Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I'll See Your Community Relations Director and Raise You a Chief Everything Officer

As a PR practitioner, I can bank on three things in a given work week.

1. I'll receive at least six dozen e-mails signed "Best," or "Warm regards."

2. I'll use more exclamation points and smiley faces in a single 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. than I'll use in two year's worth of personal communication.

3. I'll collect a 1/4 inch stack of new business cards.

As I battled the 3 p.m. urge to visit my cubicle neighbor's candy basket one day last week, I sought distractional* refuge in the leaning tower of cards on my desk. Amongst a crop of Community Relations, Editorial, External Affairs and Marketing job titles were a few that shamefully went unnoticed upon reception. The titles jarred a flashback to the summer before junior year of college when I was hired as a "golf cart girl" at a public course in Gainesville, Fla. On my first (and last) day on the greens, I was handed a gold-plated name badge that read "Professional Snack and Beverage Dispensing Technician." I retrieved twist-off bottles from a cooler and occasionally made change for a $20. For that, my title warranted 15 syllables.

If ever a job were to compete with PSBDT, the rectangular treasures below would pose strong competition. Despite what context clues suggest, I swear on Huck that each of these cards was hand delivered in a corporate setting.

*You're right. Distractional is not a word, but I sure do like the way it fits in that sentence.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Out off Ofice

Confession: I judge books by their covers.

I also judge people by their out of office e-mail messages.

In honor of the slew of "OOO" messages electronically transmitted since summer commenced, here are three gems that currently live in a folder titled "Really?" on my desktop.

(1) I'll take "Things that are Boring and Blunt" for $500, Alex.

(2) Sloppy Joe. Note the dates.
(3) Penned by my father for his professional e-mail account.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ode (or is it Owed?) to Carbohydrates

Raised under the musical tutelage of a Warren Zevon-loving father and a Doo-wop junkie of a mother, I’ve marched to the beat of a different drummer since a cacophonic mix of “Werewolves of London” and “Hit the Road Jack” pervaded my womb.

That said, my iPod’s content is typically reserved for me, Huck and the unfortunate passengers who buckle into the V4 amphitheater that is my mom-rific sedan.

On the eve of this spring's ING Georgia Half Marathon, I pummeled a Publix sub, locked into a date with iTunes and sought the Interwebs' help in crafting a playlist that would distract me from forecasted rain. Thanks to two welcome date crashers, Google and the blogosphere, I stumbled upon a mix of ready-made half marathon playlists. An hour later, and much to my contemporaries' delight, a smattering of songs cut after my conception landed on my "Ode to Carbohydrates" playlist.

Because it’s been more than a week since I last posted, and because cutting and pasting a screenshot requires minimal effort, the resulting anthology is below. Should my sub-par keyword tagging skills lead a fellow runner to this page on race day eve, I hope he* or she will depart with lyrical fodder worthy of the 13.1 mile trek to wine beyond the finish line.

*See song choice #7 and note that my e-mail address is

Friday, April 30, 2010

Adventures in Dog Raising

Having braved two elementary school years with a gray front tooth (a byproduct of older sibling babysitting and a brick fireplace), I vowed that my future children would never be “that” kid in class. Good news for them is that I have a practice child in the form of one Huck Flynn. Bad news for Huck Flynn is that I have a practice child in the form of one Huck Flynn.

Because I’m selfish and bypassed several Humane Societies to fetch my AKC-certified pup from a breeder, I had two months to prepare for Huck’s arrival. I used that time wisely—scouring the Interwebs to coordinate matching collar/leash sets and spamming friends and family to solicit name suggestions. Slightly more responsibly, I also scouted local dog parks. Goldendoodles and Spaniels? Sweet, I’ll be back in a few weeks. Chihuahuas and Pitbulls? Hey, maybs I’ll see you at PetSmart.

I bookmarked online training guides and nursed dreams of a dog who would catch footballs, deliver the AJC in the morning and greet me with a Yuengling after work.

