The Friday Five!

1. Right now, it feels like spring here. You can always tell when people are really READY for warm weather, because the minute the temperature rises above fifty everyone immediately begins to act like it’s summer. Watch: it’s supposed to be in the upper 70’s today (!) and I am betting MONEY that my babysitter will show up in shorts and flip flops. College students are the first to jump on a warming trend, or so I learned when I was teaching at UNC. I had people in my classes that wore flip-flops all the way into winter. Their feet would look like they were on the verge of frostbite, but no matter. I never felt older than when I heard myself saying things like, “PLEASE put on some socks and real shoes! It’s winter! You don’t wear flip-flops in the winter!” Actually, the only thing that made me feel older was pushing a baby stroller on campus. It’s like you’re riding an elephant: people just don’t know WHAT to make of it. Maybe if I pushed my stroller IN flip flops, IN a snowstorm, that would balance things out? But why would I do THAT?

2. It looks like we’re getting chickens. I say “looks like” because even though the coop is finished and my husband has already decided what breeds he wants, I am still in a state of livestock denial. I know, I know. I’m a total party pooper. The toddler is SO excited, we’ll have fresh eggs, it’s all good. But we also already have this insanely chaotic household. Now we’re adding barnyard animals as well? This is a great thing about my husband, though. He pushes me out of my comfort zone, which is famously narrow, and forces me to try things I wouldn’t otherwise. Like sushi (which I now love) and camping (not so much) and now, apparently…chickens. Okay, I’ll accept it. But I am going to ignore the fact that he’s also making noises about goats. Because that, my friends, is just crazy.

3. Friday Night Lights may be over (SNIFFLE!) but at least the cast, like my heart, will go on. (Sorry, couldn’t resist a Titanic reference there.) Case in point: this week it was announced that Adrienne Palicki, who played Tyra on FNL, is the new TV Wonder Woman. YES!! And a friend told me that Connie Britton has deal with a network for HER own show, plus Minka Kelly is on the Charlie’s Angels reboot. I can already see what will happen here. I will have to start watching, like, ten shows just to see the people I love, rather than just one. But this is a sacrifice I will make. Because the alternative is someone from a show I love just disappearing, which I fear is what happened to the guy who played Logan on Veronica Mars. Where IS he now? I think I need to do an IMDB search…

4. My husband may be obsessing over livestock, but I have my own weaknesses. It’s…my dollhouse. I mean, my daughter’s dollhouse. (Ahem. But it DID used to be mine!) I have to say that I am not much of a hobby person, other than shopping and TV and sleeping. But as soon as we pulled this dollhouse back out—which I adored back when I was a kid, and created this whole little world within it—I found myself a bit TOO interested in looking for furnishings and other little things. It was all under the guise that the TODDLER needed these things. I mean, of course she wants a fishpond for the dollhouse! And a bubblegum machine! And a plate of tiny little deviled eggs (Okay, so that last one was me.) The sticky part of all this was that the last time I was so into this, I was about ten and had no income. Now I am forty and can actually spend a bit of money on it, which is…DANGEROUS. I have to keep repeating to myself: This is not my dollhouse. I have a novel to write and another to promote. I am not someone who has real hobbies! But…those deviled eggs are AWFULLY cute. I’m just saying.

5. Finally, on a more serious note, I was so, so sad to hear about Borders filing for bankruptcy this week. They’re closing a lot of stores, including my local one, and I feel so badly for all the great folks who work there. I also have been lucky to meet a lot of people from Borders corporate over the years—they did a great book club event for Along for the Ride a couple of years back—and I worry for them as well. The bottom line is, the book business is really changing right now. Even me, who LOVES the feel of an Actual Book in her hands, have been reading Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom both in book form AND on my iPad, and I have to admit, it’s nice to always have it with me, wherever I go. But I was raised by a lover of bookstores, and there is no online substitute for being able to just wander the aisles, sliding books out and looking them over. We need that, and so I hope that the rise in e-readers and e-books doesn’t mean we won’t have them anymore. And if YOUR local Borders is closing, I hope you’ll take your business to another local store, maybe even an independent, that could probably really use your business right now. For us Chapel Hill folks, that’s Flyleaf Books, or McIntyre’s in PIttsboro, or The Bull’s Head down on campus. Just so you know….

Have a good weekend, everyone!