National Black Book Festival


Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas at the Asylum & Nicole Dunlap

Christmas at the Asylum
If you remember from last year, my Part time job at the Asylum had a Christmas party that bombed.  I had taken my hard earned money and saved for a few weeks $50.00 for the secret Santa gift and took the time to go to Costco and buy a dish.  Yeah, I know, I should have cooked something, but I didn’t.  I waited at that store for an hour and a half with my friend. I called one of the girls who had just left after closing the store and no body, no damn body, showed up.  I was pissed and vowed to never join them in any function again.
Well, they started up with the secret Santa again and decided to have the party at a local park during the day.  I gave in and asked the guy whose name I got from the secret Santa box what he wanted.  I’m not going around trying to find out what to give him.  I asked him to give me a list of five things he would like and I will select one of them to give.  That way, he will be surprised, at least a little.  He asked for a sweat suit, extra small and told me they were on sale.  The other girl heard his request and told me later that those suits were expensive.  Well, I guess he is not getting that from me.  I’ll give $15.00, maybe.  I don’t think I’m going to the party and maybe after next week when I get paid, I will give him the $15.00 then.  I’m still thinking about it and still a bit pissed about last year.  Though I should forgive and move on.  Maybe that’s what I will do, maybe not.
Let’s move one.  I want to ask again if any of you would please provide me some feedback on how I am doing.  Should I blog more?  Should I blog less about the “Asylum” or more about my asylum compatriots?  Should I blog more reviews of books I read, even though I read about 3 to 5 books at a time and sometimes they are not the best, but OK.  Or should I continue to just give you the 411 on the book.  Just trying to get better at this and get more customers on my Amazon blog.  You may not realize it, but I sell this blog on Amazon for one dollar a month.  It’s easy to get the books downloaded onto your Kindle faster.  So, let me know what you think and no, I do not get offended if it’s bad.  I believe you learn when others help you become better.  Thanks for reading my blog and I hope you are having the best Christmas and New Year!!!!! You deserve it!!!
An author, NICOLE DUNLAP – MISS NOBODY (SHAW FAMILY SAGA, BOX 1) - $3.99, contacted me to review her book.  I was honored.  I have received a few requests from authors to post my review on Amazon, my blog and Goodreads.  Boy, I am always, always happy to do that.
Charlene, a young, black 15 year old living in a small town in North Carolina, runs away from home to escape a boring life and to fulfill her dreams of becoming famous.  Oh, well, life has a way of turning the screws.  She misses the bus to take her out of town and hitches a ride with truck driver Roy.  A year later, Otis and Annette find Charlene in a hospital, bruised, badly beaten and has given birth to Raven. 
While Charlene continues to search for fame, Raven is left with Otis and Annette.  Nicole Dunlap goes back and forth in the story from Charlene’s life once she has achieved the fame she wanted; to Raven who has heard for years gossip about her mother and her grandparents, Otis and Annette, who refuses to talk about Charlene, since they are so high and mighty in their Christian beliefs. 
This creates demons for both, Charlene’s guilt and Raven’s wondering who her mother and father are.  Raven becomes good friends with Jonathan, who parents, a neurotic French mother, Elise and a flaccid father.  A friend who has always been there for her thru her demons and who also has always loved her.  Overtime time, it becomes distributing to Elise that Raven and Jonathan’s friendships blossom and there’s a good reason, Raven becomes pregnant, which becomes worse for Jonathan’s father.  What secret is he hiding? 
There are too many secrets and as with any great story, secrets surface.  Don’t they always come out of the dark?  They fling at your face like a hard smack that’s spins your head completely around.  This book, part one, is just the beginning of hidden secrets, love and forgiveness, with a touch of drugs to boot.  I enjoyed the straightforward writing Nicole gives.    She gets to the point with twists and turns without the long wait.  There are some slow moments in the book, but that’s expected in all books.  They cannot give you all of the secrets at the same time, what fun would that be? 
ERICA L. CRUMP – MISCELLANEOUS BLUES - $2.99 - - - It has been nominated book for the 2012 AAMBC (African Americans on the Move Book Club) Literary Award, scheduled for February 13. 
Miscellaneous Blues is a book which some readers are calling the hottest novel since WAITING TO EXHALE by Terry McMillan.  After I read it, I will decide if that statement is true.  Terry’s first few books took the book world by storm and I was one of the ones who got hooked badly.  Sort of miss her.
It's an explosive book about sisterhood, love, and betrayal! Sisterhood is one of the strongest bonds that women can have. The relationship between sisters is a complex, albeit loving one. Even though these sisters can fight hard, they tend to love even harder. In Miscellaneous Blues, you'll get to explore this intricate relationship of sisters - - Cookie, Victoria, Mya, and Lola. They call themselves "The Dexter Divas" and pride themselves on always being there for each other.
Cookie is trying to keep her marriage on track after her husband throws a curve ball in their "perfect marriage.”  Victoria is trying to lose weight off her body as well as dead weight in a slacker live-in boyfriend.  Mya is determined to get her "married boyfriend" to divorce his wife and finally marry her.  Lola, the baby of the family, is finally trying to move past the violent death of her son's father and allow love into her life again.
They don't always see eye to eye but these sisters realize that through all of life's drama, they can always depend on each other for strength. These Dexter Divas know that no matter what, sisterhood is forever. Miscellaneous Blues will give you a chance to live vicariously through The Dexter Divas as these sisters help each other through their relationships, marriages, and careers. You will become so engrossed in the lives of these sisters that it will feel like you are actually part of the Dexter family.  We’ll see, we’ll see!
Hey, just about the publish my blog, when I find a free book:

