Friday, December 14, 2012

Thoughts on the Newtown Tragedy

When I was eight years old, I was in a bank when it was robbed at gunpoint by two men in ski masks. That's not the beginning of a fictional story. That really happened. So, when I see TV shows involving violent shootings, those scenes become embedded somewhere in my psyche... and as soon as I heard that Adam Lanza shot his mother first and then went to the school and shot people in the school's office, I immediately thought about the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode that aired last week, called Dreams Deferred.

This is a link to the full episode

I do not watch the show. It caught me by surprise last week before I knew what I was watching. I wouldn't doubt that the opening scene from this episode gave this kid the idea to destroy everything he knew. We really need to re-examine the violently evocative images we make available on television. People are watching. And learning. 

I hope with all my heart that the families in Newtown can one day find some level of peace. I've found very little peace regarding the armed robbery I witnessed so many years ago, and no shots were fired there. There was no loss of life that day. But you never fully get over being held at gunpoint in a room full of people. In my case, one of those people was my dad. One was my sister. What do you do? Do you stay down on the ground or do you run to your dad? This is why I always say you really have no idea how you will respond until you are called upon to make the choice in the moment. In that bank that day, we stayed put. But I often wonder if we would have stayed on the ground if there wasn't a woman who saw that my sister and I were closest to the gunman and risked her life to throw herself in front of us. She kept us down. She covered us. We walked out of the building that day without a scratch... on the outside. 

That was one of the only moments of my life where I experienced heart-stopping, paralyzingly real fear.  I can come closer to imagining what the people in Newtown are feeling tonight than most of the people I know, and even then... it doesn't even break the surface. 

Those families have my respect and my heart tonight. The strength they will need to muster in the days ahead will be monumental. They will have to find it in a place deep down inside themselves that they never even knew existed until now. And after today, it will be impossible to forget that well of strength within. This is their story now. They will choose to be survivors; not victims. I can already tell. Did you see how fast they all gathered together tonight? Survivors.

~~ This blog post took a wildly different turn from where I thought it was headed. But isn't that life, after all? We very rarely get what we thought we were going to get. And, in the end, even though I intended to preach about the madness we allow on television these days, all that really matters is that something happened today... something unfathomable... something horrific, and yet those families in Newtown are gathered together in their town's churches right now to help each other to survive and, with time and newfound strength, to thrive. 

And they will.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

For Your Weekend Reading and Viewing Pleasure

1. Instagram
We all act like this when it comes to Instagram. There's no use denying it. As a society, we absolutely love taking photos of our food, and our feet, and clouds (not necessarily in that order.)

2. Wil Wheaton
No matter what Sheldon Cooper thinks, Wil Wheaton is pretty awesome.

3. Pooping Gold
When I first moved to Greenwich and my friends asked me what it was like, I always responded, "It's Greenwich... everyone poops gold." My friends thought that was funny. Except, now you really CAN poop gold... and I'm not sure if it's quite as funny anymore. I liked it better when it was just a concept.

4. Submitted Without Comment.
Just kidding, of course I have a comment. This is the most endearing video of a basketball player kissing an elderly woman after she gets hit in the face with an errant ball that you will see, probably ever. 

5. Flash Mob Alert!
But not just any flash mob. A flash mob on the set of The Big Bang Theory. Bazinga!

6. Adam and Billy
I love that this guy Adam looks like a total badass, and yet he fell in love with a tiny little dog named Billy. Adam, I salute you.

7. "Why I Like You"
We need more things like this "compliment machine" in our world. Try not to get teary-eyed at this. I DARE you.

8. Beer Bottle Meets Car Window
I'm not promoting drinking and driving, but this trick that lets you open a beer bottle with a car window is awesome.

9. The GIF
To my nerd friends, a brief, animated history of the GIF.

10. Still my favorite version of A Christmas Carol...
Buzzfeed came up with 25 reasons why The Muppet Christmas Carol is the best. I agree with every single one.

11. Bonus Bob Dylan Advice:

“My real message? Keep a good head and always carry a light bulb.” Bob Dylan, London Airport, 1965
I didn't say it was GOOD advice...

Thursday, November 22, 2012


When I think about Thanksgiving, I think about family, and love, and all that stuff ... but mostly about the Thanksgiving food fight in Cheers...

For those of you who haven't seen it in awhile (or, god forbid, EVER) here it is in all its glory...

And my new favorite TV Thanksgiving tradition:
HAPPY SLAPS-GIVING! from Rich Shook on Vimeo.

May we all have a holiday filled with even half as much laughter. Happy Slapsgiving Food Fight Day.

"Thanksgiving, man. Not a good day to be my pants." ~ King of Queens

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Most Beautiful Words You'll Read Today...

