Shelli's column as published in the Benton Courier 01/24/10 See the archive!
I'm all over the place lately and people keep asking me the following questions:
"How in the world do you get everything done?"
"Do you ever sleep?"
"Is MySaline.com your real job?"
The answers are: I don't, only in my dreams, and sort of.
I don't pretend to run a parallel to the phenomenon that is Shane Broadway being everywhere simultaneously. Although I wish he would give me a hint as to whether it involves cloning, a time machine, holograms or what. Being in all the right places can allow you to meet some diverse people and make some cool friends. It can also teach you some things you never knew about yourself. For me, it's done all that and made me love Saline County more and more as I get closer to its life forms.
Being in a lot of places can do a number on you once you get home though. Did you ever notice that the number of items in your hand as you search for the keys to the front door is directly proportionate to the possibility of you wetting your pants? Once your trip to the bathroom is complete, another forumula introduces itself. It's your Rear End to Couch Proximity ratio. When I've had a busy week, my Hiney Ploppitude Index is on the Orange Level for a high threat to the couch and its current inhabitants.
Those beginning paragraphs were crafted to perhaps gain your sympathy as I lay down this biscuit called the newspaper deadline versus knowing you have a ton to write about but not having the brain Jell-O to squeeze it out. To remedy the situation, I'm going to let you know about the stalling techniques I employed on Friday night when I normally write.
I started out with a metaphoric shoulder and forehead to the wind, telling my husband that I needed to get right on my column as soon as I got home. When I got there, however, my Hungry Gland sounded the siren that automagically transportated my nose into the refrigerator. Naturally, the rest of me showed up to be with my nose, so I couldn't quite tap out the amazing qwerty masterpiece such as those you behold by my hand each week.
I started cooking a thing, but remembered my mom's voice in an imagination-altered high pitch. Read this part out loud: "Shelli, you know your daddy had his heart arrest because of a blockage that happened years ago when he was your age. Now that your blood pressure's high, you have to stop eating so much salt and get healthy." There was more, but your voice isn't holding out so good in the high pitch. The point is that now I had to think about what I was going to eat for supper during one of the tiredest, hungriest, non-brain-functioniest parts of the day. I went with sauteed shrimp, then a mandarin orange, then a nuked apple. Then I was still hungry twenty minutes later and blew the salt pact on a pile of crackers. This is Saline County, so I suppose it was eminent. Evident. Ineligible. What's the word? Dang, I'm tired.
After I settled the score with the munchies, I did the thing where I ask my husband to lay out several ideas for a column and then reject everything he tells me.
He said, "You should write about there not being access to the old pro-basketball games on TV. Not the classic ones that ESPN shows, but every game, so we can see for ourselves the legends of the 50s and 60s play, instead of just reading about it or hearing the old guys talk."
As if he needed it, I reminded him, "Jim, that would be a column you'd write."
"But it's totally worth writing about," he said. "Just think of all those games. So many people would watch them!"
I kind of agreed but styled the idea to my tastes, "Like Johnny Carson."
"Now that's a commodity," he stretched his index finger straight like a pointer stick. "NBC's holding onto that so they can sell those DVD collections."
"What?: I tilted my head. "No way, they could make so much more money off the advertisers if they played it."
I had converted him. "Yeah, what if they took all those old episodes and put them in place of say, Jimmy Fallon's late night show..."
Neither of us can remember the name of that show."Yeah, definitely Jimmy Fallon," I snorted. Hard to believe he's still got a job at NBC and Conan O'Brien - at least by the time you read this - will not. I'm not sad for Conan though. I'm reportedly $45 million worth of not sad.
Jim's next attempt at helping was actually a good idea. We both were impressed by the impact of social media on the effort to send aid after the massive earthquake hit Haiti. Celebrities - musician Wyclef Jean of Haiti, in particular - have used their influence to distribute the message. Last year, many thought it so vain for actor Ashton Kutcher to race against CNN to be the first with a million followers on Twitter. Now Kutcher is able to use those contacts to maximize the message of helping those in need. On a smaller level, here in Saline County this week, I was able to get the message to thousands of people on MySaline, Facebook and Twitter to help a single mom to make it through a rough patch. The message went out and kind hearts responded.
There's a lot to be said for keeping up with your favorite people by using social media, but when there's a lot to be done, it becomes a social needs meetia. Yeah, that was bad, but the message is good.
Inevitable! That's the word I was looking for earlier. Is this column long enough yet?