J. L. CAMPBELL – DON’T GET MAD….GET EVEN – Free - - - You sometimes never know if a free book is good or not.  I say, give it a try and if it’s as good as you like it, you will find other works by the same author.  Let’s just give it a try.
What choices do you have when you are abused, cheated on and left with a trail of broken promises? Don’t Get Mad…Get Even. Take an inside look at Jamaican culture and lifestyle through a collection of award-winning stories. You will laugh, cry and commiserate with a compelling cast of characters, who conquer their challenges in unique ways.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Warfare at the Asylum

It never fails, it just never fails.  What the hell are they thinking sometimes?  I walked into the “Part Time Job at the Asylum” and was just doing my normal routine in the back, when I heard screaming up front.
Let me first set up the scene.  You enter the front of the store where to the right are the condiments and on the left, a seating area.  Continue to walk a few feet ahead and you will reach the counter where the display of items, prices, cashiers, etc. are.  In the back, supplies, sinks, racks, etc., which is where I was in the back of the store working when I heard loud voices.  I did not pay much attention, since they have been known to get loud and ghetto a few times.  This time, though, the voices became louder and vicious.  I walked to the front and noticed a customer sitting at a table, reading on his computer, and holding his head down.  I knew he heard them because he concentrated further on the screen and push in his ear plugs to drown out the noise.  That’s also when I noticed the four employees, three women and one young man, standing there while two of the four, the older one (about 35) and the youngest (about 23) arguing at the top of their lungs, screaming back and forth.  The other two employees just stood there and said nothing.  I tried to calm them down to no avail, so I grabbed the oldest one with both of my arms and held on, while I dragged her from the front counter, out the door, and into the parking lot.  I talked to her to calm her down because she was on the verge of hitting the other employee. Where was the Assistant manager, you ask? Her but conventionally left out of the back door to smoke a cigarette! She heard it, but did not want any parts of it.
I continued to hold on to her while trying to walk and drag her because she was trying to fight me. Then I said, “Hey, I’m not the enemy and you don’t want to start shit with me. Let’s just keep walking around the back and you can smoke a cigarette until you calm down and talk to me.”  We got around the back of the store and the other girl who witnessed the fight came out to explain her side of the story and I told her to go back into the store and shut the hell up.  She came back out the door and brought the older woman’s purse. 
These are not kids, they are adults.  The older one has worked there from the beginning and the other just started a few months ago.  How did it get started, I don’t know.  I heard various stories and such.  Who the hell cares?  Because I didn’t and it really doesn’t matter what started it. I just could not believe they were fighting in the store and in front of customers.  They also forgot that it was being videotaped.  We are always under surveillance for security purposes.  What the hell were they thinking?!!!  I guess when I get back later this week, either the owners will say or do something or they have enjoyed the thrilled of it.  Who knows!!
Commercial break:  I just heard about all of those young kids and adults killed in Connecticut.  My GOD, what are we doing, what are we doing to ourselves?  Please pray for them.  Please.
Getting back to the Asylum, everything calmed down and the two women went back to talking loudly. The assistant manager continued to ignore them and the rest of us went back to work.  There’s only one way to described this, “Pure Bullshit.”
There are some new books out, and since I'm just drained due to those kids being hurt by a complete jackass, I'm just going to give you a few books to get and review.  I'll be back with two of my own reviews.  Please pray for those families and hug your kids all night if you can. 
BELLA JONES - MEMOIRS OF A TRAPSTAR - $2.99 - - - Memoirs of a TrapStar's Wife takes you on a wild journey into my life. I was just a girl when I first met him, but even at that age I knew he would forever change my life. In the five years we spent together, I learned more about life than I ever would on my own. He changed this young girl into a woman. After his death, I found myself thrown into the lions den of this game called "hustling". At age 19, I made a decision to take over his empire and I did. I managed to do things unheard of in this game as far as a woman is concerned. I did it all.  I made money, I drove the big cars, wore the fancy clothes and then it all came crashing down in a instant. I lost all those close to me in my rise to the top and with out them I could not stay in this game. I made a decision to get out before I suffered the same fate as all those I loved. My story did not end there, I went on to face more trials and tribulations. I am the woman you see today because of all the things I went through yesterday. This is my story, our story, a story of love, money, cars, clothes, greed, and envy. This is my MEMOIRS OF A TRAPSTAR'S WIFE.
This is just too!! too! cute
ReSHONDA TATE BILLINGSLEY - CAUGHT UP IN THE DRAMA - $7.61 - - - For your teenagers and did not know this is the 7th book in the series.  Will have to tell you about the others later.

