Be a First Follower Not a Nut

June 27, 2012

Hoo! This video (below) is such a fun, genuine example of “tipping point”… AND a cautionary tale about attending concerts while jacked up on goofballs, especially in this era of camera phones and YouTube, but mostly, “tipping point.”

Oh, and how groupthink and peer pressure can influence one’s decision making process, obviously. And the nature of leadership.

Also, just say no to drugs. Because the shirtless dancing guy? He crazy high, yo?

Hmm. Maybe you should just take a little look-see and determine for yourself:

Honestly, it is clear to me that the lone nut’s “leadership” is somewhat wasted in this case. I mean, he’s not tripping all over himself to acquire a following or anything, right? No, he’s just doing his thang! Reveling–nay, baking!– in the fresh air and sunlight! But he is lit, I mean, he lit the way– blazed a trail, if you will– for the first follower, the linchpin to creative leadership. Where others saw a lone nut, the first follower recognized the dancing dude’s potential and knew how to tap it.

Hey. It’s MY blog! Deal with my punning.

Yes, the lone nut only inadvertently sparked a movement; it was the first follower who fanned that spark into a flame– fanned it higher and higher!– created the buzz, and convinced others to act, to follow. Inspiring a movement. Which, to me, makes the first follower the actual innovator and TRUE leader.

FINE! Done with the puns now.

Heh. This video should be called “Leadership and the Tripping Point.” Heh heh.

Okay, NOW I’m done.

The Pun Snap of ’09

June 23, 2012

Hannah is heading to a friend’s Bat Mitzvah this morning. Which, fun?! And her friend’s name is Zippy, which only makes it even awesomer, because you just can’t make this stuff up, you know?

Also, why don’t I have a cool name like Zippy?! What were my parents thinking calling me Catherine?! People called me Cathy, y’all. Cathy! Which, of course, with my somewhat… loquacious personality, lent itself to the horrifying moniker “Chatty Cathy.” Oh, yes. That. Honestly, I could have been Zippy! Or Sassy! Or Firecracker! Or any other name ever! But NO.

Cathy. (Fail.)

Anyway, this happy event also totally reminds me of the infamous “pun snap” of ’09. You know, that time TD went to a friend’s Bar Mitzvah and came home chock full of wild stories of crazy chair dances and professional DJs and AWESOMELY delicious food and, oh yeah, how much freaking MONEY his friend scored when he turned thirteen?! And all my kids seriously considered the merits of converting to Judaism? And then came the punning?

So I’m super excited for Hannah to get home and thrill us with all the cool details about today’s coming of age celebration. Because with an awesome name like Zippy? This Bat Mitzvah is sure to be epic. Right?! Am I right?!

Just sayin’.

Getting Schooled

June 18, 2012

Life Lesson #1,437: Here’s the thing… sick kiddos and hellacious work-related stress are– shockingly!– not conducive to creativity in blogging…

…Half a mo’, Alli has rushed into my room to pitch story ideas at me! Honestly! I am not even joking! How fortuitous! Or is this serendipity? No, no, I will stand by fortuitous! Mostly because I am too lazy to look it up but also because I am pretty sure I’m right. I’m almost always right. Ask TGIM. He’ll tell you.

Oh! Oh! Here’s my opportunity to do something i’ve always wanted to do– live blogging! Fantastic. And we’re off.

Ah, okay, so the first idea, oh yes, I see, it involves young children–twins, I believe–who have the ability to control fire and water. Huh. Solid idea. I say, “Oh, like the Wonder Twins!” and then I correct myself, “No, NOT like the Wonder Twins! They were water and animals. Duh?”

Alli doesn’t pick up on my pop culture reference. I find that incredibly sad and somewhat unsettling. What kind of crazy world are we living in now? A world of children who have never experienced the joys of Saturday morning cartoons, that what kind!

However, I just barely call out “Wonder Twin powers, ACTIVATE!” before she is peppering me with her back-up ideas. OH EM GEE, she has BACK-UP ideas!

I ask her to give me time to catch up with her and she agrees but she is bouncing on the bed next to me, her excitement too wiggly and giddy to hold in. I’m a little tired just looking at her, truth be told. And there’s this feeling building inside me. I’m not quite sure, but I think it may be… shame. Shame! Here I am, sulky and idealess, blogging mojo on the fritz and whatnot, and my daughter swooshes into my room, literally bouncing with ideas! Literally! With all these ideas! Just bouncing on my bed! (My daughter, not the ideas. In case you thought there were actually ideas bouncing on my bed. Which would be very Sesame Street and weird.)

Oh, dang, okay she’s moving on to the backup ideas now (yes, that’s shame all right…)

So if the twin story doesn’t pan out (“That’s crazy talk!” says I) she will write the story of two orphaned children who are raised by a pack of lions (“Pride,” I say, but she is lost in the moment so I drop it for now), and the other is about five teenagers who live in a world with monsters in it, and they’ve been trained to fight them.

