Friday, February 27, 2009

When It's a Good Idea to Tell Your Boss About Your Personal Life

Let's face it, as much as we may love our job and truly enjoy coming to the office every day, we do have lives beyond our cubicles. (At least I hope we do!). We try our hardest to keep our personal lives separate from work, but what do we do when we're dealing with something tough in our personal lives? Is it okay to tell our boss what's going on? How do we do this without crossing a line? And how do we make sure it doesn't effect our working relationship?

There are certain things that happen that make us sad, like breaking up with a significant other or fighting with a friend or family member. Horrible though they may seem at the time, the hurt and anger will pass. Sometimes though, we're dealing with tougher issues like sickness, death, or divorce...what do we do then? Of course, it depends on the environment of your office and the way people relate to each other, as well as the relationships that you have with your co-workers and superiors. But, here's a general rule of thumb: if whatever you're dealing with may at some point interfere with your work or affect your mood in a way that people would notice, tell your boss.

It doesn't have the be the higher ups of the company, in fact it probably shouldn't be, but make a point of taking your direct supervisor aside. Tell them that you just wanted to make them aware of something that's going on in your life and then tell them only the basics. It might be an awkward conversation, but believe me, it'll make you feel better afterwards.

I've done this twice, and both times were totally worth it. Because when you're emotionally drained, it shows, and then you might end up trying to explain on the spot, and it probably won't go the way you want it to. If you've read my earlier blog entries, you know that my grandma suffered from dementia. While I was interning in D.C., we found out that she also had ovarian cancer. At the time, we didn't know how bad it was or how quickly it would affect her, so I was worried all the time. I took my supervisor aside and told her what was going on, and later, when I thought I might have to take an emergency trip to Ohio to see my grandma, my boss was totally supportive.

Obviously, what you share with your boss is your choice, but don't just assume that you have to keep it all inside. Here's another piece of advice: work can be a great distraction from the tough stuff. Although it's nice to stop thinking about sad things for a while, make sure you still make time for yourself to be sad. Otherwise, it'll keep building up inside you and eventually fall down like an avalanche without warning.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Is There Anything That Isn't Sponsored These Days?

Now that I'm working in the advertising/marketing industry, I understand more than ever how important it is for companies to get their name out there as much as possible. In fact, a big part of my job is to use Web 2.0 sites to promote my company (CPX Interactive!) and make connections. But, that said, I think sponsorships have gotten a little crazy.

I started thinking about this yesterday as I was stuck in traffic on the Northern State Parkway, one of Long Island's finest roadways. As the traffic report came on, it was introduced as "Insert Company Name Here Traffic," but when the traffic person started the report, they said that today's traffic was sponsored by "Insert Other Company Name." Then, as I flipped between stations throughout my ride, I found that this was the case on several of the stations I listen to, AND the overall traffic sponsor (the first Insert Name Here) is the same on all of these stations. Isn't that like some sort of weird monopoly?

So, this led me to think about other strange sponsorships I've seen in recent years. Sporting events are the source of pretty much all of these occurrences. For example, the nets on the goalposts at college football games, and a different sponsor for pre-game, halftime, post-game, random stats report mid-game, timeouts, replays, and players of the game. And we can't forget that pretty much every sporting arena in the country has a corporate sponsor and name, and some companies sponsor teams, or the CEO of the company is also the owner of a team. A little ridiculous, no?

Yes, I understand that companies need to advertise, and they try to think of innovative ways to do so. But, every time I see something like this, it makes me think about just how far it could go. Will companies one day compete to put their logo on sweat towels, yard lines, and basketball nets? Will they want to sponsor Wednesday's weather report or every rap song that a radio station plays? I know, some of these are a bit of a stretch, but you really never know.

I'm curious, what's the weirdest thing you've seen sponsored? Any creative ideas for how far it could go in the future? Feel free to leave comments!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hard Economic Times Hurt Charities Too, We Can Help!

The effects of our struggling economy reach far beyond lost jobs, government bailouts, house foreclosures, and Wall Street chaos. Unfortunately, non-profits and charities are also suffering as our economy worsens. People are losing money, or are afraid of losing money, so they cut back on everything, even charitable donations. But, just because we can't afford to contribute as much as we're used to, doesn't mean we should stop contributing entirely.

Some of us may have lost our jobs, lost money in the stock market, or been forced out of our house because we couldn't pay our mortgage...but, at least we don't have to be afraid of malaria, or have a genocide going on in our country. Regardless of the state of our economy, people still suffer from horrible diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's. So, don't stop donating! No amount is too small.