She’s in the spotlight:

The Good Girlz have always known their girlfriend Camille is a gifted dancer. But when she wins the Search for a Star talent competition, it’s her incredible singing voice that blows them away.  Why didn’t she tell them she could sing like BeyoncĂ© and Ciara rolled into one? And when Camille lands a spot in rap superstar Sisco’s new music video, Jasmine, Angel, and Alexis discover yet another side to their friend—total diva!

Will it get too hot too soon?

With her new hair weave, trendy clothes, and too-cool attitude, Camille is working everyone’s nerves, even her boyfriend Xavier’s. But when a photo of Camille and Sisco causes a tabloid scandal, the wannabe starlet gets a taste of unwanted fame. Meanwhile Alexis, upset over her wealthy parents’ divorce, suddenly disappears. . . . With more than enough drama to go around, what will it take to bring the girlfriends together and keep Camille grounded while reaching for the stars?


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Black Kindle at the National Book Festival 2012

Let me get back to my trip to DC.  After the shopping, eating and visiting all of my favorite stores and restaurants, I finally got to the Library of Congress National Book Festival on the Mall in DC.  The weather was beautiful, not too cold and not to hot.  I have attended this fair many times, but this year, it was packed.  If you think the Mall cannot get filled?  It did.  There were big white tents filled with various authors according to type of books from SciFi, Fiction, History, Children, Mysteries, Teens, and Contemporary Life.  Each tent had scheduled authors and if you did not get a seat two maybe three hours before an author's appearance, you were sitting in the back on the ground or outside around the ten.  I did not get in or even close to sit and listen to R. L. STINE (Goosebumps) and RACHEL RENEE RUSSELL (Dork Dairies).  Their tents were filled from inside and out with kids and teens.  I did hear a little bit, but not much. 

This event was also telecast on BookTV on c-Span, if you want to see it.  Another big tent was filled with representatives from each state on their book festivals, history of the state, their libraries and free give-a-ways.  They also provided a map to fill with a stamp from each state (you had to visit each state table to get it stamped).  After the map was filled, you get a prize.  Not a book, but some neat trinkets. 
 I did get close enough to hear and see Patricia Cornwell.  I have never read any of her books and I’ve seen large amounts of her books at the Charleston Friends of the Library book fairs.  While I was waiting in the author’s signing line for Colson Whitehead; it was better for us to get in the line early than to try to see and hear him in the tent, her autographed line was next to his.  She had finished autographing and she was surrounded by two big, burly men who looked like body guards.  I've heard later that she does have body guards due to some of her previous books that she solved in the books, but there are some nuts out there who believe she's right and want her dead.  I stepped over the rope separating the lines and ask her if I could have her autographed.  Her assistance (I think it was), told me she only signs her books.  I said, “I only want her autographed on the Book festival poster.”  I didn’t have the book because it was sold out and my budget could not accommodate it.  Mrs. Cornwell, while she was sitting down and the large body guard started getting closer to me, said, I will sign your poster, where is it?  Her assistant then said, “We don’t have any more and they cost money.”  A volunteer standing next to Mrs. Cornwell’s both said, “no, they are free,” and she handed one to me.  Mrs. Cornwell signed my poster and I said thank you very much and she responded, “You are most welcome and thank you for being a reader.”  I thought she was just so sweet and nice.  I went back to my place in line (I was second) and I heard Mrs. Cornwell tell her assistance, “Please don’t do that again, I can sign anything any reader wants me to.”  “Without them you would not have a job.”  A few overhead the comment and started to clap.  
I will try and get her first book in this series from the library and see what the fuss is all about.  After my two hour wait in a line that was getting long, not as long as Cornwell, I finally got to see Colson Whitehead up close.  You know how when you get up close to an author or celebrity, that look so damn different from their pictures.  Colson does not, he looks like his pictures.  Tall, cocoa brown skin with twinkles of gray and black on his face; beautiful white teeth and long, scattered deadlocks on his head.  He also has such a soft voice and very pleasant.  He autographed the book I brought there, “ZONE ONE: A NOVEL.”  I did not see his other books at the fair, SAG HARBOR: A NOVEL - $11.99 - Sag Harbor: A Novel (this novel reminds me of The Wedding by Dorothy West. 

THE COLOSSUS OF NEW YORK - $11.99 - The Colossus of New York

JOHN HENRY DAYS - $11.99 - John Henry Days

APEX HIDES THE HURT - $11,99 - Apex Hides the Hurt, and my favorite

THE INTUITIONIST: A NOVEL - $11.99 - The Intuitionist: A Novel.  I have all of his books at home, but all in all, it was an exciting pleasure to meet and talk to him. 

