This weekend we had an ice storm here, which launched us yet again into the winter weather cycle. First, there’s the forecast, with the news people in total excitement mode: it’s going to snow! No, sleet! No, ice! Oh, we don’t know! But it will do something! This then sets off the mass hysteria of everyone going to the grocery store, which is followed by the hunkering down and waiting for said weather to arrive, at which point it becomes clear the prediction is much more dire than the actuality (i.e. some freezing rain, ice on the trees, roads are fine.) By then, though, it’s too late to make plans so you end up staying in anyway. And repeat next weekend.

Because of this, I ended up watching a LOT of TV this weekend. I had tons of my shows on Tivo and it seemed like a good time to get caught up. So I watched the new Ashlee Simpson and Nick and Jessica shows, a few Starting Overs, and the Surreal Life. What really got me, though, was a show my friend Courtney suggested I watch: My Super Sweet Sixteen , on MTV. This REALLY disturbed me. If you haven’t seen it, it’s basically all about very rich people throwing very big parties for themselves, complete with tiaras, ball gowns, and family drama. The first one I watched was about a girl who was turning sixteen: the second was two friends who were having a “coming out,” party, whatever that means: they were over sixteen. Both of these events were so over the top I couldn’t even believe it. I mean, I can’t even remember what I did when I turned sixteen, other than go to the DMV to get my license. Suffice to say, there was no tiara, or ball gown, or seven hundred people and live band and Gucci shoes. Who ARE these people? Does anybody know? Is this normal now? If it is, I think I better get out of the YA novel writing business, because I seriously can’t relate. At all.

Maybe I’m just out of it. Out of touch? Old and crabby? It’s entirely possible. More proof: someone emailed me a link to a site that offers term papers, and there’s one for Someone Like You. I’m not going to link to it, because I teach and therefore believe people should write their own term papers (call me crazy! I only went to the DMV on my sixteenth birthday!) but this really kind of blew my mind. First, because the site says you can get a “custom non-plagiarized paper,” which seems sort of confusing. I mean, if you hand in someone else’s work, isn’t that plagarizing? It is in my book (so to speak). Then there was the paper itself, which was so packed with Big Impressive Words that my head was swimming. The last paragraph was so thickly written that I couldn’t even understand it, and I WROTE the book the paper was about! What does that mean? I’m not sure, but I will tell you this: I don’t teach classes that require term papers, but if I did and anyone handed this thing in as their own work, I would know it wasn’t in a heartbeat. Please!

Okay, okay enough ranting. Time for a big breath and a new attitude. It’s Monday, a whole new week, and the last day of the month. I’m going to go out and get myself a nice big coffee, and a fresh start. Who’s with me?

have a good day, everyone!