Archive for February, 2013

Five Friday Happy Bringers (3/1/13)

It’s Friday again! Here are a few Happy Bringers.

1.  Samples of some of my SCAD international students’ work turned in this week. The assignment is called the Visual Essay and is based on a book we read, Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist.  After reading the book, the students choose a theme, a character, a symbol, an idea, etc, and “make” their essay, using the composition concepts of thesis, structure, organization, support, and detail to get their point across.  Here are some completed projects.

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2.  My obsession with Irish blessings, quotes, and anything Savannah-St. Patrick’s Day-ish:

“May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live.”

Want

3.  My brand-spanking-new NealEnJoy blog card holder (and cards):

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4.  A picture that doesn’t make me look too fat:

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(Can I wear skinny jeans at my age?)

5.  Taking my ENG 193 (Composition for International Students) classes on a really fascinating docent-led tour of the exhibits at the SCAD Museum of Art during the recent DeFINE ART event (which was actually held at three of SCAD’s campuses in Savannah, Atlanta, and Hong Kong).

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[More complete blog post on the museum tour to follow soon.]

Have an Artfully Beautiful Weekend!

Mirror Challenge

I challenge you: Go find a mirror somewhere. Look at yourself. You’re beautiful–go ahead. As you’re looking, conjure up a couple of mental pictures of what you are holding in your life that absolutely brings you joy. What’s in your arms that provides delight? Then share your insight here.

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Joy is there. It really is. Go look for it.

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(Boy grandtwin Matthew)

Add a Little

Add a little color to your life.

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NONCMA (Neal’s Online Norton Convo with Mark Anthony)

Recently my laptop somehow got a Most Terrible Virus which shut my e-world down for a while.  My first thought: “Why me?!  What have I done to deserve this?!”  (FYI:  When distressing things happen to me, the idea of a Happiness Blog completely escapes my consciousness.  Happy?!  Are you CRAZY?  And I start to think about writing a Pity Blog or a Hate Blog.)  

On a tangent, I wailed the exact same “Why Me?” refrain, only louder and with man tears, when they cancelled Cop Rock back in 1990.  You don’t remember Cop Rock?  Fine, here’s a clip from the show–which has been listed among the Five Worst Television Programs of All Time.  That really hurts my feelings BECAUSE I LOVED IT!  What’s not to love?  Cops singing, Gleefully, the storyline!  Hello.

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Anyway, my computer got sick, and I sure didn’t feel like singing.  I had to restart in Safe Mode and do all kinds of actions, such as holding one finger on F7 while I balanced on one foot.  Nothing worked.  I even asked Jesus for help.  Finally, frustrated and lonely, I somehow made an online connection (Jesus’ help?) and started frantically downloading antivirus software right and left, kind of like Kathy Griffin making fun of Oprah and yelling in a frenzy, “Look under your seats!  Tickets for everybody!  You’re all going with Gail and me to Bali!”

An hour later, with my computer running smoothly, I regained my balance, on both feet.  But it seems I had downloaded a few too many antivirus programs, including Avast!, McAfee, Trend Micro and Norton, most of which offered trial versions and then started to charge after a few weeks.  So today I realized I needed to do some cancellation, or get another part-time job.

I contacted Norton, and here’s (finally!) where my story begins.  Unable to get ahold of a literal person (is “literal” needed there?), I made a sort of appointment for an e-talk chat with a Norton customer service representative.  Here’s what I initially saw on my screen:

“Thank you for contacting Norton Support. We are currently experiencing longer than expected wait times. You have been now been placed in a queue and our next available expert will be with you soon.”

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A few minutes later:

“Thank you for your patience. One of our experts will be with you soon.”

[To be honest, I didn’t really have to have an “expert”–just anybody who knew a little bit about cancelling my trial version would be cool.]

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And soon after:

“You are now chatting with Mark Anthony.”

[I felt like I used to feel when my time finally arrived to sit in Santa’s lap.]

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Neal Saye: I am trying to cancel my Norton trial version.

Mark Anthony: Welcome to Norton Support! My name is Mark, I’d be glad to assist you with regards to canceling your trial.

Neal Saye: Thank you.

Mark Anthony: Neal, may I ask why are you canceling your trial?  Are you no longer using the Norton product?

Neal Saye: I already had an antivirus package on my computer.

[I was too embarrassed to admit that I had a Bali trip worth of antivirus programs protecting my laptop.]

Neal Saye: So I do not need another.

Mark Anthony: I understand Neal, but under this account nsaye@georgiasouthern.edu, I don’t see any trialware on it.

[His use of “Neal” started to make me feel as if I was talking to, I don’t know, maybe an old college buddy I hadn’t seen in eons.]

Neal Saye: Well actually that’s what I saw when I looked too. But I got a Welcome to Norton email at this email address.

Mark Anthony: I see. Okay let’s see if the product key for your trial is still on your computer.  Can you check on your My Documents folder if there’s a Symantec folder?

Neal Saye: [Panicking]  One second.

[I had no clue what he was talking about.  “Product key”?  Huh?]

Mark Anthony: No problem, Neal.

[That’s easy for him to say.  He’s a customer service representative.]

Neal Saye: I don’t see one there.

[Embarrassed.  Afraid he would dislike me because I couldn’t find the damn key.]

Mark Anthony: Okay, if you are sure that there is no Norton trial program installed on your computer, and I don’t see any trialware on your Norton account nsaye@georgiasouthern.edu, there’s no need for a cancellation, the one you received on your email is probably a Norton account greeting that you have signed-up an account.

Neal Saye: Okay, but if I somehow get charged, may I get a reimbursement?

[Beet red.  Made me sound SO cheap.]

Mark Anthony: You may at anytime contact us back.  If in any case you get charged, we will be more than happy to process a full refund.

[So happy.  He cares.]

Neal Saye: Thanks. Also aren’t you either a famous singer or a Shakespearean character? What are you doing working for Norton?!

[I don’t know why I say such things to perfect strangers, but it seemed right at the time.]

Mark Anthony: I get that a lot Neal, and you’re most welcome.

Mark Anthony: Anything else I could assist you with today?

[I would like to have engaged in more banter about my singer/character joke.  People close to me tell me that I’m not really a very funny person.  But that I think I am.  And that’s what makes people laugh.  I never know whether to take that as a compliment or insult.]

Neal Saye: Thanks again for helping me, Mark Anthony. That makes me happy. Speaking of happy, I write a happiness blog–check it out sometime at NealEnJoy.com. I’ll mention you!

[Rule of business: Never miss an opportunity to sell yourself.]

Mark Anthony: That’s great Neal.  I’ll be taking note of your blog and will check it out.

[Great response.  We will see if he does.]

Neal Saye: Have a great weekend!

Mark Anthony: Thank you for contacting Norton support, feel free to contact us anytime if you have further concerns. Have a great day!

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I suppose there’s no real moral to this blog story–maybe just this: customer service representatives are people too.

Sunday Morning Quotes — 2/24/13

I love these quotes from the folks at Abraham-Hicks.

“My happiness is my greatest gift to others.”

“The measure of my success is my joy.”

“Through the corridor of my joy is the pathway to my desire.”

First Bite of Meat & the Kardashians

This afternoon, my Grandtwins took their FIRST bite of baby food meat, chicken to be exact.

Here’s Matthew‘s reaction:

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And Madison‘s:

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Uncannily similar to the response I had when it hit me that Keeping Up with the Kardashians is about to enter its 8th season.