I did buy some books, but was not able to get their autographs because of the crowds.  I didn’t care.  It was just fun seeing them and hanging out with my kid and the beautiful weather and being home.  I was “home.”

Here are the other authors and they were over 100, that I got a chance to at least see their faces.

DONNA BRITT - BROTHERS (and ME): A MEMOIR OF LOVING AND GIVING - $11.04 - Brothers (and Me): A Memoir of Loving and Giving
STEPHEN L. CARTER - THE IMPEACHMENT OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN - $13.99 - The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln.  It just so happens that my girlfriend and I are going to see Steven Spielberg’s movie based on DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN - $9.99 - Team of Rivals.  A co-worker of mine is letting me borrow his book.  He says he really enjoyed it and since he knows I'm a big reader, he states I will like it to.  
WALTER DEAN MYERS - ALL THE RIGHT STUFF - $7.99 - All the Right Stuff .  He has so many books.

TAYARI JONES - SILVER SPARROW - $9.18 - Silver SparrowI meet her last year at the National Book Club Convention.  Great, great book.
NIKKY FINNEY - HEAD OFF & SPLIT: POEMS - $11.53 Paperback - Head Off & Split: Poems

There were over a 100 authors and no way you could see and hear them all.  In essence, it was one of the best book festival I have attended.  Man, to be surrounded by books, authors, kids and more books, my life, soul and heart came alive.
Tell me if you don’t see some comparison between Colson’s book, SAG HARBOR and Dorothy West’s THE WEDDING: A NOVEL - $9.99 The Wedding: A Novel.  The books may be a little different with time periods and some things are written a bit similar, but I read both books and I see that even though time and space have changed, “black bourgeoisie“ has not, even in 2012.  Will it ever? 
SAG Harbor: A tender, hilarious, and supremely original novel about coming-of-age in the 80.  Benji Cooper is one of the few black students at an elite prep school in Manhattan. But every summer, Benji escapes to the Hamptons, to Sag Harbor, where a small community of African American professionals have built a world of their own.

The summer of ’85 won’t be without its usual trials and tribulations, of course. There will be complicated new handshakes to fumble through and state-of-the-art profanity to master. Benji will be tested by contests big and small, by his misshapen haircut (which seems to have a will of its own), by the New Coke Tragedy, and by his secret Lite FM addiction. But maybe, just maybe, this summer might be one for the ages.
The Wedding: Before you read about this story, let me tell you that Halle Berry, Lynn Whitfield, Carl Lumbly are in the movie version.  I thought it was OK.  It just did not hit me the way the book did.  Well, you try both and let me know what you think.

Her first novel in forty-seven years, Dorothy West, the last surviving member of the Harlem Renaissance, offers an intimate glimpse into African American middle class.  Set on bucolic Martha's Vineyard in the 1950s, The Wedding tells the story of life in the Oval, a proud, insular community made up of the best and brightest of the East Coast's black bourgeoisie.  Within this inner circle of "blue-vein society," we witness the prominent Coles family gather for the wedding of the loveliest daughter, Shelby, who could have chosen from "a whole area of eligible men of the right colors and the right professions." Instead, she has fallen in love with and is about to be married to Meade Wyler, a white jazz musician from New York. A shock wave breaks over the Oval as its longtime members grapple with the changing face of its community.”
Well, I’m back in Charleston (No, this is not home and it will never be).  I like Charleston and I have to stay here until I am able to get another job in another state or retire.  In the meantime, I will keep focus on my Dave Ramsey Plan, walk my dog more, work on getting rid of smoking, hanging out with friends and volunteering at the library and stay happy. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

I am thankful for books and more books!!!

I just finished reading, “The Bridge” by Karen Kingsbury - $9.99.  I have never read any of her books, even though I have seen her books throughout my work at the library, books sales and book stores.  Knew she was a Christian writer.  I did miss two bible book club meetings when her books were the discussion.  I just happen to read something in either a magazine or on Amazon and it caught my eye.  A romance book of lost, enduring and found love; weather devastation (thinking Hurricane Sandy!) and what really caught my eye, the closing of a favorite bookstore.  So many of them all over the world have closed and I miss the smell, feel, and atmosphere.  That did it for me and I hunted the book down.

