My Two Cents

From time to time, I have random thoughts spinning through my head, which I need to get out. Like today. These are my musings in a nutshell, which I’m happy to share, rather, unload, on you.

And They’re Off!  I don’t know about you, but I keep getting all stressed out by Black Friday, which is just days away. The anticipation, the frenzy, the mad rush to buy, buy, BUY! But, if you ask me, BF has become a holiday in and of itself. Our annual duty as Americans, to open our wallets and hand over our cashola, to the retail industry. Needless to say, Black Friday is as integral to our way of life as eating deep-fried Twinkies at country fairs, and voting for the next American Idol.

It seems to me, this holiday is buried next to Thanksgiving and is in danger of getting lost in its shadow. Indeed, we’re doing it a disservice by wedging it between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Throw in Hanukkah and Kwanza, and it’s a recipe for disaster, my friends.

Which is why I’m proposing we move Black Friday to sometime in the summer, away from all the holiday hysteria. Cyber Monday, too, for that matter.  Let’s move them both and spread out our national holidays, once and for all.  It’s time we let Congress know we won’t stand for anyone squishing our holidays together anymore, unless of course, we’re talking about the 12 Days of Christmas or the eight days of Hanukkah. Those, we can still keep together.  Incidentally, have you thought about what you’re getting me for Black Friday this year?

Queen of America — Adventures by the Book does it again!  Looking for something fun to do this holiday season?  Get lost in a book or two, with exciting opportunities to meet really cool authors. I always enjoy these events and the rare experience it gives you to get to know an author and the backstory of their book.

First up, on December 3rd, you can spend an intimate evening with renowned author and Pulitzer Prize-winner, Luis Alberto Urrea.  Enjoy a margarita and appetizers while learning about Urrea’s latest novel, Queen of America (and no, it’s not about me!). This sequel to The Hummingbird’s Daughter is, as Vanity Fair magazine puts it, “vibrant, larger-than-life fiction based on the ‘Saint of Cabora.’” Listen up, you folks in the Northwest:  Adventures by the Book is planning a similar event on December 7th in Portland, Oregon.

Silver Sparrow – On December 6th, Adventures is hosting a divine dinner with author Tayari Jones, who also happens to be a member of She Writes! I’m reading her book right now, Silver Sparrow, and it is wonderfully told from the perspective of a young girl whose father is a bigamist. He has two separate families and only one of them knows about the other. It is a story of deceit (a tangled web, if you ask me), and when the teenage daughters from both families finally meet, well, you just know something’s going to hit the fan.

After Happily Ever After  — Now that I’m blogging for the Huffington Post, including its Divorce section, I’m making all kinds of connections. Which is how I came to link up with Kate Schermerhorn. She has produced a fascinating documentary, After Happily Ever After, inspired by her own marriage and divorce—and subsequent second marriage. Kate asks, why do so many people marry when half those marriages will end in divorce?  Which reminds me of an observation I heard on the pilot episode of the struggling, NBC sitcom, Whitney. In it, Whitney observes, that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. Yet, if we were told that 50 percent of planes  crash, would we still by as likely to fly? Hmm….Definitely something to ponder.

Kate talks to many couples, young and old, dressed and naked. (Yes, one of the couples believes in a nudist lifestyle, which is probably why their marriage is working.)  She also talks to psychologist John Gottman, who can predict divorce with 90% accuracy. Kate and her second husband are seen throughout the documentary, and as it progresses, you see their own marriage beginning to dissolve. It’s a candid film, with a humorous flair, and recommended viewing for anyone in a relationship or wanting to be in one. Visit the website for more info.

The End of an Era – Last Friday was the final taping of One Life to Live, a tearful day for the actors of my favorite soap opera. My heart goes out to the cast and crew who worked on the show for so many years, and then were unceremoniously kicked to the curb (Thank you, ABC).  Some of you may know I was planning to “retire” in Llanview, USA, where the fictitious soap was set. Now, who knows? I may have to work forever.

There are plans to move One Life to the web, but only time will tell how well that works. For now, I’ll just cry my eyes out, for the loss of so many juicy storylines and appealing characters.  I mean, where else could you see on TV, characters grow up, from infancy to adulthood, in about five years?

Art Meets Glass — Don’t forget! You still have until this Friday to enter my first giveaway! Read the post, Art Meets Glass and Then Some to find out how.

So, Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Happy Black Friday, too.  And if you’re looking for me on BF, I’ll be the one with the blithering, far off, uncaffeinated stare, waiting on a line about six blocks long, just to fulfill my civic duty as an American consumer.

And proud of it.