"When God had made The Man, he made him out of stuff that sung all the time and glittered all over. Some angels got jealous and chopped him into millions of pieces, but still he glittered and hummed. So they beat him down to nothing but sparks but each little spark had a shine and a song. So they covered each one over with mud. And the lonesomeness in the sparks make them hunt for one another."
— Zora Neale Hurston

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Things I Found This Week

Here are some things that I found interesting and/or funny this week:

1. Here are some photos of New York in the dark. I truly never thought I would see the day. Some of these are hauntingly beautiful. Some are just haunting me.

2. This made me happy this week. It's a look back at our childhood style icons. Out of 22 icons,  I still find myself dressing the most like Punky. This should surprise no one.

3. I'm pretty sure there's never anything better than these photos of bad dogs being bad. My personal favorite is the little guy who barks at pants. Hey, sometimes pants suck.

4. How the times have changed. I remember being in New York City in 2008 when Obama won the first time. This is the blog post I wrote the next day. I found this pretty interesting, too. It's a video comparison of election day celebrations from 2008 and 2012, filmed on the same block in Williamsburg both times. New York has been badly bruised, but it will not break.

5. And, to end on a somewhat lighter note, doesn't Woody Allen always know just what to say?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

I've been job hunting all day. I'm taking a 5 minute break to post these cute little comics. Check out this Tumblr page for more cuteness and Happy Halloween!

Bizarro Resume

I originally posted this a long time ago. Recent events make me think that it's time for it again...

If I could write a resume any way that I wanted to, this is what it would look like...

Bizarro Jen

Most resumes are a waste of everyone’s time. There is absolutely nothing on my resume that reflects the person I really am.

My passions are writing and humor.
My “real resume” can’t tell you that.
But this one can.

My professional background is in Human Resources, Technology, Public Relations and Government Relations. I’ve worked at a number of impressive financial firms. I started my career working for a Senator.

I’ve done a lot of things. I’ve been to a lot of places. I’ve spent most of my career working in Corporate America, which means I’ve spent most of my career suppressing the very things that people actually like about me.

Doesn’t seem fair to anybody.

Nothing means more to me than making people laugh. I am irreverent. My twitter page is inappropriate. I will throw grammar rules out the window if I think my way looks better. I have opinions. Sometimes I swear.

We’re all adults, and yet when I’m interviewing I always feel like I just got out of college and I’m supposed to pretend I’m perfect.

I’m not perfect.

I’m waiting for the day when honesty really is the best policy; because that’s the day I win at life.

Subways After Sandy

To my beloved New Yorkers,

If you're wondering why they can't open the subways yet, this is why. Stay safe...

Monday, October 29, 2012

What if?!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Bruce Springsteen's State of the Union | Music News | Rolling Stone

I'm finally reading Jon Stewart's Rolling Stone interview with Bruce Springsteen. I like how Bruce answers this question about how he could possibly understand the plight of the common man. It's because he was one, and we never fully lose our past selves. We bring them with us always.

Bruce Springsteen's State of the Union | Music News | Rolling Stone

Jon: I think people would look at it and go, "Jeez, you have all the creature comforts, how do you understand that?"But it's clearly something that was imprinted on you genetically in your soul. It just doesn't matter.

Bruce: We talk, we write, we think, and even as late in the day as I am, we experience so much through the veil of the formative years of our life. That never goes away.

I have a metaphor. I say, "Look, you're in a car, your new selves can get in, but your old selves can't get out." You can bring new vision and guidance into your life, but you can't lose or forget who you've been or what you've seen. New people can get in, but nobody ever gets out: The child from 1950, he doesn't get out. The teenager, the adolescent boy, no one can get out. They are with you until the end of the ride, and you're going to pass a certain amount of them on.

(via Instapaper)

Ten Funny Things (and a bonus video)

Since we have a storm coming, and, let's face it, most of you will be staring at an iPad or iPhone or (god forbid) a Droid for most of the day tomorrow... I thought it would be a good time to post some funnies. Here are 10 things that made me laugh this week, and a bonus video at the end for Arrested Development fans:

I don't think it's asking all that much, really.

I'd like to see me try.

This photo is the very definition of priceless.

At least Lowe's will be happy.

For Breaking Bad/The Simpsons fans!

If I handed out treats on Halloween, this is probably what I would be handing out. 

I knew I wasn't normal. This just confirms it.

Pretty much just don't ever trick or treat at my house.

Arrested Development fans, sit back and relax for 10 minutes, because this is awesome...

Friday, October 26, 2012

For You...

For years, I have read and saved various articles about Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, but I have never written my own thoughts about a show and shared them publicly. Tonight, it's time to write.

Last night's show at Hartford's XL Center was my eighth show, and I was blessed to have my family and two close friends surrounding me for this one. During any E Street Band show, there will be moments where you will feel compelled to close your eyes, to sway, to grab the person next to you, to reflect on a time long gone, or a time in only the very recent past. Springsteen concerts are designed for this. There will be no judgement in these venues. We all "get it." Take it in. Make it yours. That's what Bruce wants. He never wrote these songs for himself. It's always been for us.

