18 June 2010

MISSION: Boring Pittsburgh, Troy Polamalu, and Things That Go VROOM!

{Why yes, that IS Troy Polamalu!}

When my friends at Boring Pittsburgh contacted me and suggested we work on a collaborative mission, I immediately said, "YES!" The more people in the world who want to combine forces for good, the happier this secret agent is.

The collaborative mission began with instructions for me to retrieve the mission materials at a super secret location. I, of course, complied.

exhibit a:

Upon retrieving the "top secret mission materials," I opened the container to find 1) said materials {Hairy Helmets} and 2) a memo from my co-conspirators.

exhibit b:

The memo instructed me to place the contents of the tube on unsuspecting individuals' car attenae. And the only special request indicated in the memo was to include the co-conspirator's logo.

exhibit c:

I love a good mission, and I love collaborating, so the obvious next step was to tell myself,

"Let's do this."
I typed up a happy note for my recipients...

...and made sure to include my co-conspirator's logo, as requested:

Location: Shadyside neighborhood, Pittsburgh, PA

Date: Thursday, 17 June 2010

Time: between 5:43 p.m. and 8:27 p.m.

I gotta admit: messing around with people's cars isn't something I enjoy doing. Which is why this was probably the hardest mission I've completed yet. And in broad daylight? Yikes! I worried about not only being seen but also setting off potential car alarms. Can you imagine that? I can just see the headlines now:

"Secret Agent L Nabbed by Police as She Vandalizes Neighborhood Cars with Steelers Paraphenalia."

Nonetheless, I bucked up and began on Alder Street.

After walking around and looking for cars and trucks that showed the owners' obvious love for the Steelers, I stumbled upon a grey pick-up truck that had a Steelers sticker on the back window.

Target #1 acquired:

Next stop, Shady Avenue and Howe Street:

Target #2 acquired:

Final stop? Shady Avenue and Walnut Street:

Target #3 acquired:

I gotta tell ya, this was a rough mission for more than just the fear I felt because of messing around with people's cars. You'd think, after completing over 100 missions, that I'd remember to WEAR SENSIBLE SHOES.

Needless to say, these--

--were barking by the end of the mission.

But on my way back to Command Central, I ran into a beautiful display of flashing flourescent lights in front of me. Nothing like lightning bugs to remind you just how beautiful this world is, even if your feet hurt.

16 June 2010

MISSION: Rima Campbell Photography Giveaway WINNER!

Hi, Everyone!

Thank you so much to all of you who entered the Rima Campbell Photography Session Giveaway! I really enjoyed hearing about and seeing your favorite photos. They all touched my heart! I have to admit, choosing a winner was really, really difficult. But I did it.

And the winner is.... (drum roll, please):

LORI (@steelcitydiva on Twitter)!!!

While everyone's entries were truly wonderful, Lori's really captured my heart because of the deeply personal--and hopeful--nature of the story behind it. You may remember Lori from a post I wrote in honor of her husband, Shane. Shane has been battling (and beating) addiction for a while now. In fact, on March 12 of this year, Lori announced on Twitter that her husband had been sober for 30 days. I was so happy for them both that I decided to write a shout-out post to them. When Lori entered the Rima Campbell Photography giveaway contest and told me about her favorite photo, I couldn't help but feel inspired, moved, and down-right ecstatic.

Lori, Shane, and their family have stuck by each other for 14 years, through thick and thin. And they've never had a family portrait taken! Thanks to the generosity of Rima Campbell, I have decided to give them that opportunity. When I look at my own family photo I have framed and hung on my living room wall, I am continually reminded of the often unbreakable bonds that families have and the absolute gift I've been given in that of my parents and brother. Our own family has been through some pretty rough times, including a debilitating chronic illness my mother has dealt with for over 20 years. That family photo of us continually gives me hope, especially during the difficult times.

So, Lori---CONGRATULATIONS! I hope you enjoy your first family portrait session. May it be an everlasting reminder of the bonds of love you and your family share with one another!

And thank you, Rima, for your extreme generosity in helping this family experience an opportunity they've long deserved!

