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The other day I happened to have on America’s Funniest Home Videos, which I rarely watch. My son sat next to me on the couch, constantly asking, “What happened? What happened, Mommy?”

There are only so many times I can answer, “He fell down, honey.”

America's Funniest Home Videos

America’s Funniest Home Videos

There was a time when I thought that America’s Funniest Home Videos wold run out of material.

Wait, listen to me before you judge. It was a past century, a very different time.

When the show debuted in 1989, the viewing audience sent in their videotaped bloopers. At that time, not every household could even afford a video camera. And not everyone who owned one captured something funny enough for the show. Then, in a cash grab, people went through their old 8mm film looking for comedy gold.

But, at some point, I figured people would run out accidents from the past to send in. And there was no way recent footage could keep up with the demand to keep the show on the air, right?

I didn’t foresee the birth of the smart phone. (If I had, I would be sitting here naked in a pile of money right now.) People overnight were able to capture absolutely every single second of their lives in a file of moving pictures. I mean, look at the tragedy of 9/11/2001. BOTH planes crashing into the World Trade Center were caught on tape.

Falling down has gone from being shot on film to recorded on video tape to saved in a file. No more worrying about that pesky trip to the post office to ship your bulky old black plastic VHS to California. Now you can just email the footage for free. The evolution of earning money for clumsiness in the last three decades is staggering.


Speaking of AFV, I have always wondered why the audience dresses up in suits and fancy dresses. Am I the only one that thinks that is bizarre? It is a show a show where people obtain groin injuries for others’ entertainment. Are the audience members planning to dine at a hoity-toity restaurant after? AFV is always promoting Disney. Couldn’t they just have some tourists from Disneyland file into the studio wearing their shorts and Hawaiian shirts and ball caps? (Confession: I have never been to a Disney theme park, but that is what I imagine the people all wear.)

Please check out my updated EVENTS page, as I have just added a few new ones for this year.

And speaking of events, I have a NEW CONTEST running where you can win a pair of passes to the GREAT LAKES BOOK BASH October 10th in Kalamazoo, MI. Winner provides own transportation and/or lodging. See contest for complete rules. Contest ends September 15, 2015.

Remembering 9/11

In 2001, I was a gal with her own apartment, and a live-in boyfriend and his pet African Pygmy Hedgehog. (Don’t judge us, we were poor. And he claimed he was too young to get married…at 23 years old.) I worked at my job that was a 40 minute commute one way. I had been there for 2 years and didn’t like it much. (I told myself if I was there past 5 years, I would kill myself. I was there for 12 years…until they went bankrupt and out of business.)

11 years ago, to the same time of day, I was sitting in my cubicle, just settling in for a day of work. In an office you pretend to not hear everyone else around you, although you can totally hear everyone else around you. People started to talk about a plane crash. Now, I drove past the small Ann Arbor Municipal Airport every day on my way to work. I had just been past it not 10 minutes earlier. I didn’t see any plane crash, I thought to myself.

Then my curly-haired friend came over and told me that two airplanes had crashed into the World Trade Center.

“Is that in Chicago?” I asked. She replied they were in New York.

I went with her back to her cubicle because her computer had the Internet. (In my peon job, I was not trusted with the Internet until 2003.) A guy who was a military reservist at the time said that there had been a crash at the Pentagon as well. There were rumors of another plane that was headed for the Capitol, but had crashed before it reached its destination.

It seemed sort of exciting. Sort of drove me nuts that there was no TV to get any news from in the building. I went back to my desk to work. Then my boss and his boss came over and told me that if I felt uncomfortable with staying at work, I could go home.

“Hells ya!” Well, I didn’t say that, but that is how I felt. Like a child who had been told school would get out early because a devastating snow storm was on its way.

I tried to call my boyfriend on my cell phone on my way home. No service. Too many people calling each other.

When I got home, my boyfriend was of course asleep, being a 2nd shifter, and oblivious to the world events being broadcast on national television.

“Hey Honey. They let me out of work early because two airplanes hit the World Trade Center. Did you know that was in New York City? We have time before you go to work to go to Toledo. Let’s go to the pet store and pick me out a hamster. Wake up, let’s go.”

He looked at me bewildered and turned on the TV. He continued to watch television until he went to work. I didn’t get to go pick out my hamster until Saturday:(

This post may make it sound like I didn’t care about the September 11th attacks. I watched the television obsessively just like everyone else. After about two weeks of coverage, I got sort of depressed, like everyone else. Like everyone else, I moved on.

