Thursday, January 27, 2011

From Snowstorms to 21st Century Technology

This is going to be one of those random tangent-type of posts, so roll with me on this one.

Yesterday brought the first real major snowstorm into the Baltimore/DC/Northern Virginia area. My immediate area was hit with about 5 inches of snow, but Baltimore got close to double that. Areas further north than that, namely New York City, got well over a foot of snow. It wasn't quite as bad as last year's apocalyptic blizzard, but then anything would have been better than that.

Most offices in my area were letting their employees go early due to the storm, but I was stuck at work till after 5:00 wrapping up an important invoice that needed to get out the door. I figured it wasn't a big deal for me since I only live about 10 minutes from my office, and it doesn't even involve highway driving at all. I had expected my drive might be a bit longer due to the storm, but any delay wouldn't be that major.

Famous last words.

A normally 10-minute drive home ended up taking nearly three hours to get home. Two of my coworkers were stuck on the road for nearly eight hours to get home (and frankly I don't know how they survived the drive, considering I was going crazy in my ride home). Sure, I had plenty of music to listen to in order to keep myself entertained, but sitting still in traffic overtook any distraction music had provided.

I made a couple calls to friends and family members to let them know where I was and that I was safe. Then I did what many of my friends and coworkers also did to entertain ourselves while stuck in traffic: I updated my status on Facebook about it.

One of my friends had a really interesting insight about my status. He said nowadays we can all share our frustrations and find comfort in each other's similar situations by sharing on social networking sites. That comment got me thinking over how things have changed in the last 10 years or so. Instead of calling or texting any one person at a time, updating a status on Facebook communicates with a number of friends all at once. And they can share right back at the same time. There's an element of comfort knowing that many friends of mine were stuck in traffic jams just as bad, if not worse, than mine.

Every now and then I've thought about what it'd be like to "disconnect" myself for a day or two. When I went to the beach last summer for my birthday, I had thought about flat out leaving my cell phone at home and be completely unplugged for a couple days. I ultimately chose not to do it, but I think it'd be a healthy idea.

Hey, this could even turn into another thing for my list: Be completely unplugged for a weekend.

Yes, let's do that.

(I told you it'd be a bit of a random tangent, but I think it made me at least.)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Out With the Old, In With the New

Has it really been a full year since I started this blog? What the hell happened to 2010 anyways? I mean, it was just a couple weeks ago that I went to see Third Eye Blind at the DC Downtown Countdown for New Year's Eve....wasn't it?

It's pretty commonplace to talk about the best memories and events of the previous year, and I'd have to say the best moment for me last year was finding out I'd be an uncle. I've got about six weeks to go before my niece is born, and I'm getting more and more antsy as the date gets closer. As far as I know, my sister still hasn't fully settled on a name and probably won't until the baby is born. I can't really blame her since she's likely avoiding a lot of other people, including myself, chiming in with opinions on the choice of a name, whether it's solicited or not.

I've also decided on my big resolution for 2011. One of my best friends started the P90X workout regimen recently and raved about it. He said he'd get me the DVDs for my own use as well so I can take the challenge. I'm really excited about it since I've been curious to give it a shot, and I could certainly stand to get in better physical shape. Plus, with my sister's wedding coming up in September, I have a goal to lose some weight between now and then since I'll be overseeing the wedding.

I'll close with this time honored line that I've heard several times in the last couple days: May the best of your past be the worst of your future. Here's to 2011. Raise your glasses and make a toast to another new beginning.