One magical Sunday, I brought my protégé canine home. One magical Sunday, a then six-pound Huck became my master, and visions of Superdog died a quick death.

As week night trips to the dog park confirm, my plan to raise the star quarterback equivalent of a canine son has failed miserably.

This dog park, little more than a half dirt/half grass field sandwiched among houses, is 101 Dalmations meets The Breakfast Club. Sadie, a Lab mix, is the park's star cheerleader. She finds a stick and instantly the stick is elevated to squirrel status. Quinn, a fellow Vizsla, is the class president. He says little, is perfectly coiffed and wears the canine equivalent of an ascot tie: a seasonal bandana. Jack, a Golden Retriever, is the class clown, buddy-buddy with both dogs and owners. Kira, a Rhodesian Ridgeback and persistent observer, is the newspaper editor—the canine Tina Fey.

And then there’s Huck. Jury's still out as to whether he’s best personified as a mathlete, or a trenchcoat-wearing fan of dragon mysteries. When not eating dirt or swallowing sticks, he's sniffing tree bases. On occasion, a heated game of tug-of-war will break out, and he'll bark at the participants. Great, a tattletale of a trenchcoat-wearing mathlete.

Either he needs a dad, or I need to lay off clothing him in acid-washed denim vests for Merry Hucking Christmas cards.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Why Blogs Are Not Like Russian Orphans

“Blogs are not like Russian orphans. You can’t just send them back when it gets tough. Get typing.”

Shout out to an Alabama-hailing friend for sending the above text. Yep, it’s been six weeks since the last post. The bad news is that I let Flynnsight take a backseat to extracurricular life that comes with spring. The good news—selfishly for me, that is—is that people noticed. From those who chided me via text to the chap who sent an e-mail with a milk carton and a screen shot of Flynnsight, thank you. It’s nice to know that people—other than my loyal sister, Travis Burt and the person in Illinois who landed on Flynnsight by Googling “jort Spanx”—are reading.

It’s not that I haven’t thought about posting. I’ve got a purse full of Post-it notes bearing blog topics: why Lent is for quitters, the deflating mental challenge that comes with decoding stretched words to authorize online purchases (featuring one "mullet brigade" combo for Ticketmaster), the off-putting rise of 'Best' and 'Warm Regards' e-signatures, the day that Minnesota Phatts and Laserhaire Moval became @Flynnsight followers on Twitter.

Eh, maybe later. For now, I'm plagiarizing content from fourth graders.

The yuletide thank yous pasted below were plucked from a batch of 54 notes penciled with similar content. For good reason, they've hung in my work cube (across from the resume excerpt for Adventuresome Irish Surgeon) for more than a year. Don’t be fooled—these kiddos make me sound like quite the philanthropist. In reality, I helped connect two fourth grade classes with flimsy plastic pens and flavorless ChapStick bearing the Children’s logo.

Out of the mouths of babes…

Key takeaway—never underestimate a pen and lip balm stealer.

Sincere love from,

P.S. To all my fellow PR practitioners: good luck saving lives.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The McRaezy Huck O' the Irish

As I snapped this smug shot of Sean in what is now his front yard yesterday, I couldn’t help but think about my own first piece of Atlanta real estate. Hold up. I’m 25, work for a not-for-profit and irresponsibly invest more in designer denim than I do in the Dow Jones. That said, my first piece of real estate was a far cry from the eco-friendly, 3/2 on a corner lot that is Sean’s new abode: 'twas the 4x2 cubicle that comprised my workday home at McRae, my first job. I loved every square inch of that cube—all 18 of them. It was there on the 32nd floor of the Equitable Building, pulling all nighters at the copier, forcing elevator conservations to last 32 floors and crafting office pools for looming engagements, that my 9-to-5 neighbors became my Atlanta family.

