National Black Book Festival


Saturday, September 14, 2013

I'm so late in blogging!!!!But, I'm Back!


I am not going to make excuses for being late blogging.  Let’s just say I was tired and have worked my but off from July straight thru September 12 with no breaks.  Seven days a week. I mean I worked my full and part time job, volunteered, attended church and in between, took a strange trip; in the name of fundraising, to the Emerald Princess II Casino in Brunswick, Georgia.  I did read some great books along the ride. 

So let me bring you up to date on my exciting or odd, depending upon your view, book loving life.

Let’s start with my bizarre bus trip to Georgia.  There’s this organization that has dinner/dancing and literary functions a few times year.  The money is used to provide scholarship to impoverished students.  One year they had a 70s dance/dinner that I attended.  That was fun to see people dressed up with bell-bottomed pants, leisure suits (that was a bit scary seeing men as old as dirt dressed in those), big bushes, etc.  Last year their literary function had BEVERLY JENKINS.  African American author of Destiny’s Surrender Destiny's Surrender - $4.99, Indigo Indigo - $5.69, Night Hawk Night Hawk - $5.69 and many others.  Really, really great books with fantastic story lines.  She was an engaging and funny speaker and a great story teller.  

This year they decided to take a bus trip to Brunswick, Georgia to the Emerald Princess II Casino cruise.  Everyone was scheduled to meet at a designated parking lot at 7am on Saturday.  I was a little tired from working long hours the day before, so I was looking forward to relaxing on a bus with nice, roomy seats and watching movies.  After we started rolling, we made a stop at another parking lot, four streets down, to pick up another passenger.  We stopped again two hours later to pick up two more passengers.  

Is it me or when you get on a bus for a 3 to 4 hour trip, you don’t expect to stop and pick up passengers along the way.  Oh well, at least we stayed on track.  I use to drive my kid and her best friend to Jekyll Island in Brunswick.  That is the most beautiful beach resort and it’s very inexpensive.  

Now, before I going on, let me tell you that these women and three men, are of a certain age - retired.  My friend, another young lady with her mother and myself have some years to go before we can retire.  So you know many of them brought with them the damn kitchen sink.  One woman, who was able to have two seats, brought enough food to feed a small country.  Many of were fanning themselves due to hot flashes, taking one drug on top of another and fussing about everything.  Some, dressed casual and chic, some dressed like we were going on some exploration to another world.  What I'm trying to say is, for a three hour trip back and forth, what damn more do you need to carry and who is going to carry it for you?  Not me.

Got to Brunswick and the cruise ship around 11:00.  A few of us went to the deck to relax in the sun and talk.  We figure we would chic chat an hour or so then go and get some lunch.  When we first arrived, we took a tour on our own around the ship.  Slots machine, blackjack tables, dining room, etc, on one level, dining room on the second level and the outside deck. I’m not a gambler, so I did not play, I figure I did not want to lose the $10.00 dollars they gave us.  I just went for a day in on the boat and hanging out with my friend.

After our fun time on deck, we proceeded downstairs to eat lunch at 1pm.  Lunch was served from 11:30 to 12:30.  No one told us.  We did find a vending machine on the gambling deck. It was filled with one roll of candy costing $3.00 a piece and four rolls of cigarettes costing $6.00 a pack.  We went to the bar and managed to get some sodas and then my strange trip begin to spin out of control.  I got sick.  I mean I was throwing up over the boat, in the bathroom and my head was rotating like never before.  I tired to drink coke, then sprite, then water.  Each time I did, I just turned around and threw up.  I went back to the dining deck and fell asleep in the chair with my feet up in another chair.  No, I was not seasick.  On our second stop to pick up more passengers along the way, I did manage to get some food on my stomach.  I was hungry, but I was not that hungry.  I was pissed that no one told us lunch was served at a certain time and that you can only gamble during certain times that the boat is in motion or something to the effect they had to be out of some range.  I don't know, don't remember and don't care.  After I woke up and threw up for the third time, I felt better. 

Since I was not a player, I went down to the gaming deck with my friend to watch her play one of the slot machines.  I got sick again.  The drenched smell of cigarette smoke covering the gambling room was killing me and I had to go back upstairs to the deck to get some fresh air.  At that time of the day, it was hot as hell up there.  I didn't care.  I just wanted to be away from the smoke and pure funk from people who came there dressed with or without a bath and saturated with perfume.  I was sick as a big ass dog.  

Later, snacks were provided in the dining room.  Let me tell you if that is their version of snacks, they need to go to Walmart or some such store and get some damn real taco shells and real hamburger meat.  They provided us with one taco with the driest hamburger meat (It looked like beef, I hope), flaccid lettuces, can tomatoes, not the Campbell’s brand, but some off the shelf dollar store brand, with your choice in a small plastic cup of water, soda or sweet tea.  You could not go back and get seconds.  What kind of crap was that.  My friend and I were told later that the lunch served was the worst and we should be glad we missed it.  A undercooked ham and cheese sandwich, bag of chips and drinks.  Maybe the dinner offering was better.  I have been on boats, ships, everything all my life and never gotten seasick.  This was different, this was a preview of hell.  