This is what I told my friends and family as I raised money for the Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk last fall. I had a number of donations that were under $20, and the largest amount I received from one person was $100, but all of those together totaled almost $600, and I was so proud to be able to donate so much to such a worthy cause. Alzheimer's disease is a cause that is close to my heart. My grandmother, who passed away last summer, suffered from dementia for several years, and it was horrible to watch her deteriorate. I plan on participating in the walk as many years as I can and continuing to raise as much money as possible because I believe that one day there will be a cure, and people won't have to suffer like my grandma and my family did.

So, pick a cause that's important to you, or one that you find worthwhile. Donate $5 every month, or every other month, or whenever you can. Skip going out to lunch one day, and you'll make up for the money just like that. Don't think that small an amount will make a difference? It will. Check out Nothing But Nets. A $10 donation covers the entire cost of one bed net to protect people in Africa from malaria. Just ten dollars can save a life. Some Americans have it pretty bad right now, but it could always be worse. So, don't stop giving!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Value of an Internship (even if it's not in your field!)

I think internships are awesome. Over the course of my college career, I had three very different internships, and I learned a lot from all of them. With the economy the way it is, and jobs becoming harder and harder to find, it seems that many college grads are turning to paid internships as a way to make money and hopefully gain knowledge. But, many have had to settle for internships that are not in their field or area of interest. When you can't find a job and your college loans are staring over your shoulder, the choice becomes an internship you may not like or a part time job. So, does taking such an internship make the internship less valuable?

When I started school, I knew I wanted to major in print journalism because I loved to write. But, I didn't know what kind of career I wanted to pursue. Initially, I assumed I would write for a paper or magazine, but my internships showed me just how many other options there are.

My first internship was with the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism. I worked in the Communications office, and spent most of my time implementing the skills I had learned in a Writing for the Web course to overhaul a section of the website. I learned about working for a non-profit and how I could use my skills in that kind of setting.

Next, I spent a summer interning for Sesame Workshop. That experience was the prime example of why it's worth it to intern in an area that may not be your favorite. I worked in the Digital Media department. My biggest project at Sesame was creating test scripts for two new websites, and assisting with the testing itself. My Information Systems Management minor was really put to work, and I enjoyed what I was doing, but I missed writing. So, I sought out other people in my department who worked with written content and I offered to help. Whenever I had downtime from my usual work, I would touch base with those people again, and as I result, I got to do some writing and editing. I learned the importance of taking the initiative and being flexible.

My last internship was with the NFL Players Association, with the communications department of the marketing arm of the union known as NFL PLAYERS. It would take me forever to name all the different things I got to do there, but I loved it all. Whether I was researching awards, collecting clips, copying DVDs or interviewing players, everything taught me something different. I love football, which helped me to be passionate about my work, even if it was something less desirable like putting a mailing together, I was still motivated to do a great job. The most rewarding thing was to be able to interview players and write about them for the website. I worked hard on my first article, and was entrusted with a whole series of articles as a result.

Notice that at no point did I intern at a "traditional media outlet," far from it. But, interning at these places opened my eyes to the options I had, which was a great help when I started applying for jobs. The diversity of my internships boosted my resume, and the varied experience I accumulated has since proven invaluable on a number of levels. So my advice is to intern, whether you're an undergrad or post-grad, even if you can't possibly see the worth in it. You may not realize it, but every experience you have at an internship, good or bad, seemingly insignificant or not, teaches you something about yourself. Don't scoff at an internship opportunity just because it's not a "real job," or because it's not something you'd ever want to do. You might be surprised. And make sure you're learning something while you're there, if not, take the initiative, because otherwise why are you there?

Friday, February 20, 2009

CPX Interactive Takes Over the Web!

Check out this new page on the CPX site! It provides links to all of our (super cool) Web 2.0 pages. Creating and maintaining our accounts on these sites is a major part of my job, so to see the fruits of my labor out there for the world to see is a nice feeling. Enjoy!

Patience is a Virtue, Kindness is Too

"Be kinder than necessary, because everyone you meet is fighting some sort of battle."

This well-known mantra is often quoted, but not as often followed. It's one of those things that's easier said than done. Sometimes we can't help but react instinctively to someone's actions. But, what if everyone actually made the effort to be kinder than necessary to those they met? It's true that everyone you meet is fighting some sort of battle. It may be something seemingly small like fighting a cold, stressing over work, or having an argument with a friend, or it could be something bigger like worrying about an ailing relative, or dealing with divorce. Even if it seems like nothing's wrong, chances are that they're just putting on a happy face. So, the next time a co-worker doesn't do what you asked right away, take a second and think before you say something. And, the next time your mother nudges you about the same thing she's been nudging you about for weeks, give her the benefit of the doubt. Even she might be fighting some sort of battle that you don't know about.

