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: http://www.npg.si.edu/exhibit/recognize/paintings.html
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.