Wednesday, March 31, 2010

not just a coffee girl?

So maybe you aren’t working in Kenya or overseas yet. There is a lot you can do to impact change wherever you work, anywhere that is. By Lindsay Wood

Everyday I wake up at five o'clock, make my way to work and find it in my body to smile at the first twenty people, if you can do that, you’re laughing. Despite a language barrier there are something’s that are universal. This week, I realized that without a doubt, one of the things that have had the most instantaneous impact on someone is a smile. It is free, effortless and can change a mood or day for even just a moment, most times for the better.

For the past week a man has been coming into my coffee shop around six forty-five, just around fifteen minutes after we open. There is never a line, hardly ever another person in the store. It is a nice way to start the day, quiet and calm with a short interaction with each person that comes into the cafe bleary eyed searching for a coffee. Sometimes I am the first person to ask them how they are or to say, “Good Morning!” to them. This means I can be the person that impacts how their day goes. Maybe the day already had a bad turn; missing the bus, sleeping through an alarm. Anything can happen from when you wake up, to the moment you leave your house and arrive at work. Or stop in to grab a coffee on the way. This is when I get my chance to have an impact, even if it is small.

When the man comes in, it is with a purpose and in a hurry, more than one I can understand that early in the morning. But, with a smile, I am happy to give him his coffee, even though he doesn't even have time to respond to my greeting, "Bonne matin," with anything other than, "Medium Coffee."

But today, he smiled. And said hello back, even took a moment to nod his head as he headed towards the cream and sugar. And it makes me wonder if I had a chance to start his day off with a smile all those days before and he realized how little it took but how big it makes you feel to just do the same.

Even when you are rushing so fast that you almost forget why or where you are going, try to remember not too. Take a moment to make eye contact and make someone’s day, make him or her realize what it can feel like and remember that it only takes one person and one seemingly small, positive action everyday to make a difference. Its much easier to smile then frown and let’s face it, its contagious and the wrinkle lines can be much more flattering.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Henry Rollins and Men.

The longest relationship I have been in to this day has been only 16 months and that is being generous. I figure punk rock to be my first love, my family to be my undying love and strength and Henry Rollins to be my future husband.

Realistically, especially now that I have finally seen him speak, I can say that my standards are adequately high and that there IS in fact a man out that not only meets those standards, but surpasses them. It has been a long time since first listened to Black Flag. Ten years in fact. Many things, including my taste and standards in men, have changed. But my love for Henry has never faltered.

Monday mornings are usually difficult, but this one was the easy. It felt better than my last day of University. It was the much anticipated day that I would get to see Mr Henry Rollins in person, but profess my undying love to him after I hear him speak about his travels over Europe and Asia in the last few years. I have read and heard so much of his spoken word, but I had no doubt that I would be hanging off each and every last breath he spoke. But what would he say? I spent Sunday night dreaming that he would talk of the days of Black Flag and how he spend afternoons as a young punk reading with Ian Mackaye and talking about politics and music in Washington D.C. Then he would tell the audience about why he isn't married; which would be my segue into our discussion after. I would relate to his similar situation of heartbreak and we would talk about it all night long. Sigh.

The reality is that Mr Henry Rollins is really a camel. The man spoke for three hours, positioned ready to throw down and had me on the edge of my seat laughing for the entire time. He spoke of many wise things including Ian Mackaye, politics and the easy source of a good hockey mom joke Anna Palin, Obama nation and without fail the anti violence and usual punk rock related themes. The highlight was listening to his stories of Washington, with Ian Mackaye, Mackaye's family AND the Bad Brains. It was like hearing your dad tell stories he is animated about, except much cooler. But the age, convictions and vivaciousness that he tells those stories with cannot be matched. I can't imagine hearing them from someone else. It was like hearing the lead singer tell you about the show he played instead of hearing it from your buddy that was there. This time, I got to be there and it was fucking great. He was funny, clever, outspoken and brilliant. This is hardly a bias opinion. If it were, I would have mentioned what a sliver fox he is, with his old school Vans and fitted Dickies pants.

After the show, we waited around for Hank outside the venue. Though I didn't make too much of an ass of myself, I didn't quite get the chance to propose either. There is always the next time. If it so happens that a final show is ever announced, which from his stories of boredom when he isn't touring, I gather that won't happen for at least another many years to come, I plan on getting a second chance at a final show. He will be mine and until then all eligible men must take a note out of Hanks book.