10 June 2010

MISSION: Late-Night Ninja-Style

Secret Agent L here! Well, it's no secret that I love everything from Quotable Cards. I mean, they are IT for me. So when they so generously sent to me a box filled with all manner of goodies, I knew right away that I wanted to do this particular mission I'm about to share with you here.

We all know that the work week can feel a million years long sometimes. And we all know that some days, we just need to know that we're doin' okay, that we're worth so much more than just our job titles.

So, tonight, I decided I'd take some of these inspirational cards from Quotable and leave them somewhere I knew they'd be seen right before the workday begins tomorrow.

And I wanted to make sure that everyone who saw the mission knew that I completed it just because. Because I love and believe in kindness.

Location: Craig Street and Fifth Avenue, bus stop across from St. Paul's Cathedral, Oakland neighborhood

Date: Thursday, 10 June 2010

Time: 9:58 p.m.

Thanks to my friends at Dunkin Donuts, I had some cards for free iced coffees to give out. Who wouldn't like one of those to start their Friday with?

I attached my business card to each of the free iced coffee cards...

...put them in an envelope...

...and attached a little note to make sure people knew to take one.

Secret Agent Boyfriend graciously helped me out with tonight's mission. We hopped in the Secret Agent Mobile (otherwise known as my Chevy) and made our way into the Oakland neighborhood.

We pulled up near the intersection of Craig Street and Fifth Avenue...

...right across from none other than my church: St. Paul's Cathedral.

There's a bus stop across the street from my church, and every day when I pass it on my way to work, there are always a lot of people at it.

The pole on which the bus stop sign hangs was the spot I knew I wanted to do my mission. So, with the amazing tape-rolling skills of one Secret Agent Boyfriend, I attached the Quotable Cards to each side of the pole.

I'm a little unclear about what the other stuff was that was already posted on the pole, but I tried to be courteous and not post over any of it. I'm a big believer in the freedom of speech, and I wanted to respect what others had already posted there.

It took a few moments to get it all on there, because we had a couple of instances of people walking by (yikes!) and, wouldn't you know, AN ACTUAL BUS STOPPING RIGHT AT THE STOP WHILE I WAS COMPLETING THE MISSION! Luckily, my back was to the bus, so nobody could see my face.

Other than that, we didn't have too much trouble. Traffic wasn't too heavy, so there weren't a lot of cars driving by as we worked.

There was, however, a security guard approaching me just as I was finishing up. I simply turned and walked towards my car as if I was just taking a nice evening walk. No harm, no foul.

But I can't say I blame the security guard for approaching me. I mean, I was dressed like a ninja after all.

Yup. That's me, everyone. I wore all black and covered my head so nobody would recognize me. Let's hope it worked!

08 June 2010

MISSION: Rima Campbell Photography Giveaway!

Hi, everyone! It's time for another giveaway!

I do love a good giveaway. Oh, yes! And when the darling and talented Rima Campbell contacted me and said she'd like to offer a giveaway of her services, I immediately said "YES!" (And, "Thank you!" of course!)

If you're not familiar with Rima's work, get thee to her website pronto! What I love about Rima's photography is that it completely and utterly captures the realness of life. Her photojournalism style makes me feel like I'm right there, experiencing whatever the subject of her photos is experiencing. And there's nothing I love more in the world than feeling connected. And Rima's gift allows that. Beautifully.

SO! Onto the details of the giveaway!


The recipient of this giveaway will receive a free engagement photo session (or a $300 credit towards another type of package) at her studio in Wheeling, West Virginia (less than an hour from Pittsburgh, guys!).


1. Leave a comment and tell me about your favorite photo. (Feel free to include a link to it if it's available online.) It could be a photo of you, a loved one, or something you saw that just touched you in a special way. It could even be a photo you took. Regardless, I want to know about it. Please make sure you include a way for me to contact you if you win (email, Twitter name, etc.)!

2. Comments must be received by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, June 15, 2010.

3. I will choose my favorite entry and announce the winner on my site on Wednesday, June 16, 2010.

Good luck, everyone! I can't wait to hear about your favorite photo!