Live everyone else, when the eastern part of the country had a giant blackout in August of 2003, I assumed it was terrorist activity. It was not. But it did inconvenience us and our guests a little for our wedding rehearsal.

Bunke Lynn Elizabeth

I did get a hamster. She was orange and I named her Bunke. Did you know Golden Hamsters have a gestation period of 16 days? 14 days after I got my hamster, she had 8 babies. Just so you know, if I had gotten her on 9/11, I wouldn’t have had to find homes for 8 hamsters. (Becoming a grandmother can be really stressful.)

And there you have it. What I remember from the September 11, 2001 attacks. Remember, this blog is about my mildly entertaining random thoughts. If you want a history lesson, you will have to visit Wikipedia.

I’m not stalking you. is NOW ON FACEBOOK! “Like” that I’m not stalking you and get an update when there is a new post to read. (It is sort of like YOU are stalking ME.)

So Long, Borders

I didn’t think I would need to write a farewell to my former employer, Borders Group Inc. But I somehow feel compelled to.

I was never much of a Borders shopper, having only been in one store once before I was hired at the Corporate Office in 1999. And it if hadn’t been for a college field trip gone awry, I wouldn’t have ever heard of Borders at all. (Ya, that is one of my pet peeves throughout the years. Borders just assumed everyone had heard of them. If you didn’t have a Borders store in your town, then you really never knew they existed. Seriously.) I only became a Borders shopper because I got an employee discount, which made me buy a ton of books I have never read because, wait for it, I AM NOT A READER. If I find a series (hello, Fearless & Twilight) or a single book that I really like, I will read it. But I grew up on television, and that is really my chosen medium of entertainment.

So, that finds this post as mostly a farewell to the Borders Corporate Office (and yes, I still call it that–screw you Store Support Center:P). I liked that it was a place where you could come in as late as you wanted, as long as you were there by 9am, and leave as early as you wanted, as long as it was after 4pm. I loved that they let people with unnatural hair colors wander the hallways as if they were no different at all. I liked that we had diversity activities where we made necklaces & bracelets of all different colored beads. One year we made mosaic drink coasters. I still have mine. I will hold on to them as souvenirs of my time at Borders. It is very sad that no company now has the extra time or money for such morale-boosting employee participation events.

I will miss the musical performers who used to stop by. In better times, we would have many of these a year, and most of them open to the full company. I met Jason Mraz twice. I saw Joss Stone perform. Met Ricky Scaggs and Rosanne Cash. I saw Cheap Trick perform in the cafeteria (not a very glamorous locale). I was in the lunch line in the cafeteria behind Phantom Planet…about 2 years before their song was probably used as the theme for one of my favorite TV shows, The O.C. I got to meet (& hug) NEW KID ON THE BLOCK Joey McIntyre! I saw Loretta Lynn getting off her tour bus and walking inside in her pink ruffled dress. I saw Robin Thicke perform–which as I figure it, gets me three degrees away from Matthew Perry! (Swoon) I walked past the conference room where Kevin Bacon was performing with The Bacon Brothers (would that get me one degree from Kevin Bacon?)

It was more than just musicians too. Suzy Orman came in & talked to us about one of her new books. I sat in the back of the room–she has a very bold, loud, scary personality! On one of my daily walks outside, I passed an old guy in a very expensive suit–only to realize it was Lee Iacocoa.

I worked at Borders when 9/11 happened. They came and said that we could go home if we felt uncomfortable staying. I went home just because I wanted a day off, but I got paid for it, which was really awesome. Borders lost a store at the World Trade Center site. It was store 142, I think in tower 12. Everyone got out, which is great. Borders turned a giant area of cubes at the corporate office into a giant conference room and named it conference room 142, in honor of the lost store. Too bad that should have been a sign to all of us that we had less employees every year if we could sacrifice that many cubicles for a conference room.

I do want to forget the girl in the cafeteria who always miscounted my change and thought I was a lesbian. And all the times I was reorganized into a new department or boss or position. And all the hours of my short little life sucked up by my terribly long commute. But I do not want to forget all the wonderful friends I made while I worked there. I hope to stay in touch with many of them as we find new wonderful, better-paying jobs (positive thinking people!).

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