The Friday Five!

1. I’m writing this as I sit waiting for AT&T tech support to come see about my super slow internet. It’s one of those problems that is occurring JUST enough to be super annoying but not enough that I am not sure it’s all in my head. Or, alternately, a sign from the universe at large that I need to get my butt off of Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest and get back to work. Either way, I’m waiting. *drums fingers*

2. Big week here in the The Hill as both Jimmy Fallon and President Obama were here on Tuesday. I was hearing all kinds of celeb sightings: the Roots showed up at open mic at a local bar, my babysitter saw Dave Matthews (Fallon’s musical guest) walking in Carrboro. I, of course, saw no one, even though I was all over town all week. This is typical. It’s the reason why, when I go to New York or LA, I never see ANY famous people even though I am always looking super hard. I mean, Susane Colasanti has David Duchovny basically hanging outside her front door, and what do I have? A deer with a limp and some low swooping hawks. Oh, well. I do have to say that it made me SUPER happy and proud to see my hometown and alma mater (as well as the place I taught myself for years) get such national attention. My Tarheel pride was strong!

I love that Jimmy wore a Carolina sweatshirt. LOVED IT.

3. Speaking of UNC, the university and scores of former students had a great loss this week when Doris Betts, esteemed Southern Writer and longtime Creative Writing professor, passed away. Doris was the first writing teacher I had at UNC, and the last, and I will be forever grateful I was able to learn from her. She was smart and funny and did not suffer bad writing or fools gladly, or ever. She would cover your manuscripts in comments and edits, the harshest comments made a bit better by her gorgeous handwriting and the fact that she always used a real fountain pen (although those comments still stung, don’t get me wrong: if you didn’t cry once in Doris’ Honors class, you weren’t working hard enough). She once called a detail in one of my stories “inspired” and I never forgot it, still treasure it all these years later. In life, you are lucky to have any teachers that make you feel like you can do what even you at times feel might be impossible. Like, say, write for a living. Doris was but one of mine, and I’m so grateful. I will miss her a lot.

4. Earlier this week, we met with some interior decorators who are going to help us make our house look, well…better. Which is a challenge, because my husband and I have SUCH different tastes. We argued so much about a couch that it almost ended our relationship. Our friend Sally, who was selling it to us, finally threw up her hands and said, “Guys! This is supposed to be FUN!” In truth, the couch is great and we love it. So I am hopeful that with a little expert guidance we can clean up our clutter, find a place for the vast amount of Princess stuff so I can stop tripping over it every time I take a step, and bring together all the crazy elements of our stuff so they, you know, work. I was nervous about having these women over, because I thought they’d come in and say, “WHOA,” just based on all the stuff we have (fish made of surfboards, bottlecap Folk Art, family portraits, and modern stuff from our fabulous painter neighbor, among other things.) Instead, they walked in, looked around, and immediately had, like, TEN fabulous ideas, some of which just involved moving some furniture around. I mean, check out our playroom before:

and after:

And that’s just moving some stuff and putting things away! Imagine what will happen when they actually start ADDING things. I can’t wait.

5.Finally, a book recommendation. I just started listening to Rachel Dratch’s GIRL WALKS INTO A BAR on audio, and it is SO good. Regular readers know I love a good celeb bio, but the best are 1) read by the writer and 2) really convey their personality so well that you want to be their BFF, if you didn’t already. Done and done. I always loved Rachel Dratch on SNL and 30 Rock, but hearing the inside dish about it all makes it even more fun. I was fangirling so hard I tweeted her (she’s @TheRealDratch) and she tweeted me back. OH MY GOD! I might not see celebs in person, you know, ever, but because of Twitter I still get to be starstruck. Hooray for that!

Have a good weekend, everyone!