31 May 2010

MISSION: Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day I, Secret Agent L, take very seriously. Both of my grandfathers served in the Army during WWII, and while neither were killed in combat, their memories are both deeply ingrained in my heart and mind for the sacrifices they made to ensure my freedom. So to think of those who did make the ultimate sacrifice--giving their lives--to ensure my freedom is not something I take lightly. On this Memorial Day, I wanted to make sure that my actions reflected that sentiment.

Secret Agent Boyfriend was a tremendous help in making the two missions of the day go off smoothly. I thank him here publicly. His presence made today's missions all the more special for me.

I picked up some sunflowers from Trader Joe's, divided them into two bunches, and put each bunch in pink plastic bin. I laminated my business card (because I knew it'd rain today), along with a message, and attached them to the flowers and the bin.

MISSION #1: Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Greenfield Neighborhood, Pittsburgh, PA

Date: Monday, 31 May 2010

Time: 1:32 p.m.

Our first stop was the Calvary Catholic Cemetery in the city's Greenfield neighborhood, right on Hazelwood Avenue. Secret Agent Boyfriend was ready to go:

We drove in to the cemetery, passing by the large stone pillars at the front gate.

At first, we thought we'd leave the bucket of sunflowers by the cemetery's sign.

Secret Agent Boyfriend captured some video of our covert operation:

MISSION: Memorial Day from secret agent on Vimeo.

But after we saw several cars drive right by without slowing down or stopping, we thought it might be best to move the sunflowers to a more prominent--and stop-worthy--location:

Much to our delight, we saw several cars slow down, roll down their windows, and even get out of their cars to see what the sign said. We didn't see anybody take any of the flowers while we were there, but we only stayed for about 10 minutes after placing them on the side of the road near a little intersection in the cemetery, so we bet at least one or two people eventually "took the bait."

The service members' area of the cemetery is simply gorgeous:

The flags, which seemed to stretch on forever, really made the sacredness of the holiday hit home. I got teary-eyed more than once, and I couldn't help but get goosebumps while standing amidst such heroes.

MISSION #2: Squirrel Hill Neighborhood, Corner of Forbes and Shady Avenues

Date: 31 May 2010, Monday

Time: 2:02 p.m.

Next up, we decided to hit the street corner. We'd originally wanted to go to Soldiers and Sailors Museum in Oakland, but they were going to close soon, and we weren't sure we'd get enough people to see the flowers. Thus, the busy street corner near--where else?--Dunkin Donuts.

Only moments after we placed the bin of flowers on the street corner, next to the walk button, it started to pour. And I do mean pour. But, flowers love water, and my business cards were laminated, so all was well.

We figured that we'd get lots of foot traffic on that street, despite the momentary downpour. I hope the flowers, and the message, made the passers-by smile.

Happy Memorial Day, everyone.

And thank you to all the brave men and women who gave their lives so that we could be here today, enjoying our freedom...and each other.

29 May 2010

MISSION: Highland Park

Secret Agent L loves going to the park. Especially Highland Park here in Pittsburgh. It's filled with gorgeous flowers, wonderful trails, a huge reservoir, a pool, and a fun fountain right in the middle. So many people go there to walk, lay out in the sun, sit under a tree and read, play with their dogs, and have fun with kids.

Since the weather was so beautiful today, Secret Agent L decided to join her friend J (and J's darling little companion--a Corgie named Corky) for a walk. And a mission, of course!

Date: Saturday, 29 May 2010

Location: Highland Park, the large fountain

Time: 12:51 p.m.

Secret Agent L thought it'd be nice to leave a little something appropriate to outdoor activities. With the generosity of a fellow Twitter friend, who donated several fun journals to the Secret Agent L project, Secret Agent L was able to include this environmentally friendly journal in her mission today.

She thought it'd be nice for someone to find in case that person wanted to sit under a tree and write down all of the things on his or her mind so that he or she could enjoy the beautiful day with a clear, peaceful mind.

Secret Agent L also had some sunflower seeds to include in her mission. Also donated by a fellow Twitter friend, these seeds could be eaten straight away or planted later for tall, bright sunflowers.

Can you imagine standing next to a 7' sunflower? Sure to bring instant happiness!

And what day at the park is complete without bubbles? No day, that's what! So Secret Agent L made sure to include this little bottle of fun for her unsuspecting recipient.

It even has two wands so that more than one person can get in on the fun! Besides, sharing is the kindest way to play, right?

Secret Agent L attached her signature note, of course:

And she headed off to the park.

The entrance to Highland Park is gorgeous: two tall pillars, complete with bronze statues tarnished by years' of the elements.

If you've never been to Highland Park, you simply must go! Just follow Highland Avenue until you can't go any further, and there you'll be.

The park has a beautiful sitting area, around a large fountain, where there are wrought-iron benches inscribed with the park's name:

And the flowers! Oh, the flowers! They took Secret Agent L's breath away.

She made her way towards the fountain and found an empty bench on which to sit while waiting for her friend. It also gave her a few minutes to prepare her mission.

When nobody was around, Secret Agent L left her gifts, snapped some photos, and met up with J and Corky.

The group of three walked the entire way around the park, and when they arrived back at their starting place, they noticed that the gifts were gone.

