Deb Pascoe, my colleague and beloved friend whose column alternates with mine in this space on Saturdays, is an awesome writer.
But in discussions we've had, I learned even she sometimes struggles with what to say in her column some weeks.
So when my deadline came along this week and I was at a loss for anything entertainment-related or pop-culture based to touch on, I tried not to feel defeated.
After all, if Deb has blocked moments, then it's not a failure when I do, too. And believe me, the hunt for a topic has been straining my brain.
Should I write about something on television? Well, since I haven't watched broadcast television in more than two months, probably not. The topic of giving up TV is one that will be touched upon in this space, but not until after my hiatus reaches at least three months.
How about a movie column? Since giving up TV, I have watched scads of DVDs, but nothing that shouts out to me as the subject of an entire piece. Some films were quite well done ("Inception," "The Fighter" and "The King's Speech") while others were eminently forgettable ("Country Strong," "The Switch" and "Morning Glory").
But nothing in that warrants an entire column treatment.
Music? Well, Pandora, my CD player and my iPod have all gotten workouts since TV is out of the picture (pun intended). But other than Adele's "21," there's nothing in particular I have listened to obsessively.
No go there.
To be frank, the topic blocking my brain right now from my usual lighthearted genre is the death of Osama bin Laden or more specifically, the reaction to it, especially on Facebook.
When President Obama announced the death late Sunday night, I was already fast asleep but it wasn't long after my 5 a.m. alarm Monday that the news was delivered via email messages from friends along with Facebook postings.
In retrospect, my first Facebook status update after hearing the news troubled me not long after I set it: "God Bless all our military members and their families. Hoping for better days for us all now that the wicked witch is dead."
The last four words, of course, are what haunt me. As we put that day's newspaper together, the stories about Americans celebrating bin Laden's death were streaming in from across the country. Many of my Facebook buddies were gleeful.
The joy was understandable on many levels. The elimination of an individual who was the mastermind behind terrorist attacks around the world is cause for celebration.
Still, jubilation at any human being's death is my conundrum. The poet John Donne wrote "any man's death diminishes me," but is the word any really true?
As a Christian, my upbringing tells me so. Then again, often our military must kill or be killed. That is a matter of survival. Period. And especially with my dear nephew Maxx an active Air Force major, our troops and their safety is paramount in my soul.
The world indeed might be a safer place with this mission completed, although the retaliation could come ferociously, which makes me not only fear for our troops but for all the others who could be collateral damage.
This operation was accomplished without the loss of any American troops involved. And capturing bin Laden would have only made him the object of break-out attempts and hostage-trading kidnappings. These things I understand.
And as I admitted later on Facebook, some of the jokes told by late-night comedians did make me smile, in spite of myself.
This entire week as been a struggle trying to reconcile all these emotions: Relief, joy, sadness, fear... even amusement.
The death of Osama bin Laden is just another chapter in an ever-unfolding story in the conflict between the western world and other cultures.
A few more days and perhaps my jumbled brain will be functioning properly and a riff about the summer movie season will flow from my fingertips.
Until then, my prayers will be unending for peace on our planet and a better world for each of us.
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.