Pick Me Ups

A friendly picker upper for the perfect stranger.

Ukulele April 24, 2010

Filed under: Cards — neepaparikh @ 9:55 pm
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Location: Front lobby at West Village


Dear Perfect Stranger,

How are you today? I hope you’re doing well and if not, I hope this note serves as a little pick-me-up.

There’s something about the ukulele that just makes me happy. Perhaps its the fact that they remind me of the tropics and all the wonderful things that come along with a vacation. The weird thing is, I’ve never been to Hawaii nor have I ever heard a ukulele being played live. It’s just a beautiful sound.

Did you know that the word “ukulele” roughly translates to “jumping flea”? Well now you know. Another translation of “ukulele” is “gift that came here” from the Hawaiian words uku (gift/reward) and lele (to come). I think both definitions of the word are pretty awesome.

If you haven’t really heard any songs featuring a ukulele, I suggest you look up ukulele on youtube. If you don’t find anything you really like there, try listening to Hey, Soul Sister by Train. That always makes me happy and I hope it will make you happy too.


Your friendly picker upper 🙂


Underappreciated April 23, 2010

Filed under: Cards — neepaparikh @ 8:20 pm
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Location: Jackson Square Theatre (left with friends)


Dear Perfect Stranger,

How are you today? I hope you’re doing well and I hope this note serves as a little pick-me-up during your day.

I’ve been thinking today that there are plenty of things that go underappreciated by the general populous. Here, I’m going to attempt to list some of the ones related to popular culture – music, film and television.

  1. Will Smith’s music career
  2. Brendan Fraser in George of the Jungle
  3. Equilibrium with Christian Bale
  4. The film ‘Moon’ released in 2009
  5. Lars and the Real Girl with Ryan Gosling
  6. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
  7. Arrested Development the TV show
  8. Freaks and Geeks the TV show
  9. Wonderfalls – Like Joan of Arcadia on acid
  10. Music featuring ukuleles ex. Hey, Soul Sister by Train

What do you think is underappreciated?


Your friendly picker upper


Courage – Maya Angelou April 21, 2010

Filed under: Quotes — neepaparikh @ 3:25 pm
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One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest. – Maya Angelou


That’s how long I want to be your friend April 20, 2010

Filed under: Cards — neepaparikh @ 1:41 pm
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Location: Thode rental laptop


Dear Perfect Stranger,

How are you today? I hope you’re doing well and if not, I hope this note serves as a little pick-me-up. When I was a Girl Guide, there was one song that we sang pretty much every week. It goes like this:

Make new friends, but keep the old
One is silver, and the other gold
A circle is round, it has no end
That’s how long I want to be your friend

At the time, I’m sure we sang it because it was a song easily done in a round but thinking about it now, the song has a lot of truth to it.

I think the point of that song is that friendships shouldn’t be formed with an end in sight. If you have an end to the friendship in mind, it’s rare that it will last any longer. I think this goes for a lot of endeavors that we take on. It’s best to keep an open mind about things so the results can be surprising.


Your friendly picker upper 🙂


Youth April 19, 2010

Filed under: Cards — neepaparikh @ 8:05 pm
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Location: Outside Thode library (left by a friend)


Dear perfect stranger,

How are you doing today? I’m doing quite well thank you. It’s April which for me usually means a bazillion birth days. As I’m getting older, I’m starting to understand the value of youth. I currently work with kids and that’s what I want to do for the summer too.

See, I still feel like a kid. I feel bad for my friends who are working so hard. Sure, the money they’re making seems tempting to have, but I guess as long as I have enough to get by, that’s fine by me. I’m pretty much living the easy life right now and for the summer. I’ll be having a blast working with kids, not making much money but that just means I’ll have to work again during the school year. I can work for the rest of my life but I can’t work at a camp and do arts and crafts forever.

I don’t want an hour commute to the office. I don’t want lunch meetings. I don’t want my name on a business card. I don’t want to have a separate work number, fax number and e-mail. I want to have fun now because I won’t be able to later. So embrace your youth. Live it.