The agency life that was McRae fit me like a pair of Kelly bootcut Citizens of Humanity jeans. Sure, the place had its quirks. I got stuck in the elevator. Twice. A walk from the creative lounge to account service saw a 15-degree dip in temperature. And I never did figure out what one particular colleague, armed with a briefcase full of cosmetics and hand towels, did in the bathroom from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. every day. But, it also had its charm.

Aesthetically, the office had a killer view of Atlanta, and the look and feel of a carousel. It was also home to the 3 p.m. disrumption (nope, no typo there), when the jam of the day—be it Flo-Rida, Michael Jackson or Stevie Wonder—prompted the account service team to bust out with a three-minute afternoon intermission. And, more often than not, there was vino in the fridge.

In early March, I sought the guidance of one of my favorite creative mentors for this year's St. Patrick’s Day card. Without skipping a beat, he was onboard, and the below masterpiece hit the Flynnbox the next day. That's McRaezy. More accurately, that's you, Bill.

Without further ado, in honor of St. Patty's
the very day that answers The Killers' query "Are We Human, or Are We Dancer?"
let the day of the 24-hour, jig-ified disrumption begin with this, my parting e-gift from McRae.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Brothers Flynn and the Flynn Family Nemesis

Meet Sean Flynn. Sean invests in low-risk portfolios, dreams of a world where babies' first words are "reduce, reuse, recycle," and spends weekends lifting weights and eating lean proteins. Meet Brian Flynn. Brian invests in lush tapestries, dreams of furniture that requires rainforest deforestation and harm to small animals, and spends weekends lifting base coats and eating Mexican. And he's hyperlink-able.

Things in common: DNA, need for oxygen, sporadic middle name usage, affinity for mocking the other brother's profession.

Sean discounts Brian's success in the world of interior design, convincing people who hear that he has a famous brother that Brian is a "decorator" by trade and employed as Vern Yip's assistant. Brian mocks EPA-employed Sean's quest to save the environment by blaming his routinely 15-minutes-late self on having been burning rubber tires or pouring crude oil into creeks.

Here's a snippet from the latest Facebook war between Captain Planet and That Guy From TV:

(Font becomes somewhat legible when you click on the image.)

As the above spat took e-shape and a mini blizzard pounded New York, Shannon exchanged the below with the family nemesis that is Braden's kindergarten teacher:

Hi [Braden's Passive Aggressive Teacher],

Just so you know, we still do not have power and are staying with my in-laws across the river. I think Braden is a little out of sorts. He told me that his stomach hurt today and that he was in the nurse's office. He also came home with a pair of pants that don't belong to him. He didn't really give me any details. Do you know what happened with him today?


Hi Mrs. Stroppel,

Braden had a meltdown, tears and hysterical crying, saying his tummy hurt. When he got to the nurse, she found that his pants were soaked, and she gave him dry ones to wear. He cried that he'd spilled water on them at home. He also said he was upset because you were angry and yelling just before he left for school.
I've put the pants in a bag, and they should come home today.

[Braden's Passive Aggressive Teacher]

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Flynnbox (4): Meet Braden

Whether you've been my best friend since we fought over Gerard in Mrs. LaBranche's fourth grade class or you're the mystery crew with whom I shared a Buckhead-to-Virginia-Highland cab ride on New Year's Eve, you likely know three things about me: high heels are a recipe for Neosporin, I speak faster than most Toyotas accelerate, and I adore the living crap out of my two nephews. The pint-sized comedians are products of my sister, who lives a gazillion light years away in New York. Braden will be six in August, Brennan will be four in October.

Flanked by half Flynnified DNA, Braden has an uncensored gift of gab. Consequently, he's the subject of many an e-mail titled Deep Thoughts by Braden Stroppel. By way of my sis, this one hit the Flynnbox last week:

"So being the Catholic practicing at a Methodist church (as I like to call myself) that I am, I was teaching Sunday school the other day. I read the children a story about Jesus being in a house where people were trying to see if he could heal the sick. Three male friends carried their crippled friend to this house, but it was so crowded they could not get him in. The friends persevered and climbed on the roof and cut a hole and lowered their dear friend into the house where Jesus of course performed a miracle. Braden and Brennan were in my class...

