The Five!

1. To be honest, it feels a bit weird to be doing a Five today. This weekend, with the anniversary of 9/11, I’m definitely feeling more solemn and quiet, and I’m not sure blogging is appropriate. Or WHAT is appropriate, actually. I just can’t believe it’s been ten years. It really doesn’t feel that long, but at the same time it feels like longer. Does that make sense? I know it doesn’t. I DO know that my cousin Eric, who was a baby when I went and held him that day for comfort, is now 11 and almost as tall as I am. I know I didn’t have a child, didn’t even know if I wanted one. So much has changed. And maybe, that is the best way to mark the occasion. With remembering and looking ahead. And, if you need to, holding someone close, whether it’s a baby or your parents or your friends. Whatever works is what is right. Right?

2. This weekend, we have been entrusted with the care of the official (stuffed) pets of my daughter’s preschool class. They are two monkeys named George and Georgette, wearing knitted sweaters, and come with a little book we can fill with details and pictures of their adventures with us. My daughter, who is not EXACTLY the biggest fan of school (sigh) announced to the teacher, when we were told this, that “I have enough stuffed animals!” Which is something I say to her a lot, but she has never before believed for even one second. She is four, and has no filter. She says what is on her mind, feelings of others be damned. Meanwhile, I stand by, red-faced, cringing, apologizing. How do you explain empathy to a preschooler? I am doing my best. But meanwhile, I have George and Georgette and need to make it look like we showed them the Best Weekend Ever. I have already taken pictures of them in the red wagon and on my husband’s race car. I think a group shot with the chickens is next. Then I have to document in their book and send it back. Nobody told me about this part of parenting. God, the pressure! I can only hope the monkeys will NOT tell everyone else they go home with about how we sometimes have cookies at breakfast. And watch too much Nick Jr. Oh, give me strength….

3. Speaking of Nick Jr., here’s a sign you’re watching too much of it: you start thinking in-depth about the characters. Worse, you begin to ask questions like, “How can Toot and Puddle be so well-traveled when neither of them has jobs? And can a pig really GET a passport?” The whole lack of an economy aspect is widespread in my daughter’s shows. The Fresh Beat Band, for instance. Okay, they are a band, and in school. But do they really make enough to pay for that apartment? And what about Max and Ruby’s house? Someone is giving them money to ride the bus and buy Dragon Shirts, as well as keep the lights on and provide food for all those Bunny Scout get togethers. But WHO? I know, I know. I am not supposed to wonder about these things. But what else am I supposed to do at 6:15 am?

4. Meanwhile, on the reading front, I’m almost done with Tom Perrotta’s newest, THE LEFTOVERS. It’s so good that I am pacing myself through the last few chapters because I don’t want it to end. On audio, I just finished listening to THE GOOD SOLDIERS by David Finkel, an in-depth account of an Army regiment’s deployment in Iraq. Very hard to listen to at times, but gave me SUCH an appreciation for the troops and what they go through. Now, I am moving on to listening to Chaz Bono’s memoir about his experience becoming transgender. It’s like audio whiplash, going from one subject matter to another very different one, but that is how I roll. Or listen. Or whatever.

5. Finally, I’ve been getting a lot of questions via this blog and Twitter lately about whether any of my books are being made into movies. The answer is, um, no. Not right now, anyway. In fact, I don’t even have a film or TV agent these days, which is sort of pathetic, but whatever. I have been TOLD the lack of interest all around is because my books don’t have a “hook.” Which might mean zombies or vampires, I don’t know. I learned way back when that really what gets movies made is interest from a producer who really “gets” your work and wants to share it with a bigger audience. I was lucky to have that from the man who made How to Deal (the movie based on my first two books) and hopefully it will happen again. You just never know. But in the meantime, I will just stick to what I know (or sort of know) which is writing. If I ever DO have movie or TV news, though, you’ll be the first to know. Promise!

Have a good weekend, everyone!