And another thing, don't underestimate the power of a genuine compliment. If you think someone's new haircut looks nice, or you like their outfit, tell them! If one of your co-workers helps you out, give them credit and thank them. When one of your friends says they'll be there for you when you need them, and actually follows through, let them know how much you appreciate them.

Make someone smile. Corny though it may sound, when you make someone smile, you'll smile too. And they just might return the favor when you really need it. The key to compliment giving is be genuine. If you don't mean it, don't say it. But at the same time, don't hold back. People will appreciate your words even though they may not show it.

Everyone knows The Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do to you." So, put yourself in someone else's shoes. Take a moment to consider what might be going on behind their cheery facade. Be kind to others and kindness will make its way back to you.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

TIME Magazine's Top 25 Blogs 2009

This week, TIME Magazine released it’s second annual ranking of the world’s top blogs. The list includes a wide variety of sites, large and small, personal and company run, serious and funny, old and new. As a personal blogger, and admin of CPX Interactive blogs, I wanted to see what a blogger has to do to receive such an honor as Top 25. I learned that multimedia is key. In this interactive age, photos and videos are a must. Each of these blogs is unique, and each has a clear message and purpose behind it. Some of them have some pretty witty tag lines, too. So, whether you blog for yourself or your company, or don’t blog at all, these 25 are worth a look.

Check out my post on the CPX blog to read more about “the best of the blogosphere.”

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Power of Facebook to Reconnect

Oh, Facebook. It never ceases to amaze me. Some people love it, some hate it, but everyone agrees that the concept behind it is nothing short of genius. Back when Facebook was founded in 2004, I was still a senior in high school, and when Facebook began to take over the world later that year, I was starting my college years at QU. So, in a weird way, Facebook has grown as matured as I have. Back in the day (hey, in Internet years, it's been a long time!) you could only join Facebook if you had a college e-mail address. Then they expanded to high school, and eventually offered company networks and the "no network" option. Over the past 5 years, Facebook has endured a litany of criticism on various issues (especially the infamous news feed), but it has continued to suceed, expand and prosper.

Okay, I bet you're wondering why I'm giving a Facebook history lesson here, so I'll get to my point. The reason I love Facebook is for what it was originally created to do: connect people. As someone who has always had friends all over the country, FB has allowed me to keep tabs on the people I care about. "Facebook stalking," creepy though it may sound, is actually a very useful way to stay up to date on your friends lives. Let me make it clear that I don't believe Facebook (or any other social networking site or application) should replace real person-to-person contact, or the phone for that matter, but I don't agree with those who say social sites prevent young people from learning how to communicate. It's just a different way of communicating.

Just recently, an old friend who I hadn't spoken to in a long time wrote on my wall to say she's been thinking of me and hopes I'm doing well. It made me smile, and I'm glad she had a way to send me this message. A few weeks ago, I became Facebook friends with a girl, now young woman, who I used to babysit for when she was younger. I'd been wondering for a long time how she was doing, and when I found out she is now a college freshman, I thought I'd try to connect through Facebook. (Once I got over the shock, of course.) I can leave messages whenever I want, even for friends in different time zones, I can play a game of Scrabble with someone across the country or across the world, and I can get a life update on hundreds of friends in a matter of minutes. At CPX, we're using Facebook as another way to get our name out there with a fan page.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think that Facebook is without faults, and some of the changes haven't been for the good, in my opinion. For example, I'm not so keen on the idea of my parents getting an account, fortunately they're not either at this point. But, I will always be grateful for the invaluable opportunity to reconnect. So, the next time you're annoyed at FB for some reason, think about all the people you wouldn't be in touch with otherwise. Everyone has a story.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sharing Secrets and Anonymous Sources

When you tell someone a secret, you expect them to keep it. Everyone tells secrets, from kids on the playground, to company CEOs, to government informants. Usually, we tell secrets to those we trust, or those we think we can trust. But, there are a variety of issues that secrets can create: What is considered a secret? Where do you draw the line? If someone is considering hurting themselves or someone else, do you break your promise and tell someone? If you think that someone really needs to know what's going on, or that the person would probably tell them anyway, is it okay to share? Do you have to explicitly tell someone to keep the secret to themselves, or does it go without saying?

