CoWorker: <snicker>
Me: It was my water! My overzealous bubbly water!
CoWorker: Suuuure it was.
Me: <shame>

I think tomorrow I'll drink juice.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

All The Difference

I'm wearing the same clothes I wore yesterday.
"Ew!" you must have said. "Sunny, that's gross."
Well, don't judge. You haven't walked in my shoes.**1
Let me explain.
Today started out almost exactly like yesterday:
I woke up a little early. I rolled over, assessed the clock with one bleary eye open, and then rolled back to mash my nose into Boyfriend of Amazingness's armpit and catch a few extra Zzz's before the alarm clock rang.**2
When the alarm clock finally did make itself known, I dutifully ignored ignored it - mashing down the snooze button half a dozen times before actually admitting that it was time to get out of bed.
I showered. I brushed my teeth. I got dressed in my darkest jeans, my purplest tank and my only button-up shirt. I accessorized with my favorite "statement necklace" - a pendant that Boyfriend of Amazingness chose for one of my dance performances - and did my hair.
The only difference between Monday and Tuesday was the hairstyle: Monday was a power bun. Tuesday was pigtails.
Which is why, today, I can say with absolute certainty that hairstyles do make all the difference.

Yesterday was an exercize in futility. I arrived at work fifteen minutes early, only to fritter away half an hour chatting with one of my favorite coworkers about our weekends.I had a very positive report to give, and received a positive report in return, and much giggling commenced. But I was still late to start my day.
I poured my cup of coffee and scampered back to my desk. I sat down in my chair, set down my cup of coffee, and reached for the pile of invoices that were to take up my earliest morning working hours.
Which is when all hell broke loose.
An entire cup of coffee (mixed with a packet of hot cocoa mix, for optimum stickiness) decided to burst free of the confines of my mug and leap joyously into my lap for a snuggle.
Which would have been fine, except that it was 8:30 in the morning and I don't enjoy feeling like I peed myself.
Today, I successfully drank a full cup of coffee and didn't even drip any on the side of my mug.
I wore the same outfit all through my workday**3 and I got lots of stuff done and I didn't even have to go to my icky morning meeting.
I had an amazing lunch of leftovers from last night's amazing dinner that Boyfriend of Amazingness made.
I'm injury free, except for the one bonk to the hip that I got when I didn't quite clear my corner around the print room table.
I'm even managing to get a little dancing in.
Today has been a much brighter day.
**1 You'd love it if you did, though. They're all orthotic-y and delightfully full of squidge.
**2 I know. It's weird. We both wonder why I do it.
**3 I can say that safely now. If I spill something, I can go home without shame. I've worked almost 8 hours, and am confident that there will be enough overtime in the rest of my week to cover whatever I may need this afternoon.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Coffee, Coffee Everywhere...

There is coffee everywhere.

Like... everywhere.

Today is not my favorite.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Say What?

It's been an odd day for communication.

For instance, the call I just received:

"Hello, this is Sunny. How can I help you?"

"You can't."

"Well, sir, I'd be happy to try."

"No. Someone called me, and I called them back but it just went to you at the switchboard."

"Well I'm terribly sorry for the inconvenience, Sir. Have a wonderful afternoon!"


Now, I understand that it can defintely be frustrating to get a switchboard when you're expecting to get a "real person." But if you could please understand that switchboard operators are people too... it may make our interaction that much more pleasant.

At least it's worth a try, since we both know you're going to call me right back as soon as you figure out who you're looking for.

And your politeness may be the difference between a transferred call and a runaround.

I'm just saying.

Thursday, November 1, 2012