National Black Book Festival


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.