Thursday, February 25, 2010


People are funny. Sometimes stupid. But funny. And lucky for us, all of our obtuse moments can be captured and cataloged on the Web forever.

First, there were the Darwin Awards.
Then, there were the Awkward Family Photos.

Now, one of my favorites, is the Fail Blog.

Maybe it's the superiority or satisfaction that we can feel when others are so moronic and absurd, and we can relax in the notion that, thankfully, it's not us. It's the virtual equivalent of people-watching at the mall to feel better about yourself. There's always at least one person that walks by, and you think "oh my. What is going on there?" Hey, we have all done it at one point or another. Admit it. We're all friends here.

The trouble is that in this age of instant fame for no discernible talent (a la the Kardashians, etc.), you know there are a few out there more than willing to be mindless in front of a camera for an extra 5 minutes in the spotlight (see: America's Funniest Home Videos. The show wasn't funny 20 years ago, and it's most certainly not funny today.) Good for you. You'll be famous for purposely being stupid. Not funny. Just plain stupid.

But, there are other sides to this. First, maybe - just maybe, knowing that our mistakes could be published online for the world to see at any time, replaying the cringe-inducing stupidity over and over, would make us be a little more careful and a little more aware of our surroundings and ourselves. Second, if we do make that kind of mistake worthy of Internet fame, well - just laugh along. It's not the worst that could happen. So what if everyone's laughing at you? Hey, you lived to tell the tale, so just go with it.

And thanks for providing some awesome comic relief.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Somber Anniversary

[Disclaimer: Yes, today's post is a bit of a downer and deeply personal. Please allow me to indulge.]

Today marks the 19th year since my mother's death from cancer. 19 years. It's such an odd feeling to come to terms with the fact that I have lived longer without my mother than with her. It's an odd feeling to know that I'm just about 2 years shy of the age when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and that my sister is already the age my mother was when she was battling the disease. Furthermore, it's odd to realize that I am at an age when I myself could be a mother; how would I handle things if I was in her position?

I am not the only one I know who lost a parent at an early age. Young relatives of mine lost both mother and father before they barely reached their teens. My heart goes out to them. They are the best kids I know, and I am glad that they have a close family for support. One thing I have never told them, though, is how the loss of a parent remains with you, no matter how old you get. At my happiest moments, there is still an emptiness. I may not always be able to identify the cause, but deep down, I know what it is. Still, it's important to not let it destroy you. Use it to make yourself stronger.

I feel lucky to have known so much love from my mother in such a short amount of time; it has remained with me all these years and influences me even as an adult. So, today, I remember the death but also the life of my mother, and say thank you to all she gave to me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Big Mouth Strikes Again

Oh, sure, there have been plenty of times I've said things I wish I didn't say, things I wish I said differently, and things I wish I said but just didn't. You get the idea.

Then, there are times I say things that would seem so innocuous, but - alas, no. Words said almost without thought strike back with a vengeance. It's like some higher being is ready to say "HA! Gotcha!"

Example: Driving along some highway that is known for horrific traffic, only to be lucky enough to be swiftly moving mile after mile without any pause. Always looking on the positive side, I have to open my big mouth and say [Wait for it...]

"I'm so glad the traffic is moving."


Red tail lights and a laborious crawl for the next 20 miles.

So, why should I be surprised that shortly after saying "I haven't been sick all winter! - knock on wood," I find myself with a scratchy throat, fever and headache. Psychosomatic? Doubt it. Self-fulfilling prophesy? Uh-uh. It's just a case of me and my big mouth, and never learning when to shut up.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Oh, the weather outside is frightful

Yes, I live in the Northeast. Yes, it's snowing today - alot (with a deceiving break at the moment). And yes, I'm off from work today! Hooray! We didn't get the snow from last weekend that the rest of the Mid-Atlantic received, but we're getting it today, and I'm thrilled. We haven't had a big snowfall since the holidays, so we're overdue, and I'm feeling like a giddy schoolgirl watching the snowfall intermittently with watching updates from the accurate and dependable team on the Weather Channel (who, by the way, said 12-18" total. Don't disappoint me, 'k?)

Something about the mere idea of a snow day lets me imagine snuggling up in a thick, fluffy, larger-than-life blanket with warm cups of cocoa with marshmallows, my fireplace crackling, watching sappy old movies or getting lost in a good book. And maybe, just maybe, a walk hand-in-hand with husband through the quiet streets of town just listening to the softness of the snow fall. My reality at this moment is sitting on the couch, sans fluffy blanket, doing work (well, not at this exact moment) watching said Weather Channel. Not quite the fun-loving snow day, but the day's only half-way over...and there's the possibility of tomorrow...Still, I could live the ideal snow day today, and that makes it all worthwhile.

For the last week or so, with two big snow storms arriving in the same area of the country, everyone refers to Snowmageddon and Snowpocalypse. Apparently, today is being called Snoverkill, as in snow overkill. Really, people? It's February. It's an El NiƱo year. Besides, we don't exactly live in the tropics. What were you expecting? For heavens sake, relax. Enjoy. [For more on this, you can also revisit this post]. If you lost power or heat, or found yourself in some disastrous situation, ok - you have a right to use such titles for this snowstorm. But for the rest of us - you can handle this. It's not like we're going to all become the next Donner Party.

For my colleagues who will most likely have to stay an extra day or two on the West Coast due to canceled flights, enjoy the sun and warmth. We'll see you soon.

For the rest of you, please enjoy one of my favorites: