Friday, April 19, 2013

A (Not-So) Quick Update

The end of the semester is just around the corner, so I'm working my big ol' butt off to make sure it ends well! I finished my rock and roll class (with a 96% even!), so now it's just on to Psych. I took the day off from work to get started on my final paper (sleeping in until 11 probably wasn't the best idea, but it felt oh-so good). Currently I have a title page, an abstract, an intro and part of methods. It's definitely a good start, but there's still a lot of work ahead of me. Thankfully, Hubby is gone all weekend, so I'll have plenty of time to work on it with minimal distractions.

Now, to address everything that's been going on. 

First off, fuck. Seriously, just... fuck.

OK, that having been said, this week has been beyond insane. I was working Monday, checking out Twitter for random updates when I saw something about a blast at the Boston Marathon. (It was just before 2 PM here, so the bombs had JUST gone off.) I sent a message to Hubby, who didn't see anything on CNN yet. He checked FOX news and found something about it. To say it snowballed after that would be like calling a hurricane a little rain. It avalanched. (Yep. Making it a word. Deal with it.) Within a few minutes, the internet exploded. Twitter and Facebook were flooded with updates and links. Pictures, videos, and commentary were on every site available. It wasn't long before #BostonMarathon and #PrayforBoston were trending, and the number of those affected climbed with each update. It was terrifying.

I don't think I got any work done after that. The rest of my day was spent scouring the internet for updates (mostly on this site), trying to learn the extent of the situation. I was desperately hoping that it was just a pipeline that burst or some terrible accident. When it was confirmed as a bomb, my heart sunk and my stomach knotted up. After I logged off of work, I made myself go lie down. I felt physically ill, and I knew that if I stayed anywhere near the computer, I'd keep torturing myself, hunting for pictures and videos to satisfy my morbid curiosity. That night, Hubby and I just spent time together. We watched TV, had dinner, and tried to be thankful that we had each other and we were safe. There's a certain sense of guilt that comes with that, knowing that others are suffering, but it's something good to think about and be grateful for nonetheless.

The rest of the week was simultaneously painfully slow and exceedingly fast. The explosion near Waco (and this insanely lucky/unlucky guy who escaped BOTH incidents). A potential gunman at Carroll University (which turned out to be an airsoft gun, thankfully). The ricin letters. Some crazy shit with an envelope and some (probably) psychosomatic symptoms in Beloit. And let us not forget CNN's fabulous reporting about the nonexistent suspect in custody. It was all unbelievable.

And then last night happened. I can't recall the timeline exactly, but I know that Hubby told me about a shooting at MIT. We both started following Twitter updates and checking news sites for info. We started listening in on the Boston PD scanner for awhile, and between that and Twitter, it almost felt like we were witnessing it ourselves. There were pictures, first-hand accounts, videos... Technology has made it possible for us to be on top of news before any new stations even pick up the story. CNN, of course, was extra slow in posting about the Watertown/MIT goings-on (which was probably for the best; wouldn't want to jump the gun and report something prematurely...), but Anonymous and the scanner kept us as up-to-date as if we were there. 

It was intense. And scary. And I had some pretty awful dreams last night. But I marvel at the things technology has made possible, and am thankful for the good it brings. It showed me the kindness and resilience of people in the wake of such a tragedy, like the epic words of Stephen Colbert, the heroic actions of those both at the marathon and nearby, and the power and unity of Bruins' fans singing the Star-Spangled Banner

Patton Oswalt said it best:

...the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evildoers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We'd have eaten ourselves alive long ago. 

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, "The good outnumber you, and we always will."


Monday, April 1, 2013

I'm So Vain, I Probably Think This Blog Is About Me

I'm 28 and I'm going gray.

For the past few years, I'd occasionally notice a white hair (which, when you have dark brown hair, sticks out like a heathen on Good Friday - why yes, I'll take the biggest, juiciest steak you have! Fish? God, no. I don't want fish...). I'd pull it and be done with it. No harm, no foul. But lately, there are more. And more. And more! I can't keep up.

And truth be told, the problem isn't truly vanity. No, the problem is my OCD. When I catch a glimpse of a white hair, I have to hunt it down. It becomes my sole mission to find that hair and yank it out. But I can't stop there. White hairs are like deer and cop cars; where there's one, there are more. So then I go searching for others to pull. If I didn't have something else to do, or didn't consciously tell myself to walk away, I'd stand in front of the bathroom mirror until every damn one of them was gone. If I wasn't on my pills, I wouldn't be able to control myself at all.

Hubby hates that I do it (probably because I chastise him for similar things), and I know it's unhealthy, but they keep coming. The only option I can really see to prevent it from happening is to start dying my hair. When I was a teen, you couldn't stop me from dying my hair. Black, red, pink, orange, blonde... my poor hair must have had an identity crisis. These days... I really, really don't want to. I actually like the color of my hair (minus the little white bastards), and I hate the idea of being resigned to dying my hair for the rest of my life. (As I told Hubby, "I'm too young to dye!")

I am trying to work on letting it go. Just because I can see it there, doesn't mean it has to come out, right? Deep breaths. Re-focus on something healthy. Move along. Easier said than done. Keep trying.

If anyone out there has any techniques or ideas to offer, I'm all ears. Otherwise, I'll just keep fighting the good fight. For now.