Gary LaPierre, Maker of Snow Day Dreams

The anticipation would begin the night before. A storm was coming! Maybe there would be no school the next day. Could it really happen? A Snow Day, capital S, capital D. A snow day was a nightmare day for them, but for us they were a day off, an unexpected free day. Growing up in the pre-internet era meant teachers couldn’t reach you. There would be no additional homework, just a free day with all planned activities cancelled. The whole world stopped so you could play. Weee… creative time, snow ball fights, if there is enough snow, a snowman! Sledding! Playing in the snow in the park. Snow angels. When we were exhausted and cold, we’d return hope to warm hot chocolate. Oh please, please, please, please, please let there be a Snow Day!

On any potential Snow Day, the second we got up it was to the radio and crank it up! WBZ Radio 1030, Boston, MA. The WBZ Storm Center and the smooth sounds of Gary LaPierre would tell us our fate. Of course we heard him give the news and Gil Santos the sports every morning, but the potential snow day announcement, that got our full attention. We’d sit with rap attention, whereas other days it was just the background of our morning, something to inform our parents about the world. The school closing list was always alphabetical. Abington, Acton-Boxborough Regional, Andover, Arlington… and so we’d wait for our town. Poor suckers who live in Woburn or Wrentham! Fortunately, our town started with a B so we didn’t have to wait that long, though sometimes we’d tune in halfway through the list and have to listen all the way through, until they started over at A. If our town wasn’t listed the first time, we’d have to wait through the whole list because the list could be updated! The second or third time through, maybe our town would be there. I feel bad for the kids today, who can open a browser and see the list, while their parents receive texts to tell them. Can the joy be as sweet if you don’t experience the anticipation? Sometimes our mother would have to tell us to give it up and start to get ready, but other times: euphoria! Snow Day! Thank you, Gary LaPierre for bringing us the best news!

Gary LaPierre retired around ten years ago, so we’d grown used to the news without him. But that doesn’t mean we don’t pine for the days when his smooth voice brought us all the information we needed. Texting with my sister about his death, she was sad that her daughter, that very day experiencing her first snow day (after a whopping 2 inches of snow in the Seattle area. Amateurs.), wouldn’t have the same experiences we did. He meant something to us and he will be missed.

RIP Gary, legendary news man and of maker of little kids dreams.



My New Years Resolutions

Because they say if you write them down and share them, it’s more likely to happen.  Let’s see, shall we?   Not really in order because then I’d have to think about prioritizing and coming up with a prioritization system could blow half the year.  The first thing I did was change this whole site to look better just so I could start fresh for this post.  You see how I allow myself to get distracted??

  • Lose weight (required, I think)
  • Work out more (also required)
  • Read more!   (should be required, but somehow isn’t)
  • Keep dinning room table clear.  It’s not a storage location!
  • Write on this blog 2-3 times a week
  • Figure out life stuff
  • Spend more time on the things I want to do(less tv and internet, more books!) 
  • More Photography projects
  • Have more patience with inept co-worker, or perhaps should be:  find job without completely inept co-workers
  • Come up with metrics for the above so I know what to actually shoot for. 
  • Stop procrastinating with dumb stuff(again:  less tv and internet, more books!)

It’s a start! 

Mentally Fit or Fat

So in the realm of first world problems…Tonight is one of my best friend’s birthdays and we’re all off to a nice dinner. I know I haven’t been eating that well recently, the holidays you know? Then there is extra work stress, which has caused me to have perhaps an extra glass of wine at night. Not too bad, though right? I know things aren’t great in terms of being in shape, so I decide to wear the pants which have historically be loose on me. I pull them on slowly and (the horror), I can barely zip them up. I ponder this. I want to cry. I feel fat and ugly and tired. But mostly I think: how did I get here? How have I let this silly life bullshit impact me to this point? Why haven’t I worked out more? Why is Girl Scout cookies only come once a year an excuse to eat more than I should? I just want to stay home and put on pajamas.

But it is my friend’s birthday. I will not miss it because I feel bad about myself and my choices. I could put on a stretchy skirt and go, but I decide to go in the uncomfortable, formerly loose pants. Let them remind me that I should eat something healty, that I should drink less. My new choices start now. NOW.


This post started out as a women in the workplace post: Lean In! The Confidence Code! (I’ve only read the Atlantic article, but I did download the book to my Nook – yes, I said Nook). But… recently news, Jill Abramson aside, suggests women’s issues are globally still lower on the hierarchy of needs. We are still on the physical safety rung. Some of us are fortunate to be upset at being called a bitch at work (let it be said: Bitch is a badge of honor at work. ‘Bitches’ get shit done. I’m not one bit sorry that men have issues with it).
This post started last week when I noticed that the topics on This Week with George Stephanopoulos were:

– Nigerian kidnapped girls (how dare they want an education)
– Sexual assaults on campus and the lack of response (not noted was the similar problems recently exposed on sexual assault in military. I would bet this issue is not new, just newly exposed.)
– Jill Abramson and being pushy. (I have no inside information on how she worked at the NY Times, but I know what it’s like to be called pushy and bitchy at work in situations where a man would not be called out)

