The Friday Five!

1. Last night, I FINALLY finished The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I am so embarrassed how long it took me to read this book. My editor sent it to me back in early AUGUST and no, I am not kidding. Here it is mid October and I am finally finished. And it is not because it isn’t a great book, because it is. I am just so SLOW with reading right now. In my defense, it is about 500 pages. But I still think I am seriously lame. This is one reason I have given up blurbing entirely for a while: I just can’t give books the time they deserve, in a timely fashion. One of these days I’ll be able to sit down and read without falling asleep. I hope.

2. In other news, I made an error in judgement and now I am paying for it. I’ve been feeling so bad for my dogs—who used to be the center of the universe around here, until they were displaced by the baby—that I did something ALL dog owners know is a bad idea. I let them start sleeping on the couch in the evenings. Oh, man. So now, I have one of them on each side of me, and every time I lean forward or move slightly, one of them takes up the space I’ve made, until I basically am wedged between them, unable to move. This is the same thing they did on the bed and it took me YEARS to get them off of there. See what happens when you act out of guilt? Never a good idea.

3. I might be slow on reading, but I am plowing through audio books. I just finished the unabridged edition of Heavier Than Heaven, a biography of Kurt Cobain by Charles R. Cross. It was incredibly engrossing, but man, so depressing. Driving around listening to this intricate description of Cobain’s last days and suicide on dark and dreary rainy days like we have had recently…well, I wouldn’t recommend it. It will just made you so freaking sad. Still, it was a great book and I’m definitely more interested in exploring Nirvana’s music now, beyond the more popular songs I’ve heard of. Although that might make me even sadder. Hope not.

4. This cooler weather has, as I mentioned early this week, gotten me inspired to cook a bit more. My crockpot chili was very good, and I am thinking I will attempt a brisket this weekend. Also a big milestone—don’t laugh—I finally prepared chicken in a skillet. I know, I know. But let me just say that my brother taught me how to cook chicken, when he was macrobiotic, which means he ate no meat or dairy. So he stood FAR back and directed me on how to prepare chicken. As he did so, though, he kept telling me how you had to be VERY CAREFUL with chicken because if you prepared it wrong people could GET SICK or POSSIBLY DIE. (Capitals mine, for emphasis, but I swear that’s how he sounded.) So I have always baked my chicken to the point of drying out completely to make sure it is done. And skillet cooking always seemed more risky to me. I mean, how do you REALLY know it’s done if it’s not been in a hot oven with a meat thermometer? But on our recent beach trip, my cousin Lucy made this amazing Italian chicken and inspired me to try it as well when I got home. And you know what? It was GOOD. And nobody got sick or died, which is always nice. See, you CAN try new things as you get older. And sometimes, they even work out.

5. I know I’ve talked here entirely too much about The Office wedding lately, but again, the weather has been really kind of dreary here, so you do what you have to do to cheer yourself up. For me, it’s watching this clip. It’s like a little burst of sunshine. (Corny, but true.) I don’t know what the weather is like where you are, but if you need a lift… you go.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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