Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April Showers

I know everybody always says that the best way to kill a conversation is to start talking about religion, politics, or the weather. But I have a topic in mind that I feel needs discussing. Spring.

What the heezy is up with this season? Is it hot or is it cold? Is it sunny or is it rainy? Is this North Carolina or the Land of Oz? Seriously. I checked one day last week and their little blurb read: "High of 78. Partly cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms. Sleet, hail, and possible tornadoes. Chance of precipitation 40%" What does that even mean?! Not to mention that the day I am referring to ended up being 80 degrees, bright sunshine, and had about a dozen tornadoes.

I understand that there are some people that find this personality disorder exciting. I have friends who have built their entire wardrobes around the fact that this time of year they will have to wear a cardigan over whatever outfit they choose "in case it's chilly." But not me. This season makes me cranky. The pollen makes everyone sick, the inability to set the thermostat to one temperature makes everyone sick, the 100% chance that at some point you will be caught without an umbrella in a torrential downpour because five minutes before it was perfectly sunny, be soaking wet, and then walk into a building that is blasting the AC because the high for the day was 85, makes everyone sick.

So pretty flowers, newly opened swimming pool, and cute sundresses at Target, you will not be able to fool me into appreciating this time of year. Boo you Spring and your bi-polar trickery. You are just a less-cool version of Summer and I do not like you.

And what's the best part about Spring being over? Why, the Fun Fourth of course. Make sure you are there to celebrate with me!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Best Week Ever!

As you probably already know, it is Royal Wedding Week. Friday morning at 4am (our time) Prince William will be marrying his long term girlfriend Kate Middleton. I could not be more excited. I spent most of the day trying to think of something deep and thought provoking to blog about, but I just couldn't. Not only that, but I stayed up way past my bedtime last night watching the Lifetime movie about how the couple met. Don't judge.

It is pretty weird to think, though, how captivated everyone is with the whole thing. I mean I didn't even know Prince William had a girlfriend until he got engaged. I don't even really know that much about England. And I am still really confused about which one is the Queen. The Queen or the Queen Mother? But here I am, unable to live a normal life because the sheer excitement of the whole thing is taking over my very being. I have heard on the news that over a billion people are expected to watch the wedding this weekend. A BILLION. It is safe to assume that there is no chance in this world a billion people will read this blog, ever.

I'm not sure what it is exactly that has everybody going so nuts. It could be the whole "Kate is a modern day Cinderella" concept. Or it could be that we are all just fascinated with any party that costs over ten million dollars. As a PR major I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what it is exactly that draws people in. How, in a world where every one is in constant information overload, do you get someone to slow down and look at your website or watch the Lifetime movie about your life? When we are confronted daily with junk mail, mass texts, infomercials and spam, how does our mind pick out what isn't trash and decide it is something we are interested in? And even more curious, what is it about the decidedly trashy stuff, like TMZ and the Bachelor, that tricks our brains into putting it into our mental inboxes?

I don't really know the answer. I can tell you that I read The New York Times every morning online and watch E! News every night when I get home. I can tell you that I had my first letter to the editor published when I was in the seventh grade, that I was the editor of my high school newspaper for two years, that I worked as a staff writer for the High Point Enterprise, and that I have a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from UNC Chapel Hill, but there is not one thing about any of it that is going to keep me from checking Perez Hilton in about ten minutes to see if Lindsay Lohan is going back to prison. It is illogical.

So the thing is, I don't really believe that our jobs or our degrees or our families determine what media we are interested in. I don't think there is really a way to chart and graph why people like what they like. That being said, I'm going to need to know what kind of uncharacteristic things all of you like. I can write to this made up demographic of "people who like the Fun Fourth" or "people who know people that work at Grassroots," but that would be silly since we have just determined that even if you fall into those categories, you might care less about reading about it.

BUT, I also want to know, just because I'm nosy, why what you are interested in is unusual. So I think everybody who reads this should leave me a comment describing themselves as such:
Expected Characteristic-Surprising Characteristic

I, for example, might comment:
Journalism snob-Celeb gossip enthusiast
Indie music aficionado-Obsessed with Rebecca Black

Think about it and let me know! Seriously. I am getting bored of just reading my own thoughts over and over...tell me yours!

And enjoy the wedding this weekend! Admit it, you will be watching.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Yesterday was not so good of a day. I stayed up too late the night before, so I was exhausted and then I threw up on myself on the way to work. True story. So in honor if today being good, we are going to lighten things up a little bit.

