Friday, June 26, 2015

It is the Summer of Chick Lit!!!

My Summer beach reading list.
Out of the 10 books on my list last year I actually read 7 of them. Not too bad.  So this year I am working on a list of trilogies, series as well as stand alone books. I am an obsessive series book reader. I love to see the progression and journey a character makes from one book to the next. I have even researched books that are part of a series and I have an ongoing list so I don’t forget them!

The theme this year is Chick Lit. Wonderful , inspirational, empowering and hilarious stories about women. Especially southern women…

So, my beach reads for this summer of 2015…which I have already started…

1-      Dorothy Benton Frank – Low Country Tales – 9 books in this series but they aren’t a true series with the same characters. Just a series because of the locations. Southern women in southern towns in the summer. Classic chic reads!
2-     The Devil in the Junior League – Linda Francis Lee – Hilarious!!
3-      The Sugar Queen – Sarah Addison Allen – Young southern women growing up and sprinkled with a little bit of magic
4-     Fried Green Tomatoes – Fannie Flagg – Never saw the movie so I am going to read this book everyone has raved about.
5-     The Color Purple – Alice Walker – I love this movie but have never read the book.
6-     Charlotte La Rue Mysteries – Barbara Colley –  8 in this series - A New Orleans housekeeper that always finds trouble – but she is always the one solving the mystery
7-     My House on First Street – Julia Reed – Her story of a new house in the Garden District just prior to Katrina.
8-    The Cousins War Series – Philippa Gregory – 5 books in the series - I love her writing and I watched the STARZ series The White Queen which was based on these books.
9-     Tradd Street Trilogy – Karen White – based in Charleston SC, little bit of mystery and love… a no brainer beach read
10- Low Country Summer Trilogy –Mary Alice Monroe- Sullivans Island SC a grandmother brings her granddaughters together for the summers.

This is my list of chick lit for the summer. Note there is no Nicholas Sparks or Danielle Steele… UGH!!!  I have another list of thriller, mysteries that I will post as alternate reads for the summer. Not sure I will get through all these with out having to have a good gory thriller in between!

Happy Reading Y’all!!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Trans What??

I think I finally figured out what bothered me so much about this “trans-racial” lady in the news. It isn't the fact that she identifies with the African American race…it is that she LIED about who she was to begin with.

People that are comparing her to Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner and other trans gender people are totally missing the point. Trans gender people don’t lie about who they are. They don’t lie about their birth gender or their parents. They are honest and open about who they are, how they were born into this world and how they feel. The world has become more accepting and therefore trans gender people are more comfortable being who they truly are. God Bless them because it can’t be easy.

What this woman did was deceptive, offensive and inexcusable. I don’t question her dedication to the NAACP or civil liberties. But why portray herself as a black/bi-racial woman? Why introduce a black man as her father when he is not related to her at all? Why do that to her hair??? (her real hair looks a lot like mine and I can’t imagine what she had to do to get it that curly) And it has to be a real pain in the butt to self tan or lay in a tanning bed as much as she has.  Just imagining what she had to do to alter appearance and maintain it is mind boggling.

I don’t doubt that she is dedicated to her job and her life’s work for civil liberties. And God Bless the NAACP for taking the high road and supporting her. But to lie to everyone about who she is… that is inexcusable. I don’t care if she identifies with the black race more than she does with any other… that is irrelevant. Could she not work for the NAACP or fight for civil liberties as a white woman? Would she not have been taken as seriously?  She lied about her past, who she is and who her parents are.

Her issues are more deeply rooted than “trans-racial”, and there is more to this family dynamic than we have been told. I’m a mid 40’s white woman and it pissed me off. And what pisses me off more is that she is getting the “trans” sympathy of the world now. It’s crap. Trans gender people are brutally honest about who they are… she is not. Where is Al Sharpton and his mouth? Why isn’t every non-white person in America ticked off? She is a liar and a deceiver. Someone needs to call it like it is. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Victims of Society

When I was 7, living in Naples, Florida most of my after school playmates were retired wives over the age of 50. We did our nails and planted flowers, rode our bicycles and played tennis. Remembering how old I thought they were, it is hard to believe that my grandmother was only 5 years older than I am today. She would take me to the beach club, leave me there to the lifeguards and tennis coaches and go golfing for the afternoon. I spent a lot of time at that beach club and I loved it there.

 The only friend I remember having my own age was a girl named Alexis. I remember a residential construction site close to my grandmother’s house and we would play in those piles of dirt until it the sun was going down. Seems like there was a little boy too but I can’t remember his name. We got so dirty digging holes and making dirt pile furniture so we could play house.

I adored Alexis. Her name sounded like royalty to me and she had, what appeared to me, a fairy tale existence. She actually lived in Port Royal, she wasn’t a visitor like me. She didn’t go to public school and she was, in my little mind, perfect.  I didn’t just adore her as my friend but wished I could be like her.  It was my first real case of envy.As much as a 7 year old can envy another, I envied Alexis.

All of a sudden one day she wouldn’t play with me. I even looked her up in the Port Royal black and white directory and called her one day. I don’t know who I spoke to but they told me that she was busy or not home … and they told me not to call back. My feelings were hurt and I didn’t understand. For all I know it was a housekeeper that I talked to, not a parent. Either way, it was the first time that I can remember feeling inferior. I took it very personally that she couldn’t be my friend. And the sad part is 40 years later I still remember that feeling so vividly.

Quite honestly it may have had nothing at all to do with me. My grandmother was knee deep to a grasshoppers ass in Port Royal Club politics. At one time she was president and ruled the kingdom for a year. This is Martha we are talking about and she could be quite the bitch when she wanted to be. For all I know she pissed off this girls parents and that was the end of my being friends with her. But the 7 year old in me just knew it was because I wasn’t worthy. The first shot to my self esteem and I didn’t even know what that was.  I was not from Naples, I went to public school and rode the bus, I didn’t actually live in Port Royal, at the time my mother was a single parent, I spent my time with my grandparents or aimlessly wandering around the beach club or biking around the neighborhood. I had a southern accent and, at the time, spoke fluent Arabic. I was a hodge- podge of a child and really didn’t fit in anywhere.

My brief friendship with her crosses my mind from time to time. She probably doesn’t remember me at all. When I think of her I wonder about her life and how everything turned out for her. So as I was sitting on my deck this past weekend, I don’t know what made me think of her, but I picked up the iPad and googled her name… And there she was.  Beautiful Alexis. Her parents moved from Naples and bought a vineyard in Napa, California. There she runs the marketing and advertising – and she is a genius. She has a blog on the website too, which really warmed my heart…kindred spirits we are… and she is living the fairy tale life. God Bless her.
After reading some about her parents and how they met (they were on a blind date arranged by friend Lilly Pulitzer!!!) and their successful winery, I realize now, as I did then, we are from different worlds. I probably couldn’t run in her world and she probably wouldn’t want to run in mine. But the older we get the less that matters.  Childhood friends are the exception to the social boundary rules. I think it is because children don’t see those boundaries until they are shown by adults.

I guess the moral of the story is we never forget childhood friends, no matter how brief the contact. Each person impacts your life in ways you don’t realize and everything you do, everyone you have been in contact with over the course of your life has made you who you are today.

I am going to order some wine from their Vineyard. Just for shits and giggles. I am going to take it to the beach with me… and sit in my chair, toast my friend and reminisce about my cherished time in Naples.  

I raise my glass to you  -  Alexis …You go girl!