Its a sunny day outside,a bit overcast but not a bad looking day. I should be outside doing anything but I am not. I am feeling pretty rundown today,missing Lori very much as I do every minute. I actually did pretty well for the first week of December as far as coping with the Christmas season but it seems like everyone and anyone is shopping or talking about Christmas this year. I know I am hyper-sensitive to certain days and seasons and that is that is normal feeling for widows and widowers. I have turtled up again this year I’m afraid,doing nothing again. I wish I could explain what it feels like but because everyone feels different feelings on different levels,I just don’t think I could express it well enough for folks to understand.
The big news locally is the lack of winter. We have cold temps but other then one storm that dropped a inch of snow and another night where we got a dusting of snow,we have had no snow. Compared to last year…this is summer weather. Of course this could change relatively quick,one year on Christmas Eve,we got hit with a 8-10 inch snowstorm. Not getting a feeling this will happen this year but you never know…
The benefits of having no snow is a boon to the local merchants as shopping crowds have been large at the local stores. I have been out a few times,going to get a couple of gifts for some folks. People seem to be upbeat and the kids are pretty excited dashing around the toys and electronics section. People tend to stay out shopping longer in better weather and most will stay out longer at nights.
I don’t know if its me but the deals seem to be lacking this season,been looking for certain items that should be on sale but they are still at the same prices before Black Friday. I thought about ordering some things from Target but holy crow,I am glad I checked their Facebook and Twitter feeds,a whole lot of angry folks out there who had ordered Christmas online and then weren’t getting their orders. When they attempted to call to find out what was happening,well,now you know why they are very grumpy.
Been doing a lot of reading as of late which is something I used to do all the time and have fallen away from the past 3.5 years,reading medical charts,articles about cancer,chemotherapy and radiation somehow just doesn’t count as light reading.
After I finished West By West,I picked up Jimmie Walker’s bio called “Dyn-o-mite” and started that. Wow,was that book a awesome read. Walker,who shot to fame as J.J. Evans on the series “Good Times” back in the 70’s,has had a remarkable career. Not only was he the first young black comic to become a huge TV star,his sharp eye for talent helped many younger comics on their rise to fame. He writes about his early struggle to find a place to get his voice heard and how gigs at the Apollo and for the Black Panthers helped get him started. It wasn’t a easy road for Walker and his casting as J.J. was almost a complete accident.
The stories he shares about David Letterman,Jay Leno and Freddie Prinze (who Walker believes his suicide was a accident) are both insightful and tragic. He writes about the war between the major comedy rooms in Hollywood got so heated that it destroyed lives of many people and it left a bitter imprint still being felt today.
But what really was surprising is how Walker a straight edged man,he never did drugs,smoked or drank. He is also very conservative and his take on race relations will really open some eyes. I finished Jimmie’s book in one sitting it was that good. I don’t know how well it sold but based on the fact I found it at Dollar Tree only two years after it was published….all I can say I am glad I found it.
I know I have written plenty about Dollar Tree Theater but I also have say that our local Dollar Tree store gets the best books as well. Different stores get different items depending on how well they sell. My store does extremely well in book sales so we always are getting fresh works. In fact I just picked up two Clive Cussler books which never happens! Clive is one of my favorite action-adventure writers but unless I see his books at a yard sale or more rarely,at a library sale,I don’t get a chance to read him as much as I would like.
Lately at Dollar Tree,they have been getting a lot of biographies and I pick them up whenever I see them on the shelves. Which is why I bought Denise Richard’s “The Real Girl Next Door”. As so many of you know,I am a huge fan of “Starship Troopers”. This was where I first saw Denise act and while I think Dina Meyer was so much better,I know a lot of fanboys loved Denise in the movie.
Her career seemed on the rise as she did “Wild Things” and was a Bond girl in “The World Is Not Enough”. My favorite movie with Denise in it is “Undercover Brother” as White She-Devil. But then she met and wed Charlie Sheen,not the smartest move in the world.
Denise’s book talks about life before Charlie and after Charlie. Its sort of bland as she doesn’t really detail what exactly went wrong with their marriage. I do find it sad to know that Charlie had been sober 4 1/2 years when they met on the set of “Spin City” but its safe to say that he had a relapse which slowly eroded their union.