If you are anything like me, you love a good laugh. I procrastinate with You Tube videos all the time. It is so good, that feeling when you have a laugh that you just cannot stop. Like you are going to die from lack of air and at the same time you never want it to end. Now I myself am actually not that funny. I do kind of weird things sometimes that are funny because they make people uncomfortable, but as far as actually being a funny person, not so much. I learned quickly that funny is a trait many people look for in friends and it is awkward when you laugh hysterically at what everyone else says, but never have anything to contribute. So, I learned one joke. I use the word joke loosely here. It is more of an ice breaker with a punch line. And every time I meet a new person or need to contribute to a conversation I say, "I know one joke. Do you want to hear it?"

As much as it pains me to say this, I was informed last week that this joke is stupid. Apparently it is overdone and not that funny. And like all stories I tell, I drag it out too long so that the punch line is not funny. Fortunately for me, someone in the group told me a new joke. I'm not sure if it will be as funny reading it in a blog as it is in person, but I am going to try my best. Then you guys can tell me if you think it's good enough to be my one joke. And if you think this joke is also, as it was so eloquently put, stupid, then please for goodness sakes tell me another one. You can leave a comment here or email me at It's almost the end of the week and I know we could all use a laugh! I will post the best submissions here next week.

A string heads out to the coolest club in town. The bouncer greets him at the door.
"Woah, you can't come in here man."
"But why?! It's the coolest club in town!"
"We just don't serve string here."

So the string goes home, grabs a hat, and heads back to the club. He meets the bouncer again.
"Dude, I know it's you. You're still a string, you just have a hat on."

Super bummed out, the string goes back home and gets some eye glasses and a fake mustache. This time he is sure the bouncer won't recognize him.
"Look, we don't serve string here. If I see you again I'm going to call the cops."

In a last ditch effort, the string goes home, ties the top of himself in a knot and unravels a little bit of the end of himself. He heads back to the club and this time the bouncer says,
"Hey, have I seen you here before?"

The string smiles and says,
"I'm a frayed knot."


Monday, April 18, 2011

Grassroots Playlist

I personally think the best way to get to know someone is to steal their MP3 player, go through it, and see what kind of stuff they have going on in there. You can tell a lot about a person based on their taste in music. And I have found the best friends are actually the ones that have the opposite musical interests as your own.

I love music. I have tons of it. I can't go anywhere without it. I have been to countless concerts and am probably one of the few people left who actually buys the CDs of bands I really love. So I was thinking it would be interesting for all of us to share some music and get to know each other a little better. The following are the top five songs I am listening to these days. Leave me a comment here or send me an email ( with your favorite song now or ever. It may surprise you how much all of us have in common, or don't for that matter. Plus, you may get turned on to a new song or two!

"Walking Far From Home" by Iron & Wine
"If I Die Young" by The Band Perry
"The Girl" by City and Colour
"You Are A Tourist" by Death Cab For Cutie
"He'll" by Mipso Trio

And don't forget to come check out all the awesome bands we're having at Fun Fourth this year!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Parade History

Here at Grassroots, we plan a lot of events. Parties, festivals, 5Ks. So the other day we got to thinking about parades and where they come from. Who first thought it would be a good idea to line up hundreds of people and have them walk through the streets? I did a little research and found out a few interesting things that I will now share with you.

1. Parades are old. There are records of religious processions and parades going back to 3,000 B.C.

2. The first public parades were military or political in origin. Now this isn't all that different from now. A lot of our current parades celebrate military achievement or government holidays. Religious holidays were a cause for parades back then too. Christmas, St. Patrick's Day, Mardi Gras. Sound familiar?

3. In medieval Italy citizens would decorate carts with historical scenes and roll them down the street. These carts evolved into our modern day floats.

4. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, that started in 1924, was the first to shift parades from strictly religious or political celebrations to advertising gestures. Macy's was the first to suggest that companies could promote themselves as well as celebrate with their community.

So now that you know a little more about parades and where they come from, why not join ours? We still have spots available for groups or businesses in our Independence Day parade and would love to have you! You can find the application here. And if you aren't in the parade, I hope you will still join us to celebrate just like our ancestors did thousands of years ago!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Roots Here

For obvious reasons, I spend a lot of time talking about Greensboro in this blog. What there is to do here, why you should come visit, how you can be more involved in the city. For many of you, Greensboro is your home. You may have grown up here or you may have moved here later for a job or a spouse or just because you heard it's a fun place. So, when I am trying to think of ideas to share with all of you, I incidentally find myself saying, "What do people who live in Greensboro want to read about?"