Nanny [paternal grandmother] comes over and says to Braden, "Did you go to Jesus's house today?" They both say, "No," then think a little harder and agree that yes, indeed, they did actually to go "Jesus's house." Nanny asks Braden if he sang any songs in Sunday school and he says, "No." I then tell Braden to tell Nanny what the story was about in Sunday school. Braden said, "Oh, Jesus was in a house and some guy was trying to get in so Jesus broke his legs."

Yep, that's my godson.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

'Twas The Night Before Lent

‘Twas the night before Lent, and all through my Catholic veins

Not a sacrifice was stirring, gluttony paraded down Flynn Lane

My vices were hung from the bar with sloppy care

In hopes that self control soon would be there

Huck was nestled all snug in his (my) bed

While visions of spring festivals danced in my head

I’d forfeited chocolate, sodas, four-lettered words in years past

But what about alcohol—for 40 days—could I last?

Oh Oysterfest! Oh St. Patty’s! Oh start of wedding season!

Oh soccer practice! Oh patio happy hour for no reason!

Surely not all wine, maybe just no chardonnay

But who in the La Crema was I kidding, no way no wine for 40 days

What about my other tasty friend, the very proof that God loves us: beer

The same frothy treat that spawned courage to Saran Wrap a sleeping Leah Logue sans fear

Surely not all beer, maybe just no more Belgian wheats

Who in the Newcastle was I kidding, no way would I not cheat

Now wait just a minute, a good Irish Catholic this mindset not make

As guilt settled in, brewskis mentally became a holy bet I could take

So, today I bid farewell to the liquid vice behind Freshman Fifteens

Goodbye Sweetwater, goodbye Shiner Bock, goodbye TAP post-work scene

Goodbye Coors, goodbye Blue Moon, goodbye Passport Club at Taco Mac

For 40 nights I shall dream about you, but on Easter Sunday I’ll be back

With nary a Fat Tire in the fridge, the coozies out of sight

Lenten cheers to all, Irish you a strong 40-day fight!

Friday, February 12, 2010

You Had Me at Resume

As the rare singleton among social spheres of wives, fiancés and soon-to-be-fiancés, I was delighted to receive an e-mail from a gal pal titled "Found Your Dream Husband." The e-mail included an excerpt from a resume this pal came across at work. Tucked at the end of a 15-page, medical-jargon filled resume of an IRISH surgeon was the Holy Grail of perfect-on-paper.

Interests and Hobbies

Backpacking and Travel

  • Attempting a red slope in Lillehammer, Oslo
  • Finding a clownfish scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef
  • Swimming in a thermal spa in Budapest in winter
  • Standing in Plaza De Mayo in Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Indian-Pacific railway journey across Australia
  • Camping in the outback in Toodjay, Western Australia
  • Hiking in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt
  • A Singapore Sling in Raffles Bar in Singapore
  • Climbing the Dome of the Duomo in Florence
  • The Beer Festival in Schuzfeld, Bavaria, West Germany
  • PADI certified Open Water Scuba Diver
  • Skiing
  • Member of the Irish Film Centre
  • Jogging and Flying [me likey that flying is last and on par with jogging]
Since hitting the Flynnbox, this list has hung in my office cube, conveniently just under my prized photo with Matt Ryan.

As with all Atlanta-based fairytales, this story has a predictable ending: Adventuresome Irish Surgeon is married.

P.S. Happy Valentine's Day

Friday, January 29, 2010

Flynnbox (3) The Sisterhood of the Black Listed Pants

Thanks to a satin-loathing terror from Cornell University, the former Panhellenic recruitment chair in me is feeling better about the zero-jolerance (that’s no denim) dress code enforced during my recruitment reign in ’06.