Rich girl (Molly) and not really poor, but not as rich boy (Ryan) meet at college.  They start hanging out at a bookstore named “The Bridge.”  They began a ritual of reading and sighting quotes from Jane Eyre, Gone with the Wind and other famous books.  At first sight they fall in love, but due to circumstances, no go in the romance department.  They hide their feelings and remain friends.  There are lies and assumptions for years until the truth comes forth and they find what they really wanted and needed, either other. 
Charlie and Donna, owners of the book store “The Bridge”, have gone thru more calamities; when you read the book, you would not wish any of it even upon the Devil.  Now that’s saying a lot.  When the bookstore they run is severely damaged due to financial struggles and the wrath of Mother Nature, the death of one’s soul and the awaken of another’s brings all four (Molly, Ryan, Charlie and Donna) to the realization that GOD is always and will always be there.  Just keep praying and have faith. 
I could not stop reading it.  There are a few slow parts and some soapy romance stuff, but some of the lines in the book caught my spirit.  “Charlie, you’re crazy.  No one would loan you money.  You’re not worth anything.  You’re a bookseller, Charlie.  Banks loan money to people with a way to pay it back. Come on.”  I’ve heard those demon voices many times before.  Telling me I’m not worth a dime.  I will never get out of this financial hell beast.  I felt this way in February last year.  I did want to leave this earth and leave funds for my kid.  I felt I was not making any advancement in life.  I’m divorced, broke and not young.  My chances of a promotion are slim and I was not even able to find a part time job, even at McDonald's and Waffle House, to help.  Damn, I felt like crap-o-olla to the core.  I figure my kid would be better off financially than with a mother who climbed down into the black fissure depth.  I prayed and prayed and cried and cried until something grab my head and I looked up and saw my grandmother’s picture.  I heard her, I know I did.  She told me I don’t really know hardship until I lived her, my great grandmother and my mother’s lives.  I don’t know hell!!! But I know GOD is there for me 24/7 and that matters and she reminded me about “BOOKS” and the love she shared with me is giving me the gift of reading.  That is what this book and many others like this (I need to get her others) do for me.  “The Bridge” is the place I want my life 24/7. He’s there and so is my grandmother.   
The next day, I got up on my feet and walked my dog and just talked to GOD over and over again.  That was last year and yes I still have many struggles.  The Dave Ramsey plan is helping and that part time job at the Asylum is also still there.  I am more than blessed and another thing I got from this book, I love, love, love, love, love and love book stores and libraries.  A side note about the book.  You will feel better for reading it.  Give it a chance, especially on days where you are down and out.  Just give it chance. 
Don’t worry; I will get back to my DC trip and the “Asylum” job.  I will also possible have some good news, I may be leaving the "Asylum" job for better pay and a job I could use when I retire.  Give me some blessings and luck!!! .
Got to get one in for Black History Year
I met Mr. BRIAN W. SMITH - DIFFERENCES: SIBLING RIVALRY IS BAD...BUT IT'S WORSE WHEN THERE'S MONEY INVOLVED - $4.99 - - - and I must say, his books are on my large listing of books to get to.  I must have over 500 books on my kindle, but I will get to them don't you worry, I will get to to them all.  Here's his latest, or at least to me, his latest.
Conway Jackson wanted his six adult kids to squash their "beefs" before he died, but he was unable to bring them together. So, in his will he stipulates that the only way each of them can receive their $100,000 inheritance, they must go on a scavenger hunt to find the money. They have 48 hours to find the money or all $600,000 gets donated to charity. But, there is one catch...the siblings with the biggest "differences" must team up to find the money. Will these six malcontents find their inheritance before they kill each other?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Asylum is at it again!