Once we left the “Empress Casino from food hell,” the bus became very hot and the driver had to make a stop to get the air conditioner fixed.  Could not believe it, after half an hour on the road, just could not believe it, but hey, I see something along route 95 that catches my eyes and stomach.  I said, "Are we stopping here?  I see a Shake and Steak.  Are we stopping?????  Yes, we stopped there and while they had the bus checked out, I ran off that bus as fast as I could.  It was not too hard since so many of the women had to gather up their world in a bag.  I ran to the Shake and Steak and ordered the biggest hamburger with everything on it, large fries and a shake.  Got back on the bus with my food and began to feel like a full human being.  Not sick, just hungry as hell.  Air fixed, we started heading back. First stop was to drop off the two passengers and we did not have to make the second stop, she was able to contact someone to pick her up at the designated parking lot from that morning.  This happen on Saturday from 7am to 10pm. 

Never again and I mean never again.  I'm not a gambler and I love boats and water, but that was not your average bus trip.  The leader ask if anyone wanted to returned to the Empress.  No hands were raised.  She then asked if maybe Myrtle Beach was better, everyone raised their hands except me and my friend.  I've seen hell before, but I have never gotten so sick, so fast in a long time.  I think I will pass.  As a matter of fact, I want my damn $65.00 back!

Let me start getting to books.  

ANGELA WINTERS - VIEW PARK - $4.30 - A coworker of mine mentioned her early last year, but I was so busy with other books, I forgot about it.  While I was volunteering in the library, this was one of the books I was returning to the shelf.  Borrowed the book, got home and took care of some things, got in bed and started reading it.  I figure I would read a few pages to get the gist of it and maybe return to it later in the week.  I have a million books surrounding my bed.

The next morning, I got to work two hours late because Mrs. Winters had me up all night. During the night I continue to say to myself, oh, I'll just read to end of the next chapter, then go to bed.  Finished the book.  

We have the Chase Family:  Steven Chase, father and husband from poor beginnings creates a million dollar hair product company, Chase Beauty.  He is a powerful man with a serious mission.  Expand his company by taking over a chain of hair salons owned by Avery Jackson.  Avery Jackson is a twenty-six year African American, head strong woman who will fight to the bitter end to keep her company from Mr. Chase.  Here's her problem, Steven, father of the most "Dynasty, Knots Landing, Dallas and Family Business by Carl Weber" family in the world, assigns his son, Carter, to figure out a way to get Avery's business.  Here's Carter's problem, he starts to fall in love with her.  

Of course, the romance/tiff between them has some minor setbacks, maybe.  Avery's business partner and friend Craig, has some issues of his own, which does affect Avery's business in more than one way.  Carter also has other pressing family matters.  He wants to be his own man and run his own business, but his father, Steven, buts heads with him.  Does he help Avery fight or lose to his family while trying not to fall in love with her or not fall in love.  He is also trying to help protect his slutty sister, Haley from murder.  In every family, well maybe not yours or mine, there's got to be at least one slut.  It's just not fun without it.  

Haley witnessed a murder while on her lover's, the Senator, yacht.  Everyone in the family, even the detective, Sean, brother of Avery, working on the case; is also not trying to fall in love with Harley.  She is just a spoiled, slut brat, but you gotta love her.  Steven's other daughter, Leigh, wants to venture out on her own and open a clinic in a somewhat sketchy. Her mother, Janet, the socialite, wants her to marry a man with connections.  The problem here, Janet is not aware of this man's sketchy past until it is almost too later.  

Then there's Michael, the favorite son of Steven (think Bobby from Dallas).  He's married to Kimberly, a former model with a sketchy past who is very dislike by his mother and she to her. 

Steven and Janet are like most parents.  They want the best for their kids.  As usual, their plans and assignments gets them in more trouble than their kids.

You know why I really enjoyed this book.  I don't have cable or rabbit ears in order to watch TV on a regular basis.  So this was a superb treat to read a fast and exciting soap opera Drama Rama of black folks.  Granted it has some make believe craziness to it, but it was fun and fast and I went back to the library to get book two, sadly, it was not available, but wait, I got the first book in the other series and it's about my hometown, DC.  DC. BACK ON TOP (D.C. Novels) - $8.59 Back on Top (D.C. Novels) and I just order all 10 books from both series.  I need to find out more about the Chase family.  I may not have Scandal on TV, but I got my Chase in books.

I'll be back tomorrow.  I'm on vacation for 12 days and I got lots to talk (write) about.  Oh, does it feel good to be on vacation.  Hallelujah!!!!