Your friendly picker upper



Filed under: Cards — neepaparikh @ 11:13 am
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Location: Library washroom mirror


Dear Perfect Stranger,

How are you doing today? Are you studying hard or hardly studying? This time of year can be very stressful so I hope this card serves as a little pick-me-up during your day. I hear that laughter is a great stress reliever so here’s a little joke for you:

A drill sergeant just chewed out one of his cadets, and as he was walking away, he turned to the cadet and said, “I guess when I die you’ll come and dance on my grave.”

The cadet replied, “Not me Sarge. I promised myself that when I got out of the Army I’d never stand in another line.” Hahaha. Not funny enough? Here’s another one:

Bill and Hillary Clinton went out to dinner and when the waiter came to take their order, he asked Hillary how she wanted her steak, she replied “medium.” Then the waiter said, “How about your vegetable?” Hillary replied, “Oh, he can order for himself.”



Your friendly picker upper

P.S. Sorry for the horrible drawing.


Bussing April 18, 2010

Filed under: Cards — neepaparikh @ 1:08 pm
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Location: Library study carrel


Dear Perfect Stranger,

How are you doing today? I’m doing quite well. The weather isn’t the greatest today so I hope this note serves as a little pick-me-up during your day.

I took the bus to work today and there’s so much about bussing that I love. One of the greatest things about bussing is that its safer for our environment but I won’t dwell on that aspect.

I think I love it when little kids love to run alongside the bus. The look of wonder and excitement on their faces as they follow the bus is priceless. It’s almost like dogs chasing cars but even better. I also find that Hamilton has some of the most interesting people. How do all of these interesting people end up on the bus? I’ve had some of the most intriguing conversations on the bus. I once debated with a man who didn’t believe in global warming and I’ve even met a man who’d just returned from a trip where he attempted to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro for charity.

Never underestimate the bus!


Your friendly picker upper


Not so great response

Filed under: Other,Uncategorized — neepaparikh @ 1:06 pm
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Regardless of the level of embarrassment I endured when leaving the last note in the lobby, I thought it was a good idea. What I found out was that students more than being appreciative of the note asked the question “Who does that?” Well my friends, the answer to that question is someone who has learned to appreciate the little things in life and is willing to do what it takes to get a smile. Sure, you may find the notes stupid and a waste, but if you’re making fun of the note with your friend, are you not laughing? Bam! Mission accomplished. I don’t worry about how the  note influences you just that the note does influence you.

With that noted, I’d like to say that despite the negativity I’m finding students are projecting when reading the notes, I am not going to be discouraged. There have been plenty of responses and comments on this blog that are positive. Yes, many of these have come from notes left outside of the student bubble but that will not stop my notes from getting into student hands. Apologies students. If you don’t love the note, show it to your friend, make some jokes, laugh a little at my expense. It’s all good. As long as you are smiling I’m happy.


Great Response April 17, 2010

Filed under: Other,Uncategorized — neepaparikh @ 2:10 am
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Today was probably the most eventful day I’ve had when it comes to this blog. Aside from being completely embarrassed, I had an incredible encounter earlier in the day. I work at an elementary school some days and I left one of my first cards on a water fountain there a few weeks ago. I knew who would pick up the card because I knew who cleans around there.

Today while washing my hands, that very same person asked if she could have a word with me. Her questions were thought out and came out slowly. First she asked me about my classroom, if I’d seen any cards lying around, if I knew about the Pick Me Ups, and finally if I knew the author and I answered that I do. She then explained to me that she knew it had to be me that left that note because there’s nobody else that would have done it. Certainly no students in the school at the time would have and there were no teachers around at the time so it had to be me. I panicked a little and a voice in my head said “Deny it all.” She smiled though and I told her yes, it was me and I explained the purpose of the notes to her.

She then told me how great she felt while reading the card. It really served as a pick me up for her that day. Instead of dreading the long night of cleaning ahead of her, she worked quickly so that she could show the card to others. She said it’s not about the message, but the gesture. She told me the Pick Me Ups were a great idea and that others should do the same sort of thing. We talked for a few more minutes and I walked away with a skip in my step.

I’ve made someone’s day brighter. Mission accomplished 🙂


Note to self

Filed under: Other,Uncategorized — neepaparikh @ 2:00 am

When I went to drop off the last note “Rain Appreciation” today, I made a complete fool of myself. I felt the need to explain what I was doing, probably not the best idea. I love this project and I love this blog but sometimes its just way too difficult explaining it to people. Note to self, be more discrete when leaving notes!