What about news sources? The best sources for journalists are the ones who know vital secrets and are willing to share. If they're nervous, those who fall under the "someone really needs to know what's going on, so it's okay to share" category, can impart their knowledge to the journalist with the promise of anonymity. However, the validity of anonymous sources has been a long debated issue. If we don't know who the information is coming from, how can we know that it's true? Certainly we can't just trust the journalists, right? But, it's important to remember that it was through an anonymous source known as "Deep Throat" that we found out about the Watergate scandal. In fact, he was probably one of the best kept secrets in our history. It was not until 30 years after the fact that we learned who that famous secret informant had been. If not for the bravery of Mark Felt, Nixon just might have gotten away.

I think the bigger issue here is trust. Whatever side of a secret you're on, trust is always a factor. Can we trust people with our secrets? And if so, how do we know who those people are? Are anonymous sources valid, and can we trust their information? Is it true that 'secrets, secrets are no fun...' and only complicate our lives? Maybe, but I don't think we'll stop telling secrets any time soon.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Are Higher Expectations an Unwritten Contract Clause For Pro Athletes?

Michael Phelps smoked pot, and someone got it on camera. Now, he is disgraced, his wholesome image destroyed, and the media, who just months ago sang his praises, has been bashing him endlessly for his recent blunder (with headlines like "What a Dope.") Phelps is a mere 23 years old (the same age as yours truly), and if not for his extraordinary talent in the swimming pool, and the fact that he won eight gold medals at last year's Olympic Games in Sydney (oh yeah, he's that guy!), the truth is that his actions wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary. There are many 23 year-olds who have smoked their fair share of pot and have the pictures to prove it.

But, he is an extraordinary swimmer, and he did break the record for most gold medals won at a single Olympics, so his actions come with greater consequences.

My question is, should he be held to a higher standard? When he decided to compete in the Olympics and put himself in the public eye, did he also sign an unwritten clause that said his every action would be scrutinized? Do all pro athletes "sign" this clause? And what about college athletes? Where is the line drawn? These questions have been the subject of debate in many of my Journalism classes, in particular a class I took as a participant in the Washington Center's semester in D.C.

So, here are my athletes and Olympic athletes sign contracts. They sign on to play whatever sport they excel at, in return for a lot of money. Essentially, they choose that path and all that comes with it. Unless they've been living in a hole, they know the media attention that comes along with a career in the pros, and whether they like it or not, they know that they will be in the public eye.

College athletes, on the other hand, do not sign contracts. Sure, when they're recruited and given scholarships, there are certain expectations, but when it comes down to it, they're still college students...going to school for an education. (This could set me off on a tangent about college athletes leaving school before graduating to go pro, but I'll resist for now). College is a time for growing up. You learn a lot, not just in the classroom, and evolve into your (almost) grownup self. I guess the question is, should a 20-year-old college kid who hasn't finished maturing and learning be held to higher standards just because they are athletically gifted?

Clearly, this is a difficult and divisive issue. I don't have any answers, just thoughts on the issue, and I'd welcome other opinions. I just hope everyone remembers the amazing things that Michael Phelps did last summer. He is too talented and he worked too hard to have that taken away from him because he got caught smoking pot. Yes, he probably shouldn't have done what he did, especially knowing the number of young fans who look up to him. Parents are shaking their heads at him because now their kids are going to think that it's cool to smoke pot if Michael Phelps does it. But, there's another lesson here: people make mistakes. Even Olympic athletes who break records and win gold medals mess up sometimes, and life goes on.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Amazing World of Twitter

Twitter, like blogging, was something that I thought was really cool, but never thought I would be able to get into. Today I am officially saying that I was wrong... again. I have joined the thousands who "tweet," and it's pretty awesome. I never felt like I could post anything serious as my Facebook status, and I was always cautious of going overboard with status updates. One of the great things about Twitter, is that constant updates are greatly encouraged. It's also been a helpful networking tool for us at CPX Interactive. We have a company Twitter, and I've been tweeting on my feed about things I'm doing here and posting links.

