Friday Five

1. A transcript of an actual conversation that took place in my office this week:

Me: Hi _____. I’d like to get 4 boxes of binder clips. The largest size you have.

Office Manager: Sorry, that’s not possible.

Me: Wait. I see them on that shelf right there.

Office Manager: You can’t have 4 boxes.

Me: What? Why?

Office Manager: You can have 1 box.

Me: But I need 4 boxes. I have to prepare for a meeting.

Office Manager: You’re telling me what you need, and I’m telling you what you can have: 1 box.

Me: Wait. A. Minute. (Pause) Hey, is that a new hairdo? It looks lovely on you. Very cutting edge. Can you give me the name of your stylist?

Office Manager, eyes narrowed: One box.

Me: Let me cut to the chase, _______. What’s it gonna take to get 4 boxes?

Office Manager: Was that a Snicker’s bar I saw on your desk this morning?

Me: Um. Yes.

Office Manager: I think we have an accord.


2. I brought Reggie to the vet this week to look at this thing.

This is his paw pad. If you look closely, there seems to be another nail growing out of the bottom of his paw. I know. Eww. He wasn’t biting it, and it didn’t appear to hurt him, but I’d been watching it for a couple of weeks and it was growing longer and longer. Best to trot off to the vet for a look-see. Have I mentioned how much Reggie loves the vet?

It’s usually not a good thing when the doctor says, “Huh. I haven’t seen anything like that in years.” We all held our breath a bit while he clipped it: me, the vet, and the two techs who had to hold Reggie. Actually he was better than expected and didn’t flinch. (A stark contrast to moments earlier when the tech tried to take his temperature.) This growth turned out to be a calcification, kind of like a callus. Turned out to be a completely benign thing despite how gross it looked. Whew.


3. I hadn’t lined up immediately to see the movie The Fighter when it came out in theaters last year. Even after it was nominated and won several Oscars, I shied away. I’m not much into boxing. I get that there is skill and strategy and stamina involved. But I honestly don’t see the point of two men (and, increasingly, women) pummeling the daylights out of each other. And, while I’m at it, I understand even less why one would pay to watch two grown men (and, increasingly, women) pummel the daylights out of each other. I’m sure I’m missing some key component here.

So the movie wasn’t on my must-see list. But this week a friend suggested it as a rental. (We wanted to see Harry Potter, but decided to let the crowds die down.) I agreed, figuring that, if nothing else, watching Mark Wahlberg for two hours wouldn’t be all bad.

I was surprised that I liked the movie, so much so that I’d even recommend it to you fine folks. The story is really about redemption and validation. The dialogue was true to the characters. The setting was rich. The characters we well drawn and performed. You could make a case that they were a bit stereotypical, but it is based on a true story. There were several sequences that were reminiscent of Rocky. It couldn’t help itself by virtue of the storyline. The fight scenes weren’t gratuitous. Overall a good, character-driven story. Have you seen The Fighter? Did you like it? Hate it?


4. Today is supposed to be a scorcher in NYC with temperatures at 101 degrees and a heat index around 110. You’re probably feeling the heat wherever you are, too. (Unless of course you are in the Southern Hemisphere, in which case I’m jealous.) So here’s an image to remind me of something great about summer. Uncle Louie G’s is an Italian ice stand open only from May to October. You walk up to the window, place your order and walk away with a scoop or two of refreshing goodness in a paper cup. They must have at least 50 flavors. I’ve stood in line behind many kids who’ve been told by their parents to pick any flavor, then, because the kids are overwhelmed by the choices, a tense argument ensues. There are tears and debates and bargaining. And in the end the kids inevitably ask for chocolate. But I digress. I prefer the fruity flavors, which are the true ices, but the Snicker’s flavor does seem appealing. Maybe it could help me with number one above.

5. It’s a running joke in my circle of friends that I get up super early in the morning. While there’s nothing like hunkering between cozy sheets and sleeping in,  I’m usually up before the birds sing in the summer, and before it gets light in the winter. I’ve always been a morning person, but the reason I’m up before the dawn is to squeeze in a bit of writing on my novel before I have to dash to the office.  Here, Mary Oliver has a lovlier reason to wake early.

Why I Wake Early.

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety –
best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light –
good morning, good morning, good morning.
Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, with kindness.

~ Mary Oliver

Have a great weekend and stay cool!





  1. An excellent Friday Five, Jacqueline. I’ve skipped the MW boxing movie for the same reasons you did. Perhaps I’ll queue it up and have a gander.

    Happy to hear Reggie’s paw is good – and the Italian ice looks/sounds refreshingly delicious.


  2. Lenore, if you do see The Fighter let me know. I’d love to hear your take on it.
    Stay cool this weekend. I imagine it must be about the same temps in your neck of the woods.


    1. I can’t recall ever being into boxing as a sport. I agree – it’s too hard to watch. At least in other sports like baseball or basketball the goal is to score more runs or points than the other team and I can get into that aspect of it.


  3. you know, i think i’m one of the few people who didn’t like that movie at all. i always have a hard time with movies where i find no sympathetic characters. and i thought there were some weird leaps of logic (mostly related to personal relationships — seemingly instant transitions from love to hate to love to hate between various characters). i know it’s based on a true story and they were trying to be loyal, but for some reason it still bothered me. i am irrational!
    on a separate note: LOVE the poem. thanks for brightening my 116 degree heat index day 🙂


    1. Such an interesting observation! Just a few weeks ago, I was discussing sympathetic characters in my writing class. As writers, we were wondering if readers would stick with a story if they felt the main character was unsympathetic yet compelling. You’ve given us more to think about!

      Mary Oliver’s poems never fail to thrill me! I hope you all are staying cool. Whew!


  4. Whew–I know there were other Friday five highlights but Reggie’s health took center stage for my viewing–so glad all is well. (Olive had something like that–we called it her old lady bump–but not to her face, of course) Send loving pats from Olive and I, please.


    1. All is well for the Reginator. After his trip to the vet, he made out with a new squeaky toy and biscuits as thanks for his cooperation. Now he’s panting up a storm and waiting for the heat wave to pass.
      Hope you and Olive are somewhere cool.


  5. I’m not sure I’d trade a Snickers for binder clips…

    Glad Reggie’s paw was okay!

    I wanted to see “The Fighter” when it was in theatres, but Jim didn’t. Maybe I’ll catch it on Netflix…



    1. Wendy, just to be clear: normally I would never trade a Snickers for binder clips. But I had no choice. It was the Snickers or suffer embarrassment at a presentation.
      Maybe I still should have gone with the Snickers.


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