By Senior producer
msnbc.com

5 p.m. ET

As a child I was convinced that every other family on the block was light-years more functional than mine.  From the way they ate dinner to the kinds of baseball gloves they owned, every move the neighboring families made compounded a feeling that mine had just stepped off an alien spacecraft.

Especially when I saw other children's Easter eggs.  Every kid at school used the exact same Paz dyeing kits with the exact same color tablets, yet their eggs were in vibrant reds, peacock blues, and royal purples.  The eggs my sister and I made always looked as though they were covered in faded pantyhose, like the heads of tiny robbers doing hit and runs all over the table. We tried our best to make them dark and opulent looking, but no dice.

Now in retrospect, all that matters is how much fun we had making them, and how our parents would smile and tell us how beautiful they were even though they looked like a tiny army of PLO hit men.

May you all have a terrific holiday weekend!

Today at 5 p.m., more on Terri Schiavo, including a look at how to create your own living will. 

Also,  a demonstration of a new technology that helps terror victims recover from trauma through the use of a virtual therapy.

All that and more.  Watch us while you dye your eggs.
  
12 p.m. ET

Jenny Craig should partner with Continental Airlines.  Five hours in the air, and I was served barely enough miniature pretzels to sustain a tiny monkey.  Luckily it was the red eye, so I did my best to sleep off the hunger pangs while playing a passive aggressive game of "who gets the armrest" with the guy sitting next to me.

Seattle was delightful and the weather was pristine. If I had to pick the two images that best define the trip, I would say salmon and cherries.  Salmon with a cherry sauce, to be exact.

I'm glad to be back in New York.  After all, I'm more grape leaves than grape nuts.

And now onto the business of the day.  Christians all around the world are observing Good Friday, and this year the day is particularly meaningful.  Catholics are watching the Pope's health closely.  Here in the United States a battle rages over Terri Schiavo's right to live or die.  Both provide excellent discussion topics.

We'll update you on Schiavo's condition and debate the ethics of letting her die.  As it is an evolving story, I'm certain by noon there will be more to report.  Then on to the Vatican for a live update on the Pope's condition and how he intends to spend the end of Holy Week.

Later in the hour, we'll be joined by renowned theologian Elaine Pagels.  She has a new book out called "Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas." For those of you who did not suffer through twelve years of Catholic school, Thomas was the apostle who did not believe Jesus rose from the dead.He needed proof. There are moving scenes in the Bible of Thomas feeling the wounds of Jesus, staring in awe at what he first felt was an apparition.

Thomas is an interesting character.  He was a devoted follower and practiced the teachings of Jesus to the letter.  Should it matter that he was not convinced that such a mysterious and inexplicable event took place?  Pagels has some really provocative thoughts on the matter.

Keep the e-mails coming to Connected@MSNBC.com.

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