1. When are you the straw that stirs the drink? I don’t know if this quite counts, but there’s an aspect of my job where the responsibilities for it fall on two specific people who split the duties across the day, and in their absence, myself and another coworker are the back-ups. On Friday, both heads and one of the alternates were off, so it was just me. Normally, this isn’t a big deal at all, but being election season, we’re seeing a much larger influx of work on this, so me being the only one in charge of it the entire day was daunting.
  2. Who has delivered the most stirring rendition of your country’s national anthem? My personal favorite is local Jeff Jimerson, who sings the anthem for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sadly, I write this on Saturday afternoon, a day which brought the heartbreaking news of a shooting in a Pittsburgh mosque. I expect the Pens’ next home game to be particular poignant–anytime Jimerson has sung after a tragedy, it’s been beautiful and sad but I think gives everybody a sense of hope, especially in a city where sports are huge. Jimerson has also always been a staple of local singer B.E. Taylor’s annual Christmas concert until Taylor’s death a few years ago, and although I only made it to a few of those in the years prior, they very, very quickly become one of my favorite Christmas traditions. His family, friends, and band have continued the concerts, and although we didn’t go last year, we are going this year and I’m very much looking forward to it.
  3. Who or what is stirring in your vicinity? I live far enough outside of Pittsburgh that I don’t feel like it’s my community, but close enough that it’s bee a difficult day. Everyone here is shocked and upset, and although attitudes the shooter had aren’t all that rare in this part of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh certainly isn’t the type to let a hateful attitude take hold and win. Vigils are underway now, and from the looks of photos and videos from the scene, the streets nearby are packed. Hope, optimism, and love are stirring–and after all, this is the birthplace of Mr. Rogers.
  4. What do you like and dislike in a stir-fry? Like–about anything one puts in a stir-fry, but I really like when they include tofu. Dislike–mushy veggies. Now, I’m willing to concede that my personal taste lies a little outside the norm because I like a crunchy veggie, so much so that my husband says what I really like is not cooked vegetables but just kind of warm ones, but man do I hate a really soft, sad-looking veggie in a stir-fry.
  5. How do you deal with feeling stir-crazy? First of all, I almost never feel that way, and if I do, it’s usually after I’ve been sick and am annoyed and antsy and very, very ready to be back to 100%. I just go do something. A pretty easy way to get out, particularly being married, is just to go get dinner somewhere.

As always, from Friday 5.


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