Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday Roundup

I've so missed writing the Friday Roundup, which The Today Show totally ripped off and changed the name ever so slightly to Friday Whip.
But Today Show producers, I forgive you. Never mind that I was writing Friday Roundup MONTHS before you came up with Friday Whip, that weekly segment where you dissect and analyze something in our culture -- no-cook summer dinners, feel 10 years younger, whatever -- and visit a different expert at each table in Studio 1A. It's a fast-paced factoid approach to things that don't really MATTER, but this nation of whiners appreciates the opportunity to learn more. We're sponges that way.

The Gospel According to Matt Lauer (and Tony Robbins) ... On Thursday morning, I enjoyed a delightful segment on The Today Show where Matt Lauer interviewed motivational speaker Tony Robbins. Because if anybody can fix today's economy, it's Tony Robbins. He could fire-walk all over the national deficit and bad mortgages and rising gas prices. And then he would flash his flashy smile and sell you a set of his motivational CDs for $89.95.

Why, oh, WHY was Tony Robbins being interviewed as a news source during the first hour of The Today Show? Fourth hour with Kathie Lee, I understand. I would even expect that. But first hour? Maybe even the first 30 minutes?

According to Robbins, we should see these hard times as an opportunity to grow. The power of positive thinking and all that jazz. Unleash the Power Within, as he would say. Look around. You're certain to see someone in worse shape than you. And with that comes the realization that times aren't so bad. A little known fact is that Tony Robbins is a first cousin of Phil Gramm.

But here's where it got really good. Matt Lauer's face brightened at this nugget of wisdom -- the nugget being that hey, at least you're not living in some crap country making $2 a day. And then Matt Lauer nodded his head, agreeing that we should all have this glass half-full approach, and he said (and I am not making this up): "There by the grace of God, there's someone else in a worse situation."
So, it's not enough to be thankful for you have; be thankful you're not the person who seems to have it worse.

I am a closet Delilah fan ... And you know you are, too. Everyone who has ever listened to her show likes it for one reason or another. Callers are thrilled to talk to Delilah about the high school sweetheart who came out of nowhere during visitation at a funeral home, and it was like 30 years had never passed. They took up where they left off, thanks to the divorces, and are now happily married, as they should have been from the get-go.

I'm thinking of calling Delilah and totally unloading on her. I know I could come up with something better than some of the callers who seem to be so preoccupied with the many things in their lives that "slipped away" and lead them to request "Unchained Melody" from "Ghost." Not "Unchained Melody" by the Righteous Brothers. But from "Ghost."

A recent call: "Hi, Delilah. We spend a lot of time outside on the deck, and we love camping."
"Camping is great. There's nothing better than sleeping under the stars. So ... what song can I play and for whom?"
"Chicago's 'You're My Inspiration' and dedicate it to all the people I've lost." Allrighty then...

If I ever called Delilah, I would tell her about my lower back aches and how I can't seem to find time for the little things. Like cleaning out my purse. I ate lunch with a friend recently, and he asked if my purse was now considered a "pocketbook" and featured a snap-away key ring because it looked like something a grandmother might carry around, with coupons and bank statements filling it to capacity.

I would tell her that I used to be able to paint walls like a professional. I have been accused of having a painting disorder, painting every room in my house at least once a year until the rooms have, in all honesty, become smaller as the walls have thickened. But now, after five hours of painting, I'm holding my hip and eating Advil like cereal.

I would tell her that I woke up at 2:30 a.m. recently with such a case of flop sweat that I may have to burn that particular t-shirt in the backyard. I had a dream that I dropped off my oldest two children in a seedy part of downtown and told them, "Sure, you can walk home. We moved the house down that way" and pointed toward a crack den surrounded by skyscrapers. And I reminded them of the street address and went on my way.
"So, what song can I play for you tonight?"
"Oh, I couldn't care less. I just wanted to unload."
"What else I can do for you?"
"Nothing, I guess," I would tell her. I'm ready to hear the next caller so that I can be reminded that someone has it worse than I do.

It's the weekend, and July is winding down. Go enjoy it with someone special, as Delilah would have you to do.