Back to my home trip to DC.  My daughter and I went to Tyson Corner Mall Friday morning and there was lots of traffic and you wonder where these people get money to pay for some of the most expensive stores in Virginia.  It’s Virginia, I forgot, they got money and big time debt and it’s next door to DC, “the money city.”  I just love the smell of fine food and fine clothing.  Watching these high power women (well, at least in their minds) walking in these high heels with tight skirts and brightly colored shirts with big expensive pocketbooks; men walking with BOSS Hugo and Burberry shoes and suits.   It’s Tyson.  Tyson Galleria with Macy’,s, Neiman Marcus, Saks, Anne Fontaine, Bottega Veneta and much more expensive stores.  That’s the issue many people have, it’s not expensive if you take the time and look at the quality of the item.  They have sales all around.  It does help that the retailers know the paydays of government and contractor employees.  I would do the same thing.  Have sales on and after after payday.  It worked and it’s still working.
Commercial Break:  Last Thursday night I went with some friends to the Coastal Carolina Fair.  It’s held every year around this time and one of the acts, The Village People, did not make it due to Hurricane Sandy.  It’s huge with rides, food, games (you know they are rigged and I could not dissuade my kid to stop playing them a few years ago when I use to take her.  I got a little concerned with it became an obsession with her.  I was just thinking about my kid playing poker or whatever at casinos as if she is part of the Rat Pack.  Only she’s female and black, creepy, just creepy.)    
Over the last few years attending it, I would walk around with friends and get my favorites: candy apples, Italian sausage sub (man they are damn good!!!) and fried mushrooms.  Um!! Um!! Good!!! When I got there Thursday and started walking and eating, there usually is a theme of how the kids would dress.  One year every young African American male wore famous cartoon characters, Donald Duck, etc, big black hoodies.  Another year it was the black women turns with high heels, tight and I mean tight jeans and massive black/brown/blond/green or whatever color long hair.  This year, you could tell not many people attended and no dress up or dress to be seen was happening like the tight jeans and massive fake hair, but very low key.  I saw only one young lady with beautiful blue 4 inch high heels.  Man, I was feeling the hurt she must have endured while walking behind her kids at a petty good clip.  Tight, real tight blue jean.  She was hurting like hell.  This fair is held in a huge area that is normally used as the weekend flea market, so I know that child’s feet hurt.  Looking cute hurts?  Suffice to say, I always have a good time walking, watching and eating my favorite foods while hanging out with friends.  I had not done that in a long time since I’m working 7 days a week, so it was a good break and I’m glad my “Dave Ramsey” budget was able to take care of it.  Back to my HOME!!!!!
Oh, sorry, Another commercial break, “Part Time Job at the Asylum.” My last posting told you about Gail getting fired.  She called back again, after her trip to New Jersey to see the “married” guy, found out she was pregnant and aborted it, asked again for her job back or any job there.  The answer was still no.  But, let’s move on to the last 60 days.  I tell you, every week when I return on Saturday, there’s someone new or some new crap going on.  Can’t blame them sometimes thou.  It’s very frustrating to be stuck in a low paying job, kids hanging on you and no concrete education to better yourself.   It’s just damn hard.  Well, I return and JJ quit.  Her son was dating Gail’s sister, Jamie.  I did not see anything wrong with it, but JJ did and continued to harass Jamie over and over again about not hurting her son.  Now, JJ, as any mother would have a concern, but I think first, she needs to get her life in order.  You see, she’s on drugs.  I love her; I really do because she is first and foremost a hard worker, funny and always nice to the customers.  She’s white and her hubby or live in boyfriend, I can’t tell because the lie changes every week, is black.  I told many of my female friends, they need to hang out where I work part time because there are a lot of good looking single black men hanging around.  
JJ got into a fight with Jamie over the issue and, according to other sources, she quit because she thought Gail, Jamie and their other sisters would jump back on her and kick her ass.  Dumb, Dumb and double dumb.  Those sisters could care less.  They got so many issues themselves and Jamie was not going to fight JJ.  It was not worth it.  So my scheduled changed again and now I’m back to working more hours.  Tomorrow, more drama from my favorite “hood” crew.  They are crazy aren’t they.  I’ll get back to the book fair in DC, I just go some more books from a friend and it’s all romance, all romance,  Yeah!!! I’m loving it. 
Brenda Jackson - Westmoreland Men!!!! I am in love with those good looking, awesome men.  

Donna Hill, Farrah Rochon, Linda Hudson-Smith and Pamela Yale

AlTonya Washington, Simona Taylor, Rochelle Alers and Adrianne Byrd

Gwynne Forster, Ann Christopher, Jacquelin Thomas

Simona Taylor 
Beverly Jenkins, Cheris Hodges and Judy Lynn Hubbard

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Sandy, that no good heffer!!!!

First thing’s first, let’s all pray and give if you can for those folks in New York, New Jersey and all throughout the northeast. The impact from Sandy will truly be felt for weeks to come.  It did not dawn on me until it was said that La Guardia Airport was closed.  As someone who has flown from and to that airport, I know it is one of the largest with a lot of traffic so it must be really awful.  That hub is used every single day with 1,000 flights each day.  Can you imagine?  Sandy was beyond a doubt a mother freaking storm.  Let’s just pray and help where we can.
I mentioned before that I went home in September to the National Book Festival and to also hang out with my kid and see home.  Tommy (my dog) and I drove up.  We took our time and made many stops.  I found two more “doggie” playgrounds for Tommy along I-95.  They were clean and well kept.  It was fun to watch him.  He is such a good dog and on days when I come home tired, depressed and sit down in my big, blue, fake Lazy Boy Chair he jumps in next to me and licks and kisses my face.   I then realize life is good and not as bad as I think.
I drove up on I-95 in my little car, “The Red Cube”. I’m beginning to enjoy this car more since I can squeeze into so many places and it does have some get up and go power.  We left around 9am and stopped about every two hours or so to refuel.  I always know I’m close to home when I reach Emporia, Virginia and the traffic gets heavy. But no traffic.  It was smooth and not congested all the way to Maryland.  There was light traffic and no accidents. 
Got home and hung out with my kid in Maryland and DC.  Saw old hang-out places and just smelled the atmosphere.  Certain neighborhoods in DC, which use to be called “Chocolate City”, are now completely or mostly white.  The black folks live in the Maryland suburbs now.  They don’t realize it until it’s too late that when their family, probably their mother, told them to not move to the suburbs due to the long distance drive back and forth to work, that they were right. All the headaches, poor grocery stores selling inferior foods (some are better than others), the crime, congestion even on Saturdays and Sundays, was not worth it.  My mother warned my husband about moving from DC to Maryland.  She was mad that he took her "babies" (me and my daughter) from our home.  She said we would regret it.  We did.  It was neither worth the house nor my health.  I left and ended up here in Charleston.  When I do go back, I’m going home to DC.
We walked around downtown DC. We went to the National Book Festival, of course.  There was a Hispanic parade we watched. We walked from the National Mall to the National Gallery of Art to see the portrait of LL Cool J.  My friend recommended that we visit the gallery.  He was impressed with the portrait.  It was a very impressive painting by Kehinde Wiley.  Check out the website:
The gallery carries some of the most beautiful paintings.  On the first floor there are paintings of Presidents, civil war veterans, 18th and 19th century figures. My daughter said, “let’s just go upstairs and see LL Cool J, these folks are boring.”  I laughed at how she turned up her mouth, just like a teenager.  I miss that.  There are paintings of Michael Jackson, Toni Morrison, Muhammad Ali and other famous sports and celebrity figures also.  Please visit one day, you won’t regret it.  Friday, we drove to Tyson’s Corner.  That is one of my favorite malls.  It has everything imaginable:  Aeropostale, Apple Store, Bloomingdale’s, Bose, California Pizza Kitchen, Coach, Crate & Barrel, Eyebrow Designer 21 (Not kidding about that one), H&M and of course, Barnes & Noble.  Also my favorites, Michael Kors (my kid had to pull me out of that store because I was drooling at the mouth), Cinnabon and the Cheesecake factory.  I know that these are all over the world in different malls, but not in Charleston.  But that’s just it, it’s not in Charleston and the closest Cheesecake Factory is in Charlotte.  The closest IKEA is in Charlotte. Charleston is great, but it’s missing out on some things.
Will talk more about home tomorrow, now on to books:

