The Friday Five!

1. I’m writing this from the Admiral’s Club at RDU, waiting for my flight to Texas for the Austin Teen Book Festival. It’s my first time going, and I’ve heard great things. NOT my first time in Austin, but you can NEVER go there enough, in my opinion. I’ve basically been planning what I am going to eat in the next 48 hours since, well, I got word I was going to ATBF. I’m thinking definitely barbecue. And Tex-Mex. And queso, possibly pounds of it. God, it’s only 10am and I am STARVING. This is what Texas does to me. And I’m not even there yet! If you’re going to the Festival, I’m doing a panel called I MADE YOU A MIXTAPE from 10:15-11am, then the lunch panel with Rob Thomas (moderated by Lauren Myracle!) from 12:15-12:45, followed by another Mixtape panel from 3:15-4pm, then signing from 4:50-5:30. WHEW! I got tired just reading that. It’s a good thing I’m going to be power-loading with all that queso and barbecue. It’s necessary. For full details on the Festival, go here. It’s going to be a BLAST.

2. Going out of town is always kind of hectic, but for some reason, this week has been NUTS. It was one those when I felt like I was racing the clock every single moment of each day, from when I dragged myself out of bed in the morning to when I fell BACK into bed, exhausted, usually at 10pm or earlier. If J. Alfred Prufrock measured his life out in coffee spoons (English major alert!) then mine is breaking down into errands, trips to the grocery store, and interviewing babysitters. Oh, and, you know, trying to get my kid out the door to school on time with her socks and shoes on the right feet, and dealing with two crazy dogs AND, yes, writing, which I feel like has slid so far down the priority list it’s shameful. I don’t know how people with more than one kid and full time jobs do it. I am barely keeping my head above water and I have work flexibility and help. I had a moment this week when I just HAD to go and organize my closet, immediately, because the rest of my life felt so completely out of control. Does filling a bag with stuff for the thrift store and sorting my clothes by type and color fix everything? Well, no. But it does help, in some weird way. My life is a mess. But my closet is GORGEOUS. So there’s that.

3. One great thing that happened this week is that new seasons of some of my favorite shows began. FINALLY! I was especially excited for Modern Family, which I LOVE (even in reruns, if I’m honest) as well as New Girl and Parks and Rec. These are the ones my husband will watch with me. They are Shared Shows, as are anything with Gordon Ramsay or involving Top Chef or Masters. Then there are My Shows, such as Nashville and Grey’s Anatomy. He is NOT down with those, which is why I have downloaded both premieres to my iPad for this trip. The other categories are My Guilty Pleasure Shows, which include every incarnation of the Real Housewives and various other Bravo gems. I know, it’s a lot of categories. I’m like Monica from Friends with her levels of towels. (Fancy, Guest, Fancy Guest, etc.) Usually my Guilty Pleasure Shows are reserved for when I am on the treadmill or elliptical: that’s the penance. But I have been known to download them for airplane viewing, even if it means risking judging looks from my seatmates. I should probably just own my Housewives fixation, the way I do my GMA one. Everyone has something, right? But for some reason, it just feels…wrong. Maybe there’s a confession I can go to? With Andy Cohen instead of a priest? I’ll look into it.

4. Now I am writing from the Atlanta airport, during my layover to Austin. I am also sitting on the floor, because it was the only way I could access a working outlet. (Don’t tell my husband, the germaphobe: he’d FREAK. Sorry, honey!) The things I do for this blog. During the flight from RDU to here I managed to wrangle an upgrade using my miles (thank you, shopping habit!) and I have to say we had the NICEST and BEST flight attendant ever. You know when you meet someone who clearly just REALLY likes their job? That was her. I see it every once in awhile, when someone just enjoys what they do. It makes you realize how many people don’t, which is kind of depressing. She was all smiles, joking with people and kids as they came on. She told me she loved my purse. She thanked everyone for flying Delta when they got on AND got off. It made me want to leave her a big tip, but I think in the flight attendant business that’s an insult. It’s got me thinking about how I act about MY gig. I do love it, but do I show it? Would anyone want to tip me? I’m going to make a point to smile more, starting this weekend. (Edit: after I finished this blog and got UP off the floor, I saw there were outlets mounted by all the seats, so you could avoid having to do what I just did. I am such a loser, I swear.)

5. Finally, a word about tofu. Yes, you read that right. All of my life I have endeavored to be a person that likes tofu. My brother used to fix it for me, and I liked it, but I never cooked it myself nor had any inclination to. This summer, though, my cousin Lucy introduced us to a cookbook called THE SPROUTED KITCHEN and a particular recipe for Asian Tofu Tacos. We made them with Lucy while we were in Cape Cod and they were GREAT, so we got the recipe and did it again here. I was so happy with the results that I not only made another tofu recipe this week (broiled!) but also ordered it at a new Korean build-your-own-bowl place in Chapel Hill called Mixed. It took me until I was 43, but I GET TOFU now. And this is without giving up meat or chicken or anything else. It’s just another, low-fat healthy option and after YEARS of trying to come up with new stuff to cook, I have to say I am grateful. My brother was onto something, way back in 1989! I feel like between this and yoga I don’t even recognize myself anymore. I’m like our hippie neighbors, circa 1975: all I need is a Tulip Table and some bean sprouts. Maybe this is what happens when you get older? Is a soybean fixation just part of it, like the gray hairs I am now finding poking STRAIGHT UP from my head on a daily basis? Oh, dear God, I hope not. I think I may be…overthinking it. But still: yum.

Have a great weekend, everyone!