Big sigh of relief

It’s been a busy and difficult week. Gabby has opened both eyes and even given her husband, Mark Kelly, a back rub or a neck rub, depending on whether you believe the New York Times or the Arizona Daily Star. Me, I’ll always go for the NYT. Either way, good news indeed.

I’ve written a tame Arizona Jewish Post editorial — condemning ammunition that sprays 33 shots and questioning the prevalence of guns — including photos that I took this past week. Not bad either. I’m proud of my work. Not only did I write the editorial on MLK day, which I had off, I gave a talk on “A Life of Words” to a group of retirees last night. Went to work today after oversleeping — must have overused my brain yesterday. And tonight I taught my “Commitment to Remember” class with high school students and Holocaust survivors.

AND I have a new assignment that I’m excited about: I’ll be writing a piece for Publishers Weekly about the heyday of children’s bookselling in the 1990s. Former children’s bookseller friends around the country, I’ll be calling soon. You know who you are.

Yup, I’m proud. I’m also tired.

But here’s something I’m wondering about in the aftermath of the horrific shooting on Jan. 8: the language that’s become part of our daily lives. I’m not talking about all the vitriol, a good word we hardly ever heard before last week.

Just regular words. In Trader Joe’s on Sunday I noticed the sign above the fresh veggies: “Killer Veggies.” OK, it may not mean anything,  and I get that “killer” means cool or terrific, but still. Then there’s the “soccer shootout.” Or the excellent website “Killing the Buddha.” What do you think?

I’m going to watch “House” and have a Trader Joe’s soy-mini ice cream sandwich. Oh, first I must watch Mark Kelly’s first interview since Gabby was shot, and find out which newspaper was correct.

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