J. J. MURRAY - I'LL BE YOUR EVERYTHING - $9.39 - - - Shari is living in Brooklyn and working in one of New York's big advertising company.  She also walks to work, which I'm sure many people wish they could to save gas.  As a matter of fact J.J. Murray was raised and lives in New York.  He is also white and his wife is black.  So many of his books are interracial.  Shari works with a dragon queen, Corrine Ross.  

A highly paid African American women who really does not do the work since Shari is always giving her the ideas.  Of course Shari resents that, but she needs to money and trying to get into the management field of the company.  She has never met Corrine's boyfriends, who is white, but has talked to him over the years.  During a bad situation that happens to Corrine, Shari and Corrine's boyfriends become close and the romance is on.  I have always enjoyed J.J. Murray's comedic writing and funny dialog.  I guess that's why I'm trying to read all of his books.  My first book was SOMETHING REAL - $5.95 Something Real.  I get it and it's funny when you need a good laugh on a dry day. 

LISA RENEE JOHNSON - DANGEROUS CONSEQUENCES - $ $2.99 - - - Sydney James has what every girl dreams of an adoring husband, beautiful home and a successful career as a pediatric neurosurgeon, until her husband, Donathan James, a practicing psychologist and local radio personality dubbed the sex doctor, is drugged by a delusional sexy stranger with a hunger to feed. After awakening in a dimly lit hotel room, tied to the bed, and a sketchy memory of how he got there, Donathan begins his quest.  While keeping his secret, he hopes to find the mysterious stranger and uncover her motives. His odd behavior and incriminating pictures on the Internet leaves Sydney confused, angry, and playing in unfamiliar and risky-territory. Along the way, she discovers how dangerous sexual secrets and delusional behavior can be.

MAXINE THOMPSON - LA BLUES SERIES - $7.69 - - - You know, I do sometimes like these urban books, but others I just don't get with all of "ghetto" themes, it gets boring at times.  Here's one that reads like it will be interesting. 

Growing up in foster care, Zipporah “Z” Saldano never dreamed of becoming a police officer, but after she’s rescued from a hostage situation during the LA Riots, she chooses a career in law enforcement. After ten good years on the force, Z is involved in a domestic homicide case gone awry. Her partner is killed and Z is fired when alcohol is detected in her system. It’s two long years before she gets sober and opens her own private investigation firm. Now Shirley, her former foster mother, is in need of Z’s help. Someone has murdered her grandson, a high school basketball star, and she wants Z to find out who did it. Z soon finds herself in deeper trouble than when she was kicked out of the LAPD. What she discovers is a conspiracy much deeper than anyone would believe, and she finds her own life is in danger.

I love kids books to read, give away and just to look at how creative they are:

MELISSA THOMSON - KEENA FORD AND THE SECOND-GRADE MIX-UP - $5.99 - - - Keena Ford doesn’t mean to be a troublemaker, but sometimes things get out of hand. Lucky for her, it’s the beginning of the second grade and Keena’s got a clean slate. So when her new second-grade teacher, Ms. Campbell, mistakenly thinks it’s her birthday and brings in a huge chocolate cake, Keena realizes that she’s gotten herself into a sticky situation. She knows she has to tell the truth, but it’s not easy to turn down her very own birthday cake and a chance to wear a sparkly crown. How will Keena get out of this mess?

