Delia Ephron tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross about the formative experience of her family’s dinner table in her early childhood. It’s where she learned she could be a writer:
I think everything started at the dinner table in my family. I’ve always wondered about the dinner table in everyone’s family because of it. When I was young … we always had dinner together and we told stories. Whatever crazy thing had happened to me that day I would come home and say it and my father would shout, “That’s a great line! Write it down.” And he would say, “That’s a great title. Write it down,” if I said anything that sounded like a title. I had titles for things before I had any idea I’d be a writer. And we sang songs, we sang rounds, we played charades and 20 questions.
My parents … had this radical past. Here we were in Beverly Hills in this fairly large Spanish house … all having dinner that my mother had not cooked. She was very proud of the fact that she had made a lot of money and someone else cooked dinner. So there we were singing union songs. They taught us, “There Once Was a Union Maid.” And they taught us “We Shall Not Be Moved.” And we would belt them out. … I think that’s where I learned I knew how to tell a story. That’s where I learned I was funny and that it was worth something.
So, do it. Decide. Is this the life you want to live? Is this the person you want to love? Is this the best you can be? Can you be stronger? Kinder? More Compassionate? Decide. Breathe in. Breathe out and decide
By Meredith Grey (via thatkindofwoman)
This is the last photo I took of George before he passed away at 17, sound asleep on a cushion that he wasn’t allowed on. I have submitted him before, a couple of months ago, but I wanted to put a small memorial on here, along with a heartfelt plea to people to rescue the difficult pets, the shy and the elderly.
I first met George at his foster home, hiding behind a piece of furniture so that I could only see his nose. His foster carer seemed surprised when I said I’d take such an unsociable cat, but I’m a sucker for a sob story - I was living on my own at the time after an unpleasant breakup and I had a feeling we could help each other out. He’d been taken in by the Farnham and Wey Valley Cats Protection League in Surrey, England after his elderly owner passed away and he was even lonelier than I was.
He was incredibly inventive at hiding and I didn’t see him for the first six weeks I had him - I only knew he was there because the bowls emptied and the litter tray filled! Eventually he started joining me on the bed at night, which gave me enormous pleasure, and finally I started seeing him in the day. After six months he sat on my lap for the first time and from that point we were best friends - he craved affection and was never far away, always tripping me up or pawing me demanding attention. He developed an especially charming (but quite annoying) habit of laying on my chest and licking my beard.
He helped out when I started dating again: my girlfriend loves animals and has since confided in me that having a cat was a real plus as far as she was concerned.
He never got over his fear of strangers and very few of my friends and family have seen him in the flesh but he was our best friend and constant companion, totally in charge of the household when it was just us but wary of visitors - except my friend Mark, who he only met a few times but whose lap he sat on and even got into his bag to try and go home with him! Oddly though, he was never afraid of fireworks or moving house (which we did three times due to unfortunate circumstances).
Although I’m sad that we only had four years with him I will never regret giving a happy retirement to such a sweet-natured, loving creature who never once showed aggression but just wanted safety and affection.
The place would have been too empty without him so there is a new rescue pet in place (a retired Greyhound), already much loved, but George will never be forgotten.
The Pope for people who don’t like popes strikes again.
HE WAS ALSO A BOUNCER AT A NIGHTCLUB
Pope Francis has also shed the trappings of wealth that generally accompany his position (golden cape, ornate throne) in favor of white threads and a simple wooden chair. He’s also the first Pope to wash a woman’s feet, insisting that it’s what Jesus Christ would have done. Even if you’re not religious you can appreciate that this is a genuinely good man, and a wonderful leader of the Catholic Church.
He also is the first pope to state that good non-Catholics are still good people, and that God loves good people no matter what their faith. This guy’s pretty damn badass.