Then came this shooting. Someone who is going to kill females because they don’t meet his needs. How dare they? I know he must have been trouble, perhaps mentally ill, and his family seems to have done what they could to address it, but.. it happened. And women feel unsafe every day in ways that most men do not understand. I highly recommend reading the #YesAllWomen twitter tag. Actually I don’t recommend it, I demand it. Immerse yourself in those stories. Women live like this every single day in the richest, most evolved culture on earth. And it’s worse other places. I’m not proud to tell you that though I put Jimmy Carter’s latest book, A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power on my reading list, but haven’t picked it up because I frankly couldn’t face quotes like (and I am not proud to tell you that):

UNICEF reports that more than 95 percent of all the women and girls in Egypt have been sexually mutilated. Well, this is a horrible affliction that is in more than 90 percent of Djibouti and all the women in Sudan, all the women in Somalia, all the women in Egypt and more than 50 percent in more than a dozen other countries.

I could’t face it, but we need to because it’s not acceptable.

I hope This Week covers this shooting appropriately, though it is rapidly changing from a serious news program to a variety show, appealing to the lowest common denominator. An earlier tweet from them says they will be covering NFL lawsuits. Sure, it’s not right that the NFL doesn’t help with medical bills after making so much money off of the players, but they chose to play football. Women don’t chose to be women and the certain don’t chose to be targeted because they are women.

This topic is so large, it’s difficult to know where to start. I’m tired of: what if it were your mother, sister, daughter? What if it were a fellow human being?

Watch more with Jimmy Carter:

Not a Zero Sum Game

Ah Mother’s Day, a day to give thanks to the wondrous gifts that mothers give us: support, unconditional love, hugs and kisses. The ads tell us that is how it should be. The rides to activities, the open hearted listening to our problems and helpful advise, the people who say they wouldn’t be where they are if not for the support of their mom. But what about the people who do not have that. People who have lost their mom, or whose mom wasn’t supportive, wasn’t there for them. What about the women who desperately want children, but can’t have them. This day, those images, are painful, representing an ideal that they do not get to experience. I got to wondering if for every thing we celebrate, there must be someone who wanted that thing badly, but could not have it. How painful that must be. For every player drafted in the NFL, there is someone who wasn’t selected. For every college grad there is someone who didn’t get in to their school of choice or couldn’t afford the cost and is lost. I say for every.. but maybe it’s not a one to one ratio. But we can’t all have everything we’ve ever wanted. Perhaps the cracks that appear from the loss of not having what we want are what makes us what we are. Perhaps the reinforcement of what hurt us makes us stronger. Perhaps the drive to fill the need in some other way makes us better, fulfilled in a different way. I just wish more people could see it that, appreciate it; appreciate what they do have rather than mourn what they do not.
So though it’s almost over, Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms doing the hardest, but most rewarding job there is. To the moms who do live up to the dream especially. And to my own mom, who fulfilled none of those dreams, but in that made me strong in other ways, made me able to take care of myself, made me see what not to do.

Life isn’t a zero sum game. You get what you get, but it’s up to you what you do with it.

Men’s Boot Camp

For once I arrived early for my kickboxing class and what did I see in the studio: men’s boot camp. MEN’S Boot Camp. At first I thought: why do men need their own boot camp? You can’t keep women out of boot camp if they want to go. Discrimination! I can do anything men can do, and in many cases more…And then I glanced at the class schedule, conveniently posted by the door, classes such as yoga, interval training, step, pilates, butts and guts… zumba (and let’s be honest, zumba is suburban white women trying to dance in a sexy way). 99% of these classes will be attended by no men, and if there is a man in the class, it’s a man, singular. Why are men so afraid of classes choreographed to music? Why do women love them so much? The truth is men should nut up, be a real man, and show up to these classes. But since they don’t. Perhaps that men fear anything considered girly isn’t the gym’s problem to solve. But allowing people of both sexes to be healthy and challenge themselves is. This is after all, a gym that opens for six hours on Thanksgiving morning to serve it’s mission. So go on, have your Men’s Boot Camp, fill it to the max as this class was.
But I will revel in the fact that the teacher of Men’s Boot Camp is a fiesty, little, woman.

And Fini…

What do you do when someone you know and like wants to do something you know, know, know in your heart will make them unhappy? I warned the person.. I don’t think you will like it. The person is talking themselves into doing it anyway and seems irritated that I am contradicting their version of reality. Why do I write this? I know what will happen. They will do it, I will live with the aftermath and I will try very hard not to say I told you so.

The Sour and the Sweet

They say appreciating the sweet is so much richer if you’ve also experienced the sour (as a fan of the Boston Red Sox, I can tell you this is true), however you must allow yourself to experience the sweet and not get bogged down in fixating on the sour. If we could only celebrate the things we do have and not spend so much time mourning what we don’t, I think we’d all be better off