I'm Back ... With Dolly

  Pictured: TMM Host Michel Martin (l-r), Dolly Parton and TMM Producer Douglas Hopper

Pictured: TMM Host Michel Martin (l-r), Dolly Parton and TMM Producer Douglas Hopper Kimberly Jones/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Kimberly Jones/NPR

So, back in the office after the body crashed yesterday. Sorry about the late notice everybody, but thanks to John Ysdtie for jumping in. Trust me when I say I wouldn't do that to anyone if I didn't have to. It's sort of exhilarating to cover somebody else's show, but terrifying, too. Kind of like driving somebody else's good car, no matter how good a driver you are there has to be a part of you that's worried about denting the thing — and then you really have no time to think about it.

Anyway, I'm still feeling kind of shaky. I am asking everybody to approach slowly and speak softly.

One good thing about being home yesterday was I did was able to get a hard start on Rebecca Walker's new book One Big Happy Family. It's about all the various forms family takes these days. Some of the essays are what you'd expect — about step-parenting, about multi-racial families — and some, I predict, are very much out of the box for most people's life experiences.

I am looking forward to speaking to Walker about her book later in the week.

I'm also interested in what people have to say about Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson's idea for a new sports arena for the Sacramento Kings, the city's NBA team. On one hand, it's a classic public works project — you build something big because building something big puts people to work, and then even more people are later put to work just to run the thing. But, on the other hand, how do you justify something like that at a time when many people are out of work?

Do people have the money to go to a NBA game, which is not cheap? I know, I have seen all kinds of data on this over the years. But I'm interested in the experiences you've had in your cities.

And what about your girl, Dolly Parton? I know some of you are scratching your heads, what the ... ?

But what can I say? She was in town, we think she's amazing. And, she's one of the hardest working women in show business. We could have held onto the piece for Women's History Month, but you know you wanted to hear "9 to 5."

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