Tuesday, October 26, 2010


It started with Tosh.

Tosh 2.0 has a segment in which he replays a video of someone making an absolute fool of themselves and then brings them onto his show in order to redeem themselves.

Naturally, the idea of redeeming oneself carried over into my real life. There was the Karaoke Redemption, needed to replace the memory of my very off-key rendition of "My Life" at Little Kings, completed at my mom's cabin a couple of weeks ago. Nailed it, thank you very much.

Redeem is defined (in one definition) as "to make up for, make amends for, offset." And redemption is defined (again, in one definition) as "atonement for guilt" or "deliverance, rescue."

Isn't that something we all crave to some extent? To be able to do something over and wipe out the first attempt? Like taking a class and getting a D, then taking it again and getting an A... the second grade wipes out the first. And you were able to get the perfect second grade precisely because you had already been through the class the first time, when you got the D.

So we all need to make mistakes in order to redeem ourselves. You wouldn't need to do something over again if you never did it wrong in the first place. I'm sure there are people that would read that and say "Duh. That's why I try to never make mistakes." Have you ever noticed that those people are basically unbearable? How can they possibly relate to any other human if they don't make mistakes? Worse yet, how can they relate to anyone else if they refuse to admit that they make mistakes and see no need for redemption?

I am NOT one of those people. This definitely comes from my religious upbringing, but I am fully aware that I make mistakes constantly. I don't regret making them and I don't feel guilty but I take the opportunity for redemption if it comes.

How can you redeem yourself? How can you help someone else redeem themselves?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Let me be clear.

I just lied to someone who asked me to work for them on Saturday morning. I said I have plans and I do: I will be recovering from Friday night.

I can be incredibly lazy. I have expectations of myself that I rarely satisfy and I have to continuously forgive myself and hope that God does the same.

Sometimes I turn off my filter and will say things to people that may or may not hurt their feelings. The fact that these people are patrons of my bar and have probably provoked me to this point is not really an excuse.

There are a handful (maybe two handfuls, I'm pretty lucky) of people in my life that I love more than my own life and would do absolutely anything for. I accept these people for who they are and who they are not.

And to those people, I would like to echo the message preached at Mass on Sunday:

Thank you for who you are. I love you. You make me want to be better than I am.

Friday, October 08, 2010

October Night Sky

I got home from work last night around 230am. I stepped out of my car and immediately wanted to lay down on the street.

The sky was perfect. There is just something about the Fall night sky. It seems so familiar to me... those are the constellations I recognize, like old friends I've been looking for but couldn't find for a long time. We were reunited last night.

I have such great memories of night skies. When I was younger my friend's dad took us to see a meteor shower. I think it was the first time I tried to stay up past midnight and I couldn't make it. The planetarium my middle school class visited left such an impression on me. It seemed to be a magical place... I haven't been able to get back to one yet, but I always want to. And the night skies in New York... I have never seen anything as beautiful as the silent starlight on those cold nights.

Orion has always been my favorite constellation--probably because it's the most recognizable to me. I dated a guy that once claimed the middle star of Orion's belt as his own. Even as I thought that it's not possible to claim a star, I remember thinking that that star will always be special to me because of that moment. And I was right, but not because of that long-ago boyfriend.

That star, in fact all of the stars in the Fall sky, are so special to me because they never change. And because of their constancy, I can mark the changes in myself. Each Fall when I greet Orion, I'm a little wiser, a little older, with a few more milestones under my belt. The arrows in Orions quiver are my memories that he showers me with each Fall.

Last night when I looked at the middle star in Orion's belt, I remembered that moment but it doesn't have any hold over me anymore. In the stars, I can see who I used to be and look forward to what I will become.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Video killed the telephone star

Yesterday my boyfriend and I went to Augusta to help celebrate my niece's 12th birthday. When we got there my sister was already serving the cake, which I thought was weird since I had called and told her we were 20 mins away and then 20 mins later we walked through the door (but she doesn't like to wait on anyone--you never know if they're actually going to do what they say they're going to do, right?--but that's another story for another time.) So forgoing the usual hugs and greetings, we immediately sit down and stuff ourselves with cookie cake baked lovingly by the hourly workers at Publix. It really was very good... I want some now.

The usual fun banter flowed like it always does around my family, and then the awkwardness began. It seemed like a good idea for my stepdad to call my mom--who lives in another city--and include her in the festivities by way of Google chat. Mom was in her nightshirt, hair in curlers and no makeup with the tv flickering next to her. Trying to include someone in a conversation via computer chat is like trying to include an infant or someone over 100 years old. There were 8 of us around the table, talking as we usually do and then someone would remember that my mom was with us. Now, my mom can have a hard time following our conversation even when she's present--I think it's the pop culture references that stump her ("wait, now who is that you're talking about....?) or possibly the constant double entendres in our teasing ("wait, now what did she say.... OH, I get it...")

Everyone got quiet and stared at the computer screen. Mom could only see 3 of us because of the computer's camera positioning so I can only imagine how it looked to her with those 3 people staring at her and hearing a disembodied voice going "Sooooooo........" Awkward.

Anyway, the funny part was when we could see my mom saying something she didn't mean--something we wouldn't have picked up on if we were just on the phone. She said yes to something that she didn't really want to do and we all knew that because she was shaking her head NO even as she was agreeing. We all called her out on it and of course, she was confused or pretended to be. My mom also says goodbye 8 different ways before she actually hangs up the phone so it was funny to see that play out in person.

A word of advice: an image on a computer screen doesn't substitute for the actual presence of a person. Not even though you get to see all the weird things they normally do while they're talking to you on the phone.

Of course, video chatting is a voyeur's wet dream... so, good for you guys.