The Friday Five!

1. I’m hesitant to even do this blog today, as it seems wrong in the face of the tragic events that happened this week in Haiti. Watching the news last night, I was just shattered: so much loss, so much pain and suffering. I thought what Meg Cabot wrote about why things like this have to happen, and how it makes us question things, was really right on. Sometimes, you can’t ask why, because there is no answer. You can only DO. And in this case, if you want to do, you can give. Donate to the American Red Cross here or, even easier, text HAITI to 90999 and ten dollars will be added to your cell phone bill. If you can’t give money—and I know times are tough—you can give your good thoughts and prayers. They’re free and needed a lot as well.

2. Yesterday, I finally went and got an H1N1 flu shot. I think this is kind of like rocking my Uggs years after everyone else starting wearing them: I am all about catching a trend on the downside. I know a few people who have gotten H1N1, though, and it does NOT sound like fun, even if it is not all over the the news the way it was a few months back. So I went to a CVS minute clinic, where a nurse with a cold (?) gave me the shot. My arm still hurts, but at least I’m that much less likely to get felled during flu season, which is apparently still ongoing. Even so, I will continue to hit the Purell hard. Stay away, germs!

3. Also this week, I was asked to speak at a local high school’s commencement in June. This is a great honor, and I was really flattered to be chosen. Also, terrified. I mean, speaking at a graduation? ME? I was not the best student in high school, kind of a mess really, certainly not anyone who should be speaking to bright, smart accomplished people on such an important day. My first instinct, truly, was to run screaming in the other direction because I was so scared about what I would say and whether I belonged up there. But the ceremony is the day before my 40th (!) birthday, which is a time you can’t help but take stock about your life. So maybe it will be a good thing, revisiting high school graduation then. Get some closure, or something. If I don’t have a panic attack. Stay tuned.

4. In other news, I made it through the first week of American Idol without caving and watching. I’m proud of this because Idol is one of those things that once you are in, you’re in. It’s all or nothing, and such a total time suck it’s ridiculous. I don’t know, though, that I’ll be able to resist once Ellen Degeneres comes aboard during Hollywood Week. I love Ellen and am really wondering how she’ll gell with everyone else on the panel. But I am going to do my best to resist. It’s bad enough I’m watching Jersey Shore. I mean, I have to draw the line somewhere.

5. Finally, several readers have let me know that Along for the Ride won the Goodreads Choice Award in the Young Adult category, which is very exciting. I’m thankful to everyone who voted for it, and am flattered to be in such good company. The Help won for best fiction novel, and Columbine for best nonfiction, and the crazy thing is that I actually READ both of those books in the past year. Since having my daughter my reading time has been reduced a bit, so I’m a lot slower getting through books than I used to be. But I am reading, any way I can. Right now, I’m savoring Anne Tyler’s latest, Noah’s Compass, and listening to Kerry Cohen’s memoir, Loose Girl, on my iPod when I work out. On deck is Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby, and I really want to listen to Mary Karr’s latest, Lit. My audio book habit has been reduced a bit, though, by the fact that my daughter is no longer happy to let me play DJ in the car. If she’s with me, she wants HER music. Which means a lot of Laurie Berkner, Elmo, and other children’s songs, on repeat. It’s a big change from all the dysfunctional memoirs I had us listening to, but maybe not necessarily a bad one. As much as I like Loose Girl, I’m not sure it’s good material for a toddler. “She’ll be Coming Round the Mountain” is probably the better choice. Even if it does make me kind of nuts by the twentieth time, or so.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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