It's amazing who you can find on Twitter. From the President and VP, to friends from high school and college, to celebrities, to non-profit organizations, to sports teams...I'm currently following, President Obama, the (unofficial feed of the) New England Patriots, Save Darfur, Pat McGee, and Facebook, just to name a few. It's quite the combination! So, if this blog's not enough info and you want to know what I'm doing at all times (I know you do! LOL), follow me.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Advice to Young Job-Seekers

I recently became a member of the site Brazen Careerist. It's a place for Generation Yers to connect and share insight on work and life. Speaking of sharing insight, I just finished filling out a survey from the Center for Intl. Mass Communications Training and Research at UGA. The survey is sent out each year to a sample of students who have just graduated with a journalism/communications degree. The focus of their research is the job search process, how easy or difficult it was to find employment after graduation, what worked and what didn't in terms of searching, how many jobs you applied to and how many interviews you had, how long you searched etc.

After answering all of the questions, (very difficult, networking & online searches, about eighty and about a dozen, seven months), we were given the opportunity to give advice to 2009 grads.

So, here's my advice:

  • Be persistent, even when you feel like giving up.
  • Job searching is a job in itself, so be prepared to dedicate a lot of time to it.
  • Explore every possible connection, even if you feel like you're being annoying or that it can't possibly lead anywhere.
  • Take every interview, regardless of whether you think you'd actually be interested in the job. Nothing is beneath you, and it might sound better when you hear more about it. If nothing else, you'll gain some valuable interviewing experience.
  • No matter how much you practice the "typical interview questions," it's still going to be awkward, and you'll probably get caught off guard by something.
  • After you leave an interview, don't beat yourself up for your mistakes. There's nothing you can do at that point, and all you'll end up doing is increasing your stress level.
  • When you have an interview where you feel totally comfortable and forget about all of your stock answers because you're speaking from your heart, that's the job for you.
  • Remember these mantras, you'll be thinking them a lot: "You never know," and "We'll see what happens."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Living in a Museum and Other Musings

When your house is on the market, it's much like living in a museum. To prepare, you have to "declutter" and remove the majority of personal items from your walls. Every morning you wake up often unsure of whether strangers will be entering your house that day to determine if they could make it their own. Putting your shoes away, making the bed, and wiping down the bathroom counters become a required part of your morning routine. If you're running late, you can't just leave the outfits you decided not to wear on your bed or your dishes in the sink. The days when no one shows are the most frustrating, not only because the more people who come, the better the chance of selling the house, but also because all the cleaning and tidying was for nothing. Sometimes, when you just don't feel like cleaning up anymore, you're tempted to shout to the world, "I still live here!" Even though it feels like you live in a museum.

On the flip side, I love my job! When I interviewed for the admin asst job that I originally applied for at CPX, everyone told me that this was a great place to work, and they were right. The people are great, and I'm definitely learning a lot. Plus, after three internships, it's really nice to be a real employee. Some small (and not so small) joys: when I go to the bathroom, I have my own key to get back in; I can send outside e-mail, and in fact, it's encouraged; I have a voicemail message on my phone; If I need something, all I have to do is ask; I'm included on company-wide e-mail lists; People make the effort to get to know me...and, after 7 months of unemployment/temp work after graduation, I'm finally using the skills I worked so hard to acquire for four years. Needless to say, in this economy, I am so grateful.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Oh, How Things Can Change

There's a corny quote from Ferris Bueller that goes something like this, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around every once and a while, you just might miss it." Corny, but true. It's amazing how much life can change. Sometimes, we have a quiet period, when nothing changes that drastically, but other times, it's just the opposite. If you're a recent college grad like me, just stop for a second and think back to a year ago. How different was your life?

Personally, I've had a lot of stuff going on in the past year, and there are times when it's hard to remember what life used to be like. I wish I'd looked around and appreciated some things more. We always look at what other people are going through and feel happy or sad for them, but we never think it will happen to us. It's not just teenagers who think they are invincible. And even those who are older and wiser, and scoff at the thought of being compared to a teen, probably take things for granted more than they realize.

We're all busy people. We have work, families, friends, and countless activities, but this doesn't mean that we're too busy to look around and appreciate what we have. So, just take a few seconds, because you never know when things will change.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Being Thankful for the Good Things

Sometimes life can get pretty overwhelming. Bad things happen, things change, hearts break, life as you knew it disappears. It's so easy to drown in sorrow and let the negative things consume you. Sure, there are days when you just need to be sad and let yourself feel the things you'd rather not feel. But, if you're lucky, there are people in your life who will be with you through it all. They'll support you in different ways, and you may not even fully realize what they mean to you until one seemingly small gesture or an unexpected call or e-mail. Even if they can't physically be there for you, knowing they truly care is just as important.

