A few weeks ago, I was asked to fill in as a co-host at the Seattle News/Talk radio station where I host my weekly show, “It’s Raining Cats & Dogs”. I’m not a journalist and I’m new to the news format, so it was exciting and scary to be live on the air when a major news story broke: white smoke was rising from the chimney of The Vatican. The second the smoke billowed into the Roman night sky, my co-host, the producer, engineer and entire newsroom went into overdrive. People were literally passing us notes to read on the air as the story developed. When the show was over, and the new Pope had been revealed, I cried, sitting alone in the driver’s seat of my car.
I’m not Catholic, but I’ve been on the radio during a couple of breaking news stories before: when Bob Stinson died, when Jeff Buckley walked into the Mississippi River and never walked out, an earthquake, tsunami, and most notably, Sept 11th. It’s intense and draining, and most often you get something wrong: the tone, the facts, the message. Hopefully not all three.
But until the announcement of Pope Francis, I’d never been a part of a story that was so powerfully positive. People were lining up to sing his praises, and to sing God’s praises, and that’s not often very newsworthy. And Pope Francis, from his first entrance on the Papal balcony with his humble wooden cross and kindly manner seemed to focus the entire world on living simply and thoughtfully and showing us that doing so can bring us closer to the divine. News isn’t normally so…blissful.
I was asked back this last Monday. Luke and I had a good show; talked about, honestly now I don’t even remember, because right as I left the studio, a news producer said there’d been a couple of bomb blasts at The Boston Marathon. I asked, “Was it a terrorist attack?” To which he replied, “Nobody knows yet. We’ll see. Have a great day.” By the time I got to my car, we knew.
On the way home, I thought about the runners. I thought about what it must feel like to run 26 miles, to feel the weight of your body, exhausted, exhilarated, spent and then to try and put your mind around something so enormous, and sudden, and shocking. How they didn’t all just lie down at the finish line and start sobbing I’ll never know. By Monday night, I think the whole of America felt like we’d run a marathon, a marathon of grief.
Selfishly, I’m glad I wasn’t on the air when the news broke about Boston, so that I can hold my memory of my big breaking news story as one that brought the world…tenderness not terror.
In scary times, we all find ways to cleave a little closer to the divine, for Catholics it might be taking communion, for runners it’s a another mile beneath their feet, for the people of Boston it was singing The National Anthem at the top of their lungs at the Bruins game, for me it’s in the solitude of my kitchen where the commandments are simply defined: measure, sift, combine.
Here’s a recipe that brought me tenderness this week. I hope it does the same for you.
So what is the life of a meme like? Does your life change when you become the darling of the internet? On a recent It’s Raining Cats & Dogs on KIRO FM, I posed those question to Colonel Meow, and do you know how he answered? He didn’t! Cats can be the coolest thing on the web, but they still can’t sit down for an interview. Leave the sitting to the dogs. Colonel Meow’s minder, however, was willing to chat about The Colonel’s metioric rise: from stray to stardom.
What’s that you say? Dog’s are geniuses? With all the butt sniffing, trash eating, toilet bowl drinking, humping, and ball licking (and I don’t mean tennis balls), aren’t they more like the frat guy of the animal kingdom? Not according to Dr. Brain Hare, author of The Genius Of Dogs and founder of dognition.com. In fact, Dr. Hare believes dogs may have out smarted everybody, including humans, simply by tapping into their inner kindness. Sit. Stay. Listen. There’s a lesson about survival in here for all of us.
Pooch won’t poop? Cat got dandruff? Is your terrier a tweaker? Rover getting rough? Mr. Bigglesworth marking your house like a deck of cards in Vegas? You need to subscribe to the It’s Raining Cats & Dogs podcast HERE.
Vampire Weekend - Diane Young
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