While the majority of the book covers the Charlie Sheen marriage and then hooking up with another well known person with addiction issues,Richie Sambora..the story of Denise and her relationship with her mom is the highlight of the book. Her mom died of renal cancer at age 53 and how it affected Denise and her family is touching. She writes about this with love and sensitiveness and how her mom’s death brought her dad and her closer. I did find it sad that despite Denise doing nothing other then trying to shelter her kids,she was roasted in the tabloids and her career basically just stalled. She has slowly rebuilt it with several movies and guest star roles along with being active on social media. Its worth reading,IF you get it via Dollar Tree.
The metro Detroit area lost an iconic journalist this week. Bill Bonds,who worked as a field reporter,hosted talk shows anchored at our local ABC station for many,many years died last week of a heart attack. Bonds was a hard hitting journalist who wasn’t afraid to ask the hard question but he had a soul in which he had witnessed so much grief and heartache. He became a heavy drinker which led to him into rehab many times before he left the business for own health.
He became a well respected voice actor for various companies and for a popular attorney firm in Detroit. He made several guest appearances at WXYZ-Detroit doing editorials and even anchoring one night celebrating the station’s 60th year on the air.
Now while Bill was long gone when I landed in Michigan,I did have a chance to watch some of his work while visiting a local museum. He did a bit where he had to explain why he couldn’t promote the Girl Scout cookies on the air while he did just that….despite the threat of being fired if he did. Its a classic piece that is still talked about today.
Bill loved Detroit loved much and I think watching it slowly crumble underneath wave after wave of corrupt and inept City Councils and Mayors (especially Coleman Young,perhaps the worst mayor Detroit ever had) just worn him down. During one exchange with Young,Bill challenged him to a fistfight on the air!!
Bill’s hard work helped paved a continuing tradition of great local TV journalists in the metro Detroit area. While New York,Chicago and Los Angeles may be bigger markets and have more resources,no one beats Detroit for the quality of the journalists we have working here on a daily basis.
It’s now 29 Dec and its 1:44 am
Been spinning my wheels in trying to get this entry out,been hanging out downstairs with the cheetah watching old TV shows on YouTube or reading my newest book, “Supervolcano: Eruption”. Funny thing about getting books at Dollar Tree,you have to really look at what you are buying. I have seen several books in a series,books that look like a great read but I have to skip them because just because you see Part One,doesn’t mean you will see Part Two or Part Three because that isn’t how Dollar Tree buys theirs books,it truly is a mishmash of anything and everything and no two books are alike.
But when I bought Supervolcano,it looked like a stand alone novel,that is until I started reading it. It was far too slow in its pacing to be contained in its volume so I looked in the back when I hit page 150 and sure damn enough,it was book one of a trilogy!! Nuts….but I am still going to read it and look for the other two parts at my local library,they have a small self contained bookstore that sometimes have bargains. I don’t venture there very much because quite honestly,my backlog of books is so huge….
I made it through Christmas. I say this because it was tough going this year for me. Being around people who are shopping and planning for the day is like listening to someone scratch on a chalkboard. Its hard to do much of anything other then volunteering or going to work. Christmas was our favorite holiday and we enjoyed everything about it,the shopping for loved ones,the wrapping of gifts,Elf Day,planning the dinner,seeing if we could invite a orphan over for dinner (Hi Chris Esparza!),write cards,you know…the whole Christmas thing. But the past three Christmas have been pretty damn hard,the last one where Lori was so sick we really couldn’t do anything but stay warm and watch our Christmas films while I kept my eyes on her.
I had a few surprises from some dear friends,a huge platter of homemade cookies from my friend Susan,a very cute movie and a reason to go the bookstore from Sue (plus cheetah treats),a tin of cookies and more reasons to head to the bookstore from Deb aka Rhoda (plus cheetah treats),Crash’s mom baked me a blueberry loaf (plus cheetah goodies),Jerry and Cheryl got me a 12 episode DVD of the “The Love Boat” (and cheetah treats). I got a few cards as well,which were very sweet. I do promise that next year,I am going to get back into the Christmas spirit again.
I have been trying to finish this since 15 Dec!! Guess I better wrap it up and get it out there!!
I will start a new entry after I have some lunch…..
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