Good LORD. I just suggested she call that last one Monster Ninjas… which I think very clearly makes my initial point for me– you know, of the total non-conduciveness going on ’round here? Because, oh! The shame!

Monster Ninjas.

*sigh*

Oh Do You Know The Muffin Man

June 13, 2012

Today I passed a store called Victoria’s Cakery. My question is… what in the what now is a “cakery”? Is that a thing now? You know, cakeries and whatnot? If so, can anyone recommend a good pancakery? I’m craving waffles.

That said, a decent muffinery (or even a honeybunnery!) would do in a pinch.

Camping with the Morwitzes

June 11, 2012

This weekend we went on a camping trip with some friends… let’s call them the Morwitzes. (See how I did that there, Morwitzes? YOU know who you are!)

And while they mocked me for bringing my iPad–some of my kids haven’t SEEN all the episodes of Sherlock, okay?!– and for sleeping in the car instead of a tent– hello? due to potential back pain from the rocky ground and absolutely NOT because I’m afraid of being eaten by a bear even though on the way into the campground we spotted a few big ol’ black bears that would (I am told) rather eat berries than people–it was good times for all. Because they are a fun, somewhat snarky, super cool family, that’s why!

As we sat around the campsite towards the end of the campout, one of our friends suddenly asked, “So, are we going to be in your blog now?” Which was A) surprising and awkward (people besides my mother READ my blog?!), and secondly, hilarious. So, as not to disappoint, I’ve recorded a few snippets of conversation from the weekend.

(ASIDE: There was this hilarious conversation about a certain “artsy” photograph from Mr. Morwitz’s college years that is NOT currently hanging on their wall, but that is a story for another day… I shall call it “Tit Climber.” Or not.)

Driving in Cars with Fifth Graders

On the way to the Shenandoah National Park, we swapped kids. Mack travelled with the Morwitzes to hang with one of her BBFs and we got our friends’ fifth grade son (we’ll call him Little Man), whose delightfully elliptical conversations kept us entertained throughout the drive.

Little Man: Oh, I know that I’m weird.

Cat:  Nothing wrong with being weird, I always say!

Alli:  That’s true. She does say that.

TD:  A LOT.

Cat: Yep. I’m a big fan of weird!

Alli:  Says that, too.

TD:  A LOT.

Little Man: In first grade, I tried being normal. It didn’t work.

Cat:  Oh…

Little Man: So I decided that I would be abnormal.

Cat: Oh, okay. So… you decided to be yourself.

Alli: Yeah. You OWNED your weirdness! Right Momma?

Little Man: No, no, I decided to be abnormal because I didn’t like trying to be normal.

Cat: But if you ARE abnormal, then that would mean you simply decided to be yourself.

Little Man: Oh…

Cat:  You decided to be YOUR normal.

Little Man: I hadn’t thought of that…

Cat:  Because you’re weird.

Little Man: Yes.

Cat: I like you, Little Man. You’re fun to talk to.

Little Man: Thank you.

At the Campground

To set this up, I should mention that Mack’s friend has a somewhat quiet and serious nature, at least around grown-ups. I’m pretty sure it’s a front though. Oh, not in an insincere, Eddie Haskell kind of way, mind you, but more of a Michigan J. Frog (“Hello! ma baby! Hello! ma honey Hello! ma ragtime gaaal…”) Looney Tunes-type thing. I mean, the girl is a fencing champion, after all! (Olympic fencing, that is. Obviously. Just want to be clear.) So she has a wild streak in there somewhere, right? Right? I’m just saying. So anytime I see her smile or crack a joke or act as silly as my daughters and other eighth-grade girls often do, well, it’s just fun.

Now for the conversation. While we were camping, I noticed that when she wasn’t helping set up tents or playing frisbee or talking to Mack, she was immersed in a book. And while I know how irritating it is to be callously ripped out of a perfectly good book, I had to know what she was reading. Clearly. Because I’m annoying that way? So when I noticed her sitting quietly next to her mom, reading, I pounced. Cat-like and whatnot.

Cat: So… What’cha reading?

Mom M: Oh, you know, she’s just doing a little light reading. It’s The Count of Monte Cristo.

Heh. So, definitely NOT light reading, then. (Because I’m pretty sure that bad boy was the 1200 to 1400-page unabridged version.)

Now, I must confess that my English teacher recovery suffered a slight relapse (eight years teaching-free!) as I immediately thought, Here’s my chance! Because there are only so many ways you can make an author memorable for your students. Honestly. You don’t even know.

Cat:  Oh! Cool!

I had her attention.

Cat: (excitedly) The one by dumb-ass, right?!

She looked up at me. She cracked a smile.

Mack:  MOM…

Cat: (very seriously) Of course, I meant to say “Dumas.”

Her smile widened. I would even go so far as to say… she grinned.

Woo! Success! Cat’s lame, somewhat puerile humor FTW (for the win)! Take THAT, high school English teacher.

Camping in the Shenandoahs

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