A fellow former soristitute tossed the below gem into the Flynnbox. The post sheds light on said terror from Cornell as she John Edwardses her chapter’s national reputation with a six-page diatribe of recruitment fashion do's and are-you-@#$%-kidding-me's. Through jabs a la

“No one looks good in satin dresses unless it’s from Betsey Johnson or Dolce & Gabbana, you weigh less than 130 pounds, have three pairs of Spanx on and it’s New Years Eve,”
this monster (I like to think her name is Mary Catherine Grace) makes the cast of Mean Girls seem more like The Babysitters Club.

Her full manual, found here, forbids glittery butterflies and "gross, plastic shizzzz," but notably condones denim leggings. Eh, agree to disagree.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cake in Breakfast's Clothing

If Jon and Kate buried the hatchet and renewed their vows and Tiger Woods called on me for advice to help with his current branding woes, I'd suggest he research the ultimate marketing success story: the breakfast muffin. Society's acceptance of the muffin is nothing short of miraculous, if not downright bizarre. Essentially cake, the arbitrary label of muffin transformed a mix of sugar and butter into an acceptable alternative to oatmeal.

Unless you've been hijacked by a kindergartner, it'd be social suicide to cruise into Starbucks and ask for a cup o' joe and chocolate chip ice cream. Contrastly, pair your grande with a double chocolate chip muffin, and $7 later you're armed with morning props ripe for the office break room. If the moniker switcheroo worked for cake, why not pulled pork? Show me a marketing team who can put pulled pork on the menu at Panera Bread, and I'll show you the mindset who can lead Tiger out of the woods.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Peeing is Believing

Everyone's a critic, even the eternal optimist that is me. After J. Crew slapped a pair of jean shorts on the back cover of its Spring 2010 issue, I refused to believe that they'd gone the jort route until I saw the jatastrophes perched on a display at Lenox Square.

In turn, I get that people are slow to swallow my claim that Huck has extreme urination capabilities. Yup. Extreme urination capabilities. Some dogs catch zigzagging Frisbees. Others master roll-sit-stay-paw sequences that rival fraternal handshakes. Mine? He relieves his bladder for a startling amount of time. He sits on command when the mood strikes. He throws up a paw if and only if there's a treat involved. But ask him to display some liquid action, and color me a fire hydrant's mother.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Flynnbox (2)

The "A Guy, A Girl and a Cheez-It Box" engagement story below hit the Flynnbox by way of a friend of a friend of this bride-to-be. As Jill parlays details about her fiance's lunchbox-cracker-driven proposal, she makes it clear that the Cheez-Its of note were of the reduced fat variety. Jill may be a fan of the exclamation point, but a glutton for saturated fat she is not.

Hello friends and family,

I’m writing to share some very wonderful news with you! Jeff and I are ENGAGED! We’re so very, very excited.

The proposal was a complete surprise and very cute! I was back in California for Christmas and Jeff picked me up at the airport on Sunday. As we were walking into the apartment, he said that he had gotten me my favorite snack – reduced fat Cheez-Its (I eat “RFCs” constantly and normally have to throw the box out after a few handfuls or else I will eat the entire box in one sitting). When we walked in, the box was on the counter, but there were also Cheez-Its all over the floor. Jeff exclaimed, “Oh no, Sampson (our dog) must have gotten into the box!!” But I looked closer and there was a little trail of Cheez-Its leading down the hall. I opened the door to the bedroom and there were roses on the bed in the shape of a heart and “Will you marry me?” spelled out in Cheez-Its. I turned around and Jeff was on one knee holding a ring!

We couldn’t be happier!


