My advanced apology if vulgarity offends you... but I came across this article, which reminded me how sincerely I appreciate freedom of speech. [Note: some of the comments beneath the article are equally entertaining.] More specifically, for the granddaddy of all curse words, the f-bomb — both for its verbally pleasing quality (it can be like hitting a punching bag, when there isn't a real punching bag available) and for its versatility (it can be a transitive verb, an intransitive verb, an adjective, an adverb, a noun).
From the guy next to me at the driving range on Saturday talki
ng to himself ..."Fucking embarrassing!" ...to Bill O'Reilly, it holds a special place in the vocabulary of many.

And I couldn't write about
the F word and not share this gem, last but absolutely not least, the abbreviated version of my all-time favorite movie (rated R).
To learn more about incorporating "f@#%" into your vocabulary, click here.


sustainability & swayze

I'm thankful for the following things, which have sustained my existence over the past few stress-filled days (which, aptly enough, I've spent writing about corporate sustainability):

black coffee
turkey sausage
luna bars
dirty dancing soundtrack
dirty dancing movie
video chat
larry mcmurtry's lonesome dove
elliptical machine
swimming pool
(these last two because they are substitutes for running. my foot is still funky.)


a close call

I don't really want to write about this, because it has been haunting me for the past 24 hours straight. But maybe if I write it down, it will leave me alone when I lay down to sleep tonight...

Yesterday afternoon my brother Trey had a severe allergic reaction and went into an anaphylactic shock, while he was driving. My brother Nick and I were with him. We were in my dad's car, in the left lane. Trey took a sip of my lime slushie... and I don't know what was in it, but after that he couldn't breathe. 

So many things happened in the next minute that I can't really remember the sequential order. At first he tried to cough, then looked like he was gagging. He was sweating, his face was red and he wasn't making a sound. He was waving his hands toward his face, making a gesture that he needed air. I kept telling him to pull over and slow down. He was totally unresponsive. By this point, he looked like he was about to pass out. We thought he could be choking, so Nick tried to give him the Heimlich. I knew if he lost consciousness before the car stopped we would all be in danger of getting in an accident. In retrospect, I should have grabbed the wheel, but I did not. I don't know why. Somehow (and I really don't know how) he moved the car over into a turn lane. Once I put the car in park, he slumped against the door, head out the window, a stream of bile and slushie slid down the car door. We moved him over into the grass on the side of the road. By now he was spitting, gagging still, but he was breathing again. When he could finally talk, we gave him some water. He said it felt like his throat had closed. He didn't remember much of what actually happened from the when he drank the slushie to when he was standing outside of the car. 

Panic is a strange sensation. Time both slows and speeds in the same instant. I really thought I was watching my brother die. I had flashes of the car careening off the road. And the irrational fleeting thought of, "Dad will be so mad. This is his company car, and he told us to be careful. We're not insured to drive this car, and he'll get in trouble." A fear that intense can be paralyzing. My whole body shook for at least ten minutes afterward.

Later, when I was alone, the magnitude of the situation hit me. And I just started to cry and mutter, like a crazy homeless person, "thank you god, thank you god, thank you god." It could have ended so much worse. Sometimes it takes things like that to shake you, and remind you of how precious life truly is. I guess all my mom's prayers to guardian angels over the years have paid off. Words can't describe my gratitude.


like stepping on a beehive

After spending a few days in Hilton Head with Ryan and his family, I dreaded returning to Atlanta alone. It was raining when Ryan dropped me off at the airport, and a heavy feeling settled. I still couldn't shake it this morning going into work. And when I actually got there, it felt like I had stepped on a beehive. Some assignments I thought were completed and approved before I left had boiled over in my absence. Nothing tragic, but it just fueled the sense I've been feeling at work lately, which is hard to describe with a single adjective. It's almost like there's been a Winnie-the-Pooh-esque black raincloud hovering over me. Against my better impulses, I can feel a kind of pessimism and doubt creeping in. It was a long day. I feel overwhelmed (again), and tired.

Trying hard to find a bright side: I supposed I could have stepped on a literal beehive, and that would have been worse. I'm thankful that that did not happen. (A stretch, I know, but it is still a shade of gratitude.)


finish line fireworks

For the past five months, I've been training to run the annual Atlanta 10K, the Peachtree Road Race. I worked my way from 2 miles to 5.5 miles... and then two weeks ago developed an annoying pain in my right foot. After talking with some people and visiting my chiropractor, signs pointed to Plantar Fasciitis, the inflammation of the muscle that runs from the toes back through the heel. So I stopped running for a while, iced it and stretched a ton.
The morning of July 4th, race day, I was feeling pretty good. After an early breakfast of banana pancakes that my Dad whipped up, I met Ryan and his family to carpool downtown. We started out running with my friend Becca, who by some stroke of luck found us among the masses. What started out as a dull ache in my heel in Buckhead was a throbbing pain in my Achilles tendon by midtown. We stopped to walk for a minute, started running, and had to stop again. I wanted to cry.

Then right before Spring Street, I found my Dad's
friend, 80+ year-old "Papa Bill," who has watched the Peachtree for the past 25 years. He was decked out in American flags, and as I left him he yelled through his megaphone, "Go, Devon, go!" So I did. The last 2 miles were a struggle, with a shooting pain consuming my right leg every few minutes, but I was hell-bent on running the remainder. We finished in 70 minutes — longer than I would have liked it to take, but under the circumstances, I was OK with that.
I'm exceedingly grateful for all the support and words of encouragement from my family, coworkers, friends and Ryan — who stuck with me, even though he could have run the course twice in the time it took us! THANKS EVERYBODY :)