There are standouts at every show... those little moments that humble you, that floor you, that chill you. Last month, at Friday night's MetLife show, it was a powerful and gritty "Lost in the Flood." The next night, at Bruce's birthday show, it was a transcendent "Jungleland " into a nostalgic "Thunder Road."

Last night, there were more than a few standouts. "Point Blank" gave me goosebumps. "Because The Night" reminded me what absolute madness sounds like. "Pink Cadillac" took an entire crowd back to a time that was less complicated and more rockin'. And then there was "For You." Words fall short on how this moment sounded and felt, so here it is:

I shot this video. Our seats were up high. There are better videos of this song at this show on YouTube, but this is and will remain my favorite version, because every word is audible, and because while Bruce was singing, my dad's best friend, Mike (who just lost his beautiful wife to brain cancer last month after a long and heroic battle) was sitting next to me at this same vantage point, having his own private moment. In that arena, as tears fell softly down Mike's cheeks, Bruce was singing only to him. For a few minutes, the rest of the crowd faded away, and it was only the music and the memories. As "For You" ended and "The Rising" began, my family and I embraced Mike... a support system, fueled by a life-long friendship and Bruce's evocative words set to music. 

Although Mike is a music buff and knows more about music than most people I know, this was his first Springsteen show, so I was waiting in anticipation of his final verdict. At the end of the concert, when the lights came up, I looked to Mike and he was just standing and staring straight ahead, shaking his head. For a moment, I actually wondered if he was disappointed. I was quickly reassured when he turned to me and quietly said, "If music is meant to move you... then that moved me." 

This is why we keep buying the tickets. This is why we keep pumping our fists in the air. This is why we keep dragging people that aren't fans to the shows. This is why those people then start dragging other people. This is why we do believe we take care of our own... because we do. During these shows, the outside world fades away. For three to four hours, we are enraptured. This is why we keep coming back, Bruce. Because as much as you do it for us, we do it FOR YOU.

Thank you, once again, for the memories. Thank you for the moments of healing, the moments of strength, the moments of love, the moments of madness. And thank you, as always, for giving us a reason to believe. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

If you don't cry, you can't be human

Heartwarming Tearjerker of the Day:

Holy schnikes, this is good -- no way you'll watch without crying.

(From this weekend's Georgia-South Carolina game.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I have a few of these in my life, one of whom I am seeing tonight! Hint: Her name is Kara, and not only does she laugh at all the same crap I laugh at, she didn't even know she was FUNNY until she met me! :)


This may or may not be the moderator from last night's debate...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Just A Reminder

Follow this blog's Facebook page for funny updates! Be sure to hit "like" on the page :)

This Blog's Facebook Page!

And here is a photo of Big Bird on SNL. Just because...

Molly McGoober

This is my sister's dog, Molly, and this photo was too good not to share...

I hate when this happens...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Space Jump

I feel like Felix will never have a problem getting a date. He'll be all like, "Oh, you don't want to date me? How about I'm the guy who jumped from SPACE and landed on my feet... How about now?"

Saturday, October 13, 2012


I can't believe it's been a month and a half since I updated this blog. I need to move this thing over to Wordpress so I will update it more. This is a good weekend. It's a good month, really. My birthday was on the 1st, I had a great night last night with Jenn and my new friends Rachael and Renee, first at a Mexican restaurant and then at a couple of great bars. Tonight, I'm hanging out with Gretchen (who I haven't seen in MONTHS, but who's counting?!) and Jenn again.

Tomorrow, ADAM!!!!!!! I haven't spent quality time with my friend Adam in far too long. We're going to do some fall foliage stuff like we're New England tourists. Jenn may join us for that, too.

Next weekend, it's on to Salem, MA with Jenn, Renee and Rachael where we will most likely be burned at the stake, because all of us are just the kinds of girls they would have burned, or drowned, or at least duct taped our mouths shut... maybe all three. I like that about us. Quiet girls are mostly useless. I like my loud vixens.

A few days after that, it's SPRINGSTEEN again with my family and my best bud, Paul. I wonder if I'll get to hold his hand again? Springsteen's... not Paul's. I can always hold Paul's hand.

All things considered, I'm feeling pretty lucky this October :) Let's hope this lucky streak continues right into a great new job and a great new apartment!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Funny Things I Have Loved This Week

You know all those funny things I usually post all week one-by-one? Here they are all at once :) There were too many this week! Enjoy!

The truth speaks loudly!

And Beyonce said, "It was good."

Usually the second one. Actually, always the second one.

I keep meaning to check this out of the library. Are there still libraries?!

This is pretty much the rule even if I'm at your house.

What? He isn't!


I like to lounge in baskets as often as possible.


Pretty much every guy I've ever dated :)