Ann Curry, Kurt Vonnegut and other things I've been meaning to write about

I've spent the last couple of days, like most of the nation I'm sure, watching the unbelievable coverage from Virginia Tech, feeling tense, sad and helpless. While I can't express, at least not in any graceful way, how much I feel for the victims' families, friends and everyone affected by the tragedy, I do hope everyone involved gets the support they need during this obviously very difficult time. Whether appropriate or not I don't know, but there are always those breaks in the clouds that remind us why this life is worth living, for instance, while watching the neverending news reports this morning on "The Today Show," J got very excited when Matt Lauer, who is on location in Blacksburg, turned the camera back over to those in the New York City studio, who just so happened to be Ann Curry, Natalie Morales, and another attractive young female, whose name I don't know. No matter, the point it they were sitting on the couch in that pink-hued studio in their nicely tailored suits, and J excitedly looked up from his science paper and said, "Cara, LOOK! Look at them," you know, as though I might share his male enthusiasm for the pretty, unattainable newscasters. I am glad he tells me about his various crushes, however, as I find it adorable he has them. Particularly cute is fondness for Ann Curry, his favorite. Seriously, I don't know what he'd do if she left the show. J reminded me this morning that my father shares the feeling. Apparently one morning when we were home for Christmas vacation, he and J were the only ones up, watching the morning news, and my dad, in the midst of various phone calls, reading the mail, basically holding court from his designated seat in the den, looked up and said, "That Ann Curry, she's an attractive broad."

In other news, I was struck last week by the death of Kurt Vonnegut, whose name always brings up memories of high school for me. The thing is, I wasn't one of those kids obsessed with him, but my friend Matt sort of was and I remember, before he moved away to New Orleans for our senior year (a fate worse than death for two close high school friends), he gave me his copy of "Breakfast of Champions," which was slightly tattered, the pages soft, leading me to believe he'd read it maybe four or five thousand times. This is how I became inducted into Vonnegut's world and I read many of his books afterwards, my favorite being - not "Cat's Cradle," which all the dramatic adolescents seemed to love - "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater," mainly because I found that foot-long pubic hair bit hilarious. I recommend it if you're up for a good laugh. In my mind it's on par with John Kennedy Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces" -that subtle, touching humor.

And of course, in the midst of the incidents that shape our entire world are the lovely, if mundane, harbingers of spring, the fact that bluebirds have once again inhabited the bluebird house in our back yard, built a nest, laid eggs and two new babies hatched just the other day. J says they're featherless and tiny. The azaleas - two shades of pink, as well as white - have blossomed in the front yard, and the dogs have taken to basking in the patches of warm grass when I let them out in the back, that is until they spot a herd of deer in the woods behind our house, or decide to harass the dog next door and all is chaotic again.