February 18, 2011

Catching Fireflies

I'm a big fan of the television show, Fringe. Read no further if you're a fan and haven't watched the January 21 episode.

One of the themes of the show that evening was how changing even one small event could set off a chain reaction that would affect people you've never met. Something so simple as catching a firefly when you weren't supposed to could cause someone's death in another location. How? Because that firefly never flew down the street and wasn't there for a little girl to catch, causing her to continue looking for fireflies long after she should have been home. Her father became worried, and went in search of her in his car, eventually hitting and killing an innocent pedestrian. And all this happened because you caught a firefly you weren't supposed to catch.

Every day we make decisions that lead us in one direction or another, and often we wonder... What if I had taken the other path? What if I turned left instead of right? What if? What if?

Making one choice changes not only our lives, but the lives of so many others, people we don't even know and likely will never meet. It's mind-boggling.

Last week I caught a firefly. I made what I thought was a simple blog post on a whim, and thought it would be like any other; a few of my friends and my mom would read it, maybe a couple of strangers from my Twitterverse. But within eighteen hours of posting it, something happened. It was forwarded to friends of friends and parties were formed. People decided to change what they were doing on February 13 and possibly February 14, based on something I did without much thought. It amazed me. I don't know if I was supposed to catch that firefly last week, but it seems so to me. I haven't heard of any bad that has come from it, but I have thought about what if I hadn't posted it. How many people wouldn't have gotten together with friends that weekend and laughed?

Sometimes we're supposed to catch the firefly and sometimes not. There is no way to know which is the right decision, we simply have to follow our instincts and know that what we're doing is right. Today all I know is that I'm glad I caught that firefly last week. I'm glad I posted a crazy little nothing about St. Upid on whim.

February 10, 2011

St. Upid's Day

As Valentine's Day approaches, my mind always turns to thoughts of love. Of course. It's what we're supposed to do. Right? Focus on the one person we love... give them things to prove our love... make sure we tell them we're in love... blah, blah, blah. If we're single and really lucky, maybe we get a card and cookie from our mom or best friend.

Most of my V-Days have been sadly lacking in the romance department. I'm either single or I have an uncanny ability to annoy the man in my life just before the big day hits. Several years ago I was happily single, and being in the same Valentineless condition, a friend came up with St. Upid's Day. I thought it was quite brilliant of him at the time, and the thought of St. Upid's Day (and my friend Rob) still makes me smile.

Read this title slowly...

St. Upid's Day

(yep, stupid)

It's the anti-Valentine's Day day celebrated on February 13 by those who have no love, are tired of love, have been broken by love, are sick of feeling forced by the commercial machine to buy useless gifts, or those who just want another excuse to celebrate something and drink. St. Upid has a Facebook account, but he seems to be distracted these days. He also has a Twitter ID, but is apparently too busy to Tweet at the moment. Perhaps he's found love himself and is now spending February 13 at the mall searching for that perfect V-Day gift. I don't know.

Happy Valentine's Day to those who celebrate it!

Happy St. Upid's Day to those who don't!

February 5, 2011

Literally...One of My Top Pet Peeves

I'm watching a new show on the Syfy channel called Face Off. It's one of the few reality shows I'm willing to give a try. The concept is cool, but I'm only halfway through the first episode and the contestants have literally annoyed me to the point I'm ready to delete it from my DVR and never watch it again.

As with other reality shows, this one has little side interviews with the contestants. They explain what was happening, give their opinions, snark on other contestants, etc. The problem? This bunch injects the word "literally" into their interviews quite often and always inappropriately. It's happening so often, it could be a drinking game.

"Yay! Gabe said literally! Take a drink!"

"Anthony just said it. Take another shot!"

"Go, Jessica! Drink! Oops, getting a little tipsy now."

People. When you use the word literally, it means that you actually did whatever you just stated. So when one guy said he "literally did back flips." I expected to see him doing them. No. It doesn't mean you mentally did something or you emotionally did something. It means you ACTUALLY did it.

I hear people misuse this word every day and I'm always tempted to correct them, but I can't. That would be rude. Instead I grit my teeth and let it go. But maybe I should begin speaking up. Maybe if I teach a few people the proper use of the word, perhaps it will literally ripple across America and things will change. Or maybe I'll literally get a slap in the face and never bring it up again.