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Nails in Comparison

At the bottom of the list of things I deem intimidating, tucked just below maltipoo puppies and Paula Deen, is the art of naming a nail salon. I'm no mathematician, but the equation seems fairly simple: take an adjective, add “Nails” as a suffix and call Emeril Lagasse 'cause—bam!— it’s time to invest in neon signage. Consider these metro Atlanta gems: Crystal Nails, Deluxe Nails, Dynamic Nails, Elegant Nails, Fancy Nails, Foxy Nails, Happy Nails (Avatar 3D glasses and child-size orange soda free with purchase), Magical Nails, Millennium Nails, Regal Nails, Solar Nails, Spontaneous Nails. Given the replicated context clues, even this liberal arts major can surmise that Adjective + Nails = Profit.

Sprinkled among the cluster of Adjective + Nails flagships are traces of creativity (Alpha Nails Salon, Blooming Nails), nonsense (Nailport Express, Victoria Nail Sup), apprehension (Nailtrap, Second Try), humor (Pamper My Peaches Nail Salon), confidence (Ten Perfect Nails), bluntness (Kim for Nails), vulgarity (Number 1 Nail, Number 2 Nail) and nightmarish grammar (Oh! La La La Nails, Poochiez Pawz Nail Studio). But even 99 Fashion Nails* pales in comparison to Panahar Bangladesh Cuisine. That’s right. Atlanta is home to the Georgia Aquarium, Turner Field, the World of Coke and the all-in-one Bangladesh-style restaurant/hair and nail salon that is Panahar Bangladesh Cuisine. Mani, pedi, pad thai? Check, please.

*Flynnsight suggested slogan: We’ve got 99 problems, but chipped paint ain’t one.

Say it ain’t so? Click here for a full list of nail salons in the greater Atlanta area.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Flynnbox (1)

While completing her application for Junior League, a friend asked which phone number she should include for me as her potential sponsor. When I replied with (404) 867-5309, the musical reference to Tommy Tutone’s 1980s chart topper went undetected and said friend submitted her application with a sly tribute to Jenny and her number on a wall. Below is the recon e-mail this good sport fired back to the League:

Hi Mary,

I recently submitted my application for the winter provisional class and have a question about my sponsor. I spoke with Julie about having Meg Flynn as my sponsor. If she is approved for sponsor-dom, please note that this Tommy Tutone-loving sponsor’s actual number is (954) 821-1604.


Gullible Friend

Friday, January 1, 2010

Once, Twice, Three Times iLazy

What did 2007, 2008 and 2009 have in common, besides a flailing economy? Oh, that’s' an easy one. They all started out as The Year in Which I Would Join the Blogosphere. As markets plummeted, a Portuguese water dog made headlines and the iPhone (the iJealous for my fellow Verizonians) became ubiquitous, my blogger aspirations continuously gave way to e-malaise. Write about the time I confused—and used—nail polish remover as eye makeup remover? Eh, maybe I'll just make a snack and start some laundry. Document the blind date that ended one oniony cheeseburger, a split check and two handshakes later? Eh, maybe I'll just fold some laundry. Scribble about the weekday morning when efforts to retrieve my debit card from a neighbor’s storm drain landed me at the corner of Virginia Avenue, armed with a flashlight, a broom, chewing gum and electrical tape? Eh, maybe I'll just clip coupons for fabric softener.

Proofread: You're On Candid eCamera
So, here we are. Lucky 2010. In an effort to stave off another year of idled e-authordom, I'll share ownership [read: plagiarize] of Flynnsight content with the supporting cast in the Life of Meg Flynn. If it's been e-mailed, tweeted, texted, mailed or Facebooked and it hit the inbox—the Flynnbox, if you will—color it fair game for posting. I'll also share Flynnsight into quirky passions like my crusade against exclamation points and contempt for commercial
America's love affair with Papyrus font. Occasionally, you'll find an anecdotal blip a la the nail polish remover and storm drain follies. All posts will be of the exclamation-point-free variety, natch.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines (and by engines, I mean left neural hemispheres). First post drops tomorrow.