SHERRI WINSTON - PRESIDENT OF THE WHOLE FIFTH GRADE - $6.99 - - - Start counting your votes, and your friends.  When Brianna Justice's hero, the famous celebrity chef Miss Delicious, speaks at her school and traces her own success back to being president of her fifth grade class, Brianna determines she must do the same. She just knows that becoming president of her class is the first step toward her own cupcake-baking empire!

But when new student Jasmine Moon announces she is also running for president, Brianna learns that she may have more competition than she expected. Will Brianna be able to stick to her plan of working with her friends to win the election fairly? Or will she jump at the opportunity to steal votes from Jasmine by revealing an embarrassing secret?

Got to get one in for Black History Year
You may not vote for Barack Obama or maybe you will.  What ever you do, just please vote.  Too much history has provided us with the knowledge of how much so many races put with up with the worse of of times to get the right to vote.  Please just VOTE.  You've got a lot more to lose than you think.

BARACK OBAMA - THE AUDACITY OF HOPE: THOUGHTS ON RECLAIMING THE AMERICAN DREAM - $7.99.  Enough said, just borrow or buy the books. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

"Baby, I brought some serious books!!"


This past weekend, October 11 through 15, I worked at the Friends of the Charleston County Library “That Big Book” sale.  We usually have it at the Gilliard Auditorium in downtown Charleston, but that place is going through some major renovations, so the sale was moved to the Omar Shrine Auditorium in Mt. Pleasant.  Think of downtown Charleston as a hub of high end restaurants and stores, narrow streets, very, very expensive housing, the college, and a cozy, somewhat friendly atmosphere.  Whereas in Mt. Pleasant, which reminds me of Georgetown in DC, they have expensive grocery and clothing stores with an atmosphere of “I have big money” types. Some of them have generation money and some are just broke as the dickens and living well beyond their means.  Keeping up with the Joneses is passĂ©, it’s now, “damn, the Joneses is broke too, but we can still live beyond our means.” Mt. Pleasant does have beautiful parks and walk ways, however.  CineBarre is a theatre where you can order food and/or drinks while watching a movie. I got there a lot. Whole Foods is the most expensive supermarket I have even been in, but I love the smell of the fruits and vegetables.  Since I’m on a Dave Ramsey Budget, I have to limit myself when I shop there, but, boy, its damn good food in there, damn good food!!!  They also have smaller regular stores.  It reminds me of a scaled down version of Georgetown, if you can scale down that posh place. 

The Gilliard Auditorium is big, but the Omar Shrine was bigger.  We had so much room to spread out the many tables of books.  We had more mysteries, religion, psychology, and biographies than last year.  We had more James Patterson, Patricia Cornwell, David Baldacci, John Grisham, Anne Perry, Carolyn Hart, Catherine Coulter, Jonathan Kellerman, Stuart Woods, and many more.  These are the authors where I put together four tables just of their books.  I’m usually the one volunteer who tries to put all of the authors in one spot on the table.  I may not get the correct order, but if you are a serious book lover, you will bring your listing of books by your favorite author and peruse the tables to see if we have the one you are missing.  I usually take care of the other tables for cooking, fiction, non-fiction. I just go around straightening out the tables and asking the customers if they are looking for something particular.  I’m the “go to” person at the fair since I’m one of the volunteers who unpack the boxes, I see everything first hand.  

As usual, I’m the only one who the black folks ask, and this happens every year since I’ve been a volunteer, “Is there a black book section?”  I say, “No, but what are you looking for?”  I usually find what they want.  There are times, this weekend was one of them, where a black woman asked me the same question, but she really did not know what her friend wanted, just wanted African American.  I found BeBe Moore Campbell, Nikki Turner, E. Lynn Harris, Brenda Jackson and etc.  Each book I showed her, she would say, “Oh, not that type, my friend is not interested in urban.”  Ok, I find Alice Walker and Toni Morrison.  This Big Ass Dummy (I’m sorry, I should be nice), actually asked me who they were.  You would be proud of me I didn’t cuss, just told her that they are some of the most famous African American authors in the world and one of them won a Pulitzer for fiction and a Nobel Prize in Literature.  She asks, “what’s a Pulitzer?”  I just smiled and told her thank you for supporting the book fair.  Yes, Yes, I know not everyone knows who some of these African American authors are, but Toni, how do you not know Toni Morrison. You can probably tell I was disappointed and her husband (I think) kept smiling at me with no damn teeth in his mouth.  My people, my people, Lord help us!!!

Here are some pictures, book titles with author names of the 8 boxes of books I got this weekend.  I got books for the Bring Your Child To Work Day next year, two baskets to raffle off at a local middle school, a few youth books for these two young girls I met recently, and books for myself.  I just love it!  And a BIG yes, I did buy these books.  The prices were from 50 cents to $3.00.  I got a bargin.  A big bargin!!!  Just can't list them all, we would be all day.

I created a basket for a middle school to raffle off to get more funding.  They added a "nook" to it.  What were they thinking, a "nook.!"