Saturday, August 15, 2009

Best Friends, Homeless Animals, Sandcastles and Relaxation

Each of today's observances really deserves it's own individual post, if you ask me. And Lord knows I could write an individual post about each one, too! Today's Wacky Holidays strike such a warm and fuzzy chord, after you get done reading this you just might faint from the positive vibes.
Best Friends Day
None of the other observances today get to me quite like this one. It's only appropo that I should blog about Best Friends the same year I reunite with my original partner-in-crime, Michelle Kuhn, now Michelle Reid.

Let me tell you about Michelle and I: we were inseparable from 3rd grade to 8th grade, kind of went our separate ways a little bit through high school, and after that it was touch and go through college/marriage years. We had a falling out almost a decade ago - that's how much time had passed before we began speaking to each other again earlier this year. It wasn't a big, knock-down, drag-out fight that began the silence; it was more me turning my back on her. She had just gotten married and was pregnant with her first child. I admit it; I was jealous. Discussions of where we wanted to wind up as adults consisted of me doing the domestic, raising-a-family thing, and Michelle running off child-free on some great adventure with someone she may, or may not, be married to.

Well, reality had other ideas and somehow we wound up living out the other one's plans! Which to me wasn't fair at the time. Since I couldn't share my feelings with her, I just stopped calling her.

Just to prove how great of a person she is, even after all this time has passed, even after doing that to her, burying the hatchet was no big deal and she was only too happy to start corresponding with me again! She now has two beautiful kids, still married to the same guy 10 years later. It's pretty funny to us now, looking back on how things worked out for both of us. Michelle will always be my bestest-best friend, and I am only too happy to devote time and space in my blog today to honor the friendship we had.

As if that weren't enough, I am also blessed to have developed a deep and lasting friendship with someone I've only known a couple of years: Jen Gillespie. Whereas Michelle was my childhood best friend, Jen is my grown-up best friend. We have a lot of the same tastes in things - we both love reading books, we're both health-conscious in a political way, we love cats, our careers span a decade or more in the broadcast television news industry. We both have our days where we just hate people, probably more a symptom of having worked in news production as long as we have. We both know what it's like to work in union shops with ancient, crotchety old directors who are overpaid and underworked. We also know what it's like to work with crotchety old directors who are the only ally you can find for miles in this business.

Jen and I don't agree on everything, but through our jobs we have found the kind of uncommon kinship that doesn't come along too often in life. For that I am especially grateful to have achieved this not once, but twice in my own lifetime. If friends are the blessings of life, my cup has truly been filled to overflowing.

Doing the internet research ... it seems Best Friends Day ALSO occurs on June 8! Hm. Well, since I missed out on the June 8 date, I'm offering my thoughts today instead. Take it or leave it.

Here is a really great essay on what "best friends" means to one journalist. In fact, it's so well-written it almost makes me want to substitute it for my entry today. Almost. Jenna Wolfe's take on Best Friends.

National Homeless Animals Day - another take on "best friends"
Shelters for homeless animals need only one thing more than extra space and supplies: money. The people who are unable to adopt for one reason or another can still help out. If you are one of those people, won't you please consider making a small donation to your local shelter? To supplement that or in lieu of a monetary donation, shelters also take donations of supplies like old blankets, towels, food bowls, and the like.
We recently featured on our newscasts a little girl not more than 12 years old, Kaleigh Lenartz, who celebrated her birthday a little differently than the average pre-teen. She asked her friends and family to buy food and supplies to donate to the local animal shelter in lieu of birthday presents for herself. It was downright humbling, and for this blogger, really got me thinking how I could do the same thing. Then I thought, what if everybody made a similar sacrifice? That would mean less heartbreaking stories on the news. Complete elimination of such heartbreak would be ideal of course, but cutting down on seeing those sad, lonely faces in our stories would be the next best thing.

Sandcastle & Sculpture Day

'Nuff said.

Although it should be noted that this observance primarily has it's roots in Nantucket, Massachusetts. Even still, what's not to love about sandcastles!

National Relaxation Day

How do you relax?
That might be my most favorite question in the world to ponder because there is NOTHING I love better than to kick back at the end of the day and ahhhh ... relax. Big, oversized t-shirt; baggy "house-only" pants; fuzzy pink slippers; warm, polar-fleece robe (yes, even in Florida - A/C gets cold down here!); and either a hot cup of tea or something sweet to eat. And something soft to sit on ... relaxation for me cannot come fast enough some days.

One article I just stumbled across proposes going even further: turning off the cell phone, and my favorite: signing off of Facebook! Another article suggests simply taking a nap or going outside to watch the clouds and daydream.

Sign me up.
If you are one of those people who has trouble relaxing, read this article for some tips on how to unwind.

Chauvin Day - Origin of "Chauvinism"

Ever wonder where the term "chauvinism" came from? I didn't, but in researching for today's Wacky Holiday post I found out. Today is also "Chauvin Day", named after one of Napoleon's soldiers, Nicolas Chauvin. According to the Nashua Telegraph he is described as the "ultimate fanboy": he idolized Napoleon, it turns out. Originally "chauvinism" meant "blindly zealous nationalism" but has evolved through the years to mean "biased devotion" to any group, cause or attitude, i.e. 'male chauvinism'.

So today we celebrate Nicolas Chauvin. It's not his fault that his name descended to such infamy. Here's hoping to restore some semblance of honor to his name again.


  1. I was researching Chauvin Day and came upon your blog - never knew the history behind the word "chauvinism" until I read this. Interesting! Thanks for posting!

  2. Hi Kim! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts here. There was so much more written about our buddy Nic Chauvin that I wanted to include, but obviously this post had gotten quite lengthy by the time I got up that subject. Oh well, glad you enjoyed it! Comments make my day. :)