I am so thankful for my friends and family and the people who care about me. I don't know where I'd be without them. And I am very grateful for my job at CPX Interactive. After applying to near 80 positions, I am so lucky to have ended up at such a great company. There are times when you can't help but get lost in the negative, but make sure you take a moment to enjoy the positive things in your life. On that note, thank you to everyone who reminds me of the positive. You are my foundation...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Obama-Rama=High Expectations for New Prez

Barack Obama's presidential campaign was unlike any other. He motivated minority populations and united the young people of America. In order to attract college age voters, Obama did something no other candidate has done before: he used the Internet to reach them. He used the same social networking tools that young people use to connect with each other as a means to reach out to them. By doing so, Obama showed that he cared about what they had to say and that politics wasn't just about the big wigs on Capitol Hill. In fact, Obama gave young people unique and interesting opportunities to be involved in the political process using the social sites that have become part of their daily routine. He himself had a multimedia filled profile on MySpace, a fan page on Facebook, and a feed on Twitter (he still does).

The result of these efforts, and many others, resulted in nothing short of Obama-Rama. Clearly, his tactics worked, as Obama is now at the end of his second week as our 44th President. But, the downside to this "Rama" has already reared its ugly head. After such an impressively run campaign, expectations for our new President are exceedingly high. Critics and supporters alike are now wondering if Obama's inexperience was too much overlooked. This week's hoopla comes after two Obama cabinet appointees have asked for their nominations to be withdrawn due to tax reporting issues. All of this after Timothy Geithner's tax woes were exposed last week, though his nomination was ultimately confirmed.

In interviews, Obama openly admits that he "screwed up," with some of his nominations, and insists that he will take responsibility for his decisions. And yet, he is still facing intense scrutiny, as he should...but for me, it's a question of degree. Yes, he definitely messed up, and these recent events are likely a result of inexperience, but it could be worse. There are far worse things that could have happened to begin Obama's first term. However, because of the historical significance of Obama's election and the success of his innovative campaign, our new President is under added pressure. True, we should undoubtedly hold our President accountable, and there is no question that he should do everything in his power to fulfill his campaign promises. But, we should not be too quick to judge and say that he has already failed to live up to our expectations. It is, after all, only his second week in office in one of the most turbulent times our country has ever faced. And maybe, just maybe, our expectations have risen a little too high. The truth is, he needs our support more than ever.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Apple Viggo Moriah Bronx Mowgli Huckleberry Marmaduke Zuma Nahla Honor Shiloh

I thought things were bad in 2004 when Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin named their new baby girl Apple. But it seems that being named after a fruit is getting off easy for celeb kids these days. I guess celeb parents have done away with the traditional baby naming books and instead turned to: NYC boroughs (Bronx), somewhat obscure Bible references (Moriah), Disney movies (Mowgli & Nahla), literature (Huckleberry), and desirable traits (Honor). Where the rest of these crazy names come from is beyond me.

I was motivated to write this post as I read the Passages section of People Magazine's Feb. 2 issue. The Births section included the announcement of a second child for Bear Grylls (perhaps seeking revenge for his own unfortunate name?), host of Discovery Channel's Man vs. Wild, and his wife Shara. The new baby boy is named Huckleberry Edward Jocelyne, and joins older brothers Jesse and Marmaduke. (Yes, that's older brothers.)

Oh, where to begin...first of all, how come Jesse got to have a normal name? Huckleberry could certainly be worse, maybe if he was a boy named Marmaduke, but fortunately for him, that name was already his brother! My question for these celeb parents is why? Is there some unspoken competition to have the kid with the weirdest name? Have they thought about how their child will feel about their weird name when they're a teenager among judgemental teenagers?

I get that they want their kids to feel special and unique, but aren't they already going to stand out enough as children of celebrities?

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Perfect End to Football Season

I love watching football. I think it's the speed, passion and intensity with which the game is played that draws me in. There's always something exciting going on, and it not only does it require extensive skills and talent, but focus, drive and a strong team mentality in order to really succeed.

I simultaneously love and hate the Super Bowl. I love that it's (hopefully) the best of the league meeting on football's biggest stage. There's no best of seven, no next game to redeem yourself, it's all or nothing. I hate that the Super Bowl signifies the end of football season, and the beginning of more than half a year of football-less life.

After being tremendously emotionally invested in last year's game, and incredibly depressed and upset by the outcome (guess who I root for?), it was nice in a way to have no real investment in this year's match up. All I wanted was a good game. No blowouts, just two teams fighting it out to be #1. I got exactly what I wanted. It was a fantastic game! And even though I'm sad today because football season is over until the Fall, last night's game was a great ending. Congrats Steelers!