Now this question is a little more difficult for me to answer than you might expect. I grew up not too far away in High Point, but have never actually live in Greensboro. For those of you who have been to High Point, or live there now, you will understand that many of us have a love/hate relationship with the place. I walked to high school. Uphill. In the snow. True story. I had classes with basically the same forty people most of my years in public school. I remember when Starbucks opened and it was essentially the same as if Mall of America had opened up on Main Street. I doubt few other people have uttered the phrase, "Let's meet at Starbucks to pre-game and then go to the party," in their lives. Where else can you go downtown and see both a building shaped like a dresser and one shaped like a boat complete with a drawbridge going over a pond. You can't make this stuff up.

By the time I was about to graduate high school these things that many consider to be "small town charm" made me want to vomit. I was prepared to punch someone if I had to hear, "Oh High Point...isn't that where they have all the furniture?," one more time after I told someone where I was from. So I went off to the beautiful University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and made a new home for myself with no real intention of ever living anywhere else again.

Now in a strange turn of events, I find that I am in the process of moving to Greensboro and back to the Triad. Which means that recently I have spent a lot of time thinking about and visiting my first home. And it is so weird how different my perspective is. I love driving past my old house, which before it was mine, was the childhood home of my dad's best friend. I am grateful that I am never lost when I am trying to get somewhere, and that no matter where I am going, it only takes five minutes. I laugh to know that my elementary school still has a self-portrait I drew in the second grade hanging in its hallway. It makes me so happy that when I make plans with old friends I know off the top of my head exactly where their house is as well as their home phone number. As I was reminded yesterday, I have roots here.

So now I need to know what makes Greensboro home to you. What experiences do I need to have? What places do I need to visit? What restaurants do I need to eat at? To bring all of this full circle, what do people in Greensboro want to read about? Give it some thought and then let me know so I can start sharing your home with you!

Monday, April 11, 2011

150 Years

For those of you who may not know, tomorrow marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the American Civil War. If you didn't know that, it is also likely that you didn't know I love the Civil War. Obsessed. I used to have a giant poster of Abraham Lincoln in my bathroom. Creepy obsessed.

I find it fascinating that a country so young, so experimental, so revolutionary, could put brother against brother for four bloody years. I also think it is amazing how inconsistent the reasons for the war were and are. Was it slavery? Or state's rights? Or simple pride? I have read stories of Southerners who didn't even own slaves fighting their family in the North simply because they felt they had to defend their state's honor.

In many ways these ideas seem so foreign to us now. But 150 years is not a long time. When my dad was born there were still Civil War veterans alive. I have been to many of the battlefields and I will tell you, it is eerie how recent it all seems. I could only stand in the bloody road at Antietam for a few minutes before my mind starting tricking me into thinking that the grass was blood stained. I have been to Gettysburg where North Carolinians rushed Union soldiers by running across an empty field towards a single tree. They were shot down before they could even get close. But the tree. It's still there.

I read an interesting article today on that parallels current events with what was occurring politically at the start of the Civil War. In so many ways we are still feeling the effects of our history today. I've lived in North Carolina most of my life and I love to call my friend from Maryland a Yankee. She has to tell me that Maryland was a split state, which I of course tell her is even worse than being a Yankee. At least my state picked a side. It is times like this that my dad has to remind me that our ancestors lived in Tennessee, but fought for the Union. How mixed up and crazy and interesting.

If you don't know a lot about the Civil War, take some time this week to read up on it. Or if you do know a lot about it, share your knowledge with someone. "Like" our page on Facebook here and leave me a post! I'd be happy to tell you everything I know.

Monday, April 4, 2011

With A Little Help From My Friends

It is hard to turn on the news these days without seeing images of tragedy and destruction. From natural disasters to murder and war, it can seem like the world is ending right before our eyes. It is times like this that I feel the need to do. To help others, to enhance my own life by participating in something greater than me.

I have a dear friend who used to say, "Do you ever wonder who messed up?" whenever things were going downhill. That is to say, who is the universe so mad at that we have to live through these terrible things? Now I can't imagine that the universe could actually be that mad at any one person, but it does make you think. How about instead of getting Starbucks this morning, you give those $5 to charity. Or give up Facebook for a week and spend the time you save volunteering. What if everybody did just one thing to help out the world this year? Then maybe the big picture wouldn't be so scary.

Now here is an even better idea. This summer come play with us at the Fun Fourth Festival! We have all kinds of volunteer opportunities from passing out flyers to selling drinks. It is a great chance to have fun and help out the community. Plus, if you're lucky, I might even give you a ride in my golf cart!

Click here to sign up, or call us at 336.274.4595