Friday Five

1. I’m in love. Is it wrong to love an appliance? Here is the Keurig coffee maker I got for Christmas, ready to brew my favorite flavor – Golden French Toast. (Limited edition, I’m afraid.) We’re so right for each other. Whenever I need a pick me up, Keurig is there for me. Whenever I need some warm comfort, Keurig is there for me. We’ll be together forever, you and me against the world, Keurig.

2. When I left you last week, I was headed for the doctor to look at my Quasimodo Eye and make sure I wasn’t about to lapse into a coma. The good news is that I don’t have strep, bronchitis or any other -itis, for that matter. She proclaimed it a “really, really bad cold.” The bad news is we still don’t have a cure for a “really, really bad cold.” So she patted me on the head and sent me on my way. On the one hand, I’m glad she didn’t write a prescription for the hell of it, but strangely I felt a little disappointed that my only instructions were to gargle with salt water. Something, by the way, my grandfather used to tell me to do when I had a cold as a kid, and something I never did. I always thought it was one of those old wives’ tales. Since it’s been three weeks, and I’m starting to feel like I might not get another full night’s sleep, I’m opening the floor to suggestions. What’s your favorite remedy? (Please don’t say a shot of whiskey. I’ve already tried that.) Any old world solutions you can recommend?

3. One thing that has made me feel good lately are the articles I’ve been writing for the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary website. I post mainly for the kids section which ranges from age 5 – 17 and parents/teachers. Sometimes the articles are informative like book reviews or Q&As (What is FIV?) and sometimes they are reports of what kids are doing to help animals. It turns out that I love doing the interviews for these reports.  I get to talk to people around the country and be inspired by their generosity, passion and energy. This week, I spoke with a woman in Portland, Ore., who rescues dogs from the euthanasia list at local shelters and partners them with incarcerated young men in a correctional facility. The youth train and care for the dogs until they pass the Canine Good Citizen test and then help the dogs get adopted. She’s saved almost 500 dogs over the years and is proud to say that none of the young men have reoffended after they’ve been sprung. I told the woman that I’d only need about 15 minutes, but we talked for almost 45.

Back in the day, when I thought I’d be a journalist, I always dreaded interviews to the point of nausea. I liked the research and writing, but the thought of putting strangers on the spot and grilling them made me so uncomfortable. Once when I was working for the school paper, I had to talk to a student who was involved in a drunk driving accident. It was supposed to be a “don’t be this guy” article. The look on his face was dreadful. He’d have killed me with his eyes, if he could, and he grunted his answers. Maybe that article helped someone, I don’t know, but what I do know is that I decided I was not cut out to be a journalist. (Instead I majored in the lucrative career of English.) I was not going to stick a microphone into someone’s face after their house burned down or hide behind garbage cans to pounce while a guy was walking to his car.

But the kind of interviewing I’m doing for Best Friends is immensely gratifying. This is the kind of reporter I wouldn’t mind being.

4. I found out this week that I was approved for a raise at work. Hooray! It’s not much at all. After Uncle Sam comes, it will amount to the spare change you find in your sofa cushions. But after last year when our salaries were frozen this is certainly happy news. Maybe I’ll actually be able to save a few bucks and get ahead a bit.

5. I found out this week that my apartment building is raising the maintenance fee again which amounts to more than aforementioned raise. Where are you, Keurig?

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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