Much to their delight, the empty bench signified that someone had stumbled upon the treasure and took it with them to enjoy while spending the day at the park.

And once the Italian Ice vendor makes his appearance at the park like he always does, Secret Agent L will be right back there, leaving some coins for someone to find so they can enjoy a nice, cool treat!

24 May 2010

MISSION: Giant Eagle

Hello, All!

Secret Agent L here. Well, it's been quite a while since I did a mission. I apologize! Life got kinda busy, but today I swore up and down that I'd do a couple of missions.

And I did!

I actually did three missions, but was only able to take photos of two of them. So, here they are!

For those of you not familiar with the Pittsburgh area, we have a grocery store chain here called Giant Eagle. There's a really nice one in my neighborhood (Shadyside). Giant Eagle also has a gas station called Get Go, where you can get money taken off each gallon of gas when you use your Advantage Card at the store. It's a great place. My parents have gotten whole tanks of gas for free sometimes!

Today I thought I'd complete my missions in complete Giant Eagle fashion: at the gas station and at the store.

MISSION #1: Quote card

Location: Get Go gas station, corner of Baum Blvd. and Morewood Ave., Shadyside neighborhood, Pittsburgh, PA

Date: Monday, 24 May 2010

Time: 5:11 p.m.

I'm a big fan of quotes. I came across these lovely free downloads over at Kind Over Matter, and I thought to myself, These would be perfect to leave all over town!

I printed out several of my favorites, put a Secret Agent L sticker on the back of each one, and I was ready to go.

Luckily, this wasn't too difficult of a mission. Despite the fact that every pump at the station was in use, my car and I were positioned such that nobody could really see what I was doing.

I filled up the ol' tank ($0.20 off a gallon!), put the gift in place, snapped some pictures, and was on my way.

Next up on my list of missions was a mission I was really excited to do. Don't get me wrong: every mission I do excites me. But this one felt extra special.

MISSION #2: Beautiful necklace from Antique Renewal

Location: Women's restroom, third stall, Giant Eagle, Shadyside neighborhood, Pittsburgh, PA

Date: Monday, 24 May 2010

Time: 5:23 p.m.

A few days ago, I got a beautiful necklace in the mail from the woman who runs Antique Renewal on Etsy. She explained to me that she'd been going through a really rough time lately, and that she'd wanted to send more jewelry for me to use in my missions, but that she couldn't right now. Instead, she mailed a beautiful necklace to me. I assumed it was for me personally, since she mentioned in her note that she wasn't sure if it was my style or if I even wore things like it. I was so touched that I decided I couldn't possibly keep it. I had to pass on the kindness. For her to offer something to me during a difficult time in her life touched my heart. And I knew that I had to continue spreading that kindness.

So, I printed out my explanation card, complete with a "P.S." at the bottom explaining just how special this particular gift was, and got to work.

My friend explained that the particular stone used in this necklace is thought to bring healing.

I think it also brings kindness. :)

I had to go to the grocery store anyway to pick up some necesseties (ice cream and hot fudge, of course, for tonight's season finale of Chuck).

Because the store is so large and such a priceless gift could get lost or overlooked on one of the shelves, I opted for one of my favorite hiding places:

I walked in, chose the only empty stall there was, and got down to business. Well, not that kind of business!

I hope that the woman who finds this beautiful necklace will always remember how extraordinary the simple act of kindness really is.

My third mission, which I didn't get to photograph, was another quote card, which I left in the shopping basket on the floor near the checkout counter. I think an employee found it moments later when I saw him walking towards the lane with other shopping baskets, as if he was making his rounds and collecting them. I hope it made him smile!

12 May 2010

MISSION: And the winner is...

Hi, Everyone! Secret Agent L here. I'm ready to announce the winner of the Seussical Tickets Giveaway! There were nine entries for the contest, and I used the Random Integer Generator to pick a comment for me. And the winner is....

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2010-05-12 13:13:53 UTC

And the winner is comment #7, DaveR, who said "My favorite mission was to Bellefield Towers. In High School, I used to be there a lot and think whoever was there could definitely use the pick me up of an unexpected gift."

Congratulations!!! Please contact me immediately so that I can get your prize to you.

Thank you to everyone who entered!

10 May 2010

MISSION: Doggie-Treat Drop-Off

Raise your hand if you like puppies! This secret agent sure does. And when she got the specifics for a mission completed by Affiliated Agent S, she was thrilled!

Date: 2 May 2010, Sunday

Time: early evening

Location: Affiliated Agent S's neighborhood in Rockville, Maryland

Affiliated Agent S tells us about her mission:

I am lucky enough to live in a lovely little community where people take pride in their surroundings.

As such, there are many doggie-doody stations throughout the community to help pet-owners clean up after their four-legged loved ones and keep the neighborhood beautiful.

I thought it would be fun to leave little baggies of doggie-treats throughout the area, at different doody-stations -- rewards for helping keep the community clean!

While we didn't have any close-calls or near run-ins, it did rain quite heavily that night and the next day, so I do hope the gifts were discovered before they got washed away!

Well done, Affiliated Agent S! Secret Agent L is sure the dog owners were delighted to spot your lovely gifts, and she bets our little four-legged friends were even more excited! Thank you for extending kindness to all living creatures!