Greetings from steamy Hotlanta, Georgia!
My whirlwind tour of South Carolina started with Tropical Storm Hermine blowing wind and rain across Charleston last Friday while we were there! Other than bringing down some tree limbs, I’d say they missed the brunt of the storm.
We also visited Hilton Head, then it was off to Savannah, Georgia.
We loved its “Southern Charm”, the elegant mansions and colorful houses, and the tasty down home cooking at “The Lady and Sons”, Paula Deen’s restaurant.
I loved having sweet tea again, but I’ll definitely give it up when I get home. After Atlanta, we’re back home this weekend and I’ll be returning to work Monday.
I hope all is well in the Quad Cities or wherever in the world you’re checking out my “Random Friday Thoughts”.
PARENTS OF TEENAGERS — PAY ATTENTION!
I read mostly biographies and autobiographies or books about real events. Recently, I read books by or about Jimmy Carter, Rosalynn Carter, the Carpenters, and Paula Deen.
All were very enjoyable and reading books about real life events or people takes me more into a life I thought I already knew.
I just finished “A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy” by Sue Klebold and I realized there was so much I didn’t remember about this story.
If you’re thinking, “what is the tragedy?” or “where have I heard that name?”, maybe this will bring it all home.
Sue Klebold is the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the two students (along with Eric Harris) that stormed into their school, Columbine High School, in Littleton, Colorado, on April 11, 1999, with guns and homemade bombs.
When their spree of violence ended, 14 students (including Klebold and Harris) and a teacher were dead, and 24 others were injured, some seriously.
It’s taken Klebold seventeen years to share her thoughts on the massacre: how did the little boy that she raised do something this monstrous, how did she and her husband, Tom, miss the warning signs (how did they not see that the throes of depression wasn’t just teenager moodiness), and how could they continue living in Littleton when many people there saw them an accessories to murder in a school tragedy that started a nationwide copycat trend?
It’s a very compelling book by a woman that has suffered deeply living in the aftermath of such a horrendous crime. She walks a fine line trying to reach out to the 39 families ripped apart by her son’s (and Eric’s) violent fantasies that became reality, while also trying to grieve the loss of Dylan, who became a monster, but was also her son, her baby.
She talks quite a bit about “brain illness” and “brain health” in this country (instead of using the terms “mental illness” and “mental health”). It’s a strong message.
I know (and you likely know) that in the wake of every tragedy in this country, we ask how can this keep happening. Mental illness is usually a contributing factor, but we keep sweeping it (mental health issues and reform) under the rug!
Sue says we should not ask “Why?” when a tragedy occurs because it leaves us hopeless. We should ask “How?” because that shows us a way forward to do what we must do.
When she speaks publicly, she now introduces herself by saying, “My son died by suicide. He was one of the shooters in the Columbine tragedy.”
I feel for Sue, her family, Dylan, the 40 other families damaged by this tragedy, the town of Littleton, and the families and friends and communities of every shooting brought on by mental illness.
It’s a tough subject that needs to be addressed today or we’ll be talking about more tragedies tomorrow.
And, a final note about this tragedy, it could have been much worse. The two teenagers had intended to blow up the school and kill everyone! However, some of the bombs didn’t go off!
A must read for everyone, especially parents of teenagers.
LADY GAGA IS BACK!
“Perfect Illusion”, the first single from her new album dropped this morning at Top 40 radio.
MORE ON MY READING HABITS
After talking about my reading habits, I’ll say, on occasion, I’ll read some fiction.
The last three fantastic ones were “The Girl on The Train” by Paula Hawkins (I can’t wait for the movie October 7th), “Day Four” by Sarah Lotz, and “Dietland” by Sarai Walker, which is being developed as a television series.
If you’ve ever been the “fat” girl (or boy) and felt like the world was just for thin people or if you’re a woman just fed up with a degrading society, you need to read this book!
Here’s my blog about it from earlier this year:
“THE WALKING DEAD” — PRESIDENTIAL STYLE
We’re still six weeks away from the season seven premiere of “The Walking Dead” to see who dies at the hand of Negan and his trusty barbed wire-baseball bat Lucille.
And, we’re still about two months away from the 2016 presidential election.
Whether you’re on Team Hillary or Team Trump (sorry, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein), Michael Cudlitz (Abraham) of “The Walking Dead” has these comparisons of Clinton and Trump to the hit drama’s hero and villain.
“I think we’re probably looking at that right now, I think Trump would be more like Negan, and Clinton would be more like Rick — kind of go with the political when you can, but not afraid to kill everybody if they had to.”
Ahh, “Killary” Clinton in “The Walking Dead” circles!
Cudlitz continues, “But Negan’s a little bit of a loose cannon and Trump is a little bit of a loose cannon.”
He quickly adds, “And that’s not me being political. That’s by his own description. So yeah, I think we actually have our Negan and our Rick. And, neither one is perfect.”
While I may not be objective (to some), I’d definitely feel safe living in country with President Hillary Clinton and surviving in a zombie apocalypse with Rick Grimes in control!
TODAY’S YOUTH… SMH!
Full disclosure here, as a parent, I’m partially guilty in perpetuating a less than desirable future for our children. Our daughter is 15 now. She’s a great kid that makes good grades at school, isn’t boy crazy (yet), and doesn’t cause us any trouble.
Those are the good things. She’s also 15, likes to just sit in her room and binge watch television shows and YouTube videos, have very little interaction with us, and is constantly having to be reminded to do the few chores she’s assigned.
I know there are many other things I could be complaining about, but I just have to shake my head because I can only say so much.
One thing I truly don’t believe in is that every kid deserves a ribbon or a trophy for participating and that’s the society we’re living in.
Actress and pop singer Selena Gomez, after performing 56 shows on her “Revival Tour”, cancelled the fall and winter leg for the shows in Europe and South America, due to anxiety and panic attacks. But, I understand Selena’s dilemma. She confirmed last year that she has the auto-immune disease, lupus.
However, just recently, Camila Cabello of Fifth Harmony left the stage in St. Louis, Missouri, because of a panic attack. She didn’t return to the show, but was at the next concert in Dallas.
And, Zayn Malik, formerly of One Direction has dropped out of concerts because of panic attacks.
Okay, I get it, we all get stressed. I get anxious, but I’ve never dropped out of an event or called into sick at work because of it. I guess it might have a lot to do with the fact that it’s the next generation and we weren’t raised that way.
So, if Whitney Houston was right in “The Greatest Love of All” and “I believe the children are our future” and they continue with this work ethic, God help us all. 🙂
“MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL”
I have the book and I’ve heard of Clint Eastwood’s movie, but while we were in Savannah, the carriage house we stayed at had the DVD in the player, so we watched it.
I’m glad I did. It touched perfectly on southern living (wealth, closeted gay lifestyle, gossip, and intrigue) and when you throw in a little murder, you have a scandal.
And, the house used in the movie of the socialite that threw amazing Christmas parties was right in the neighborhood we were staying.
If you’ve never seen this 2007 movie, I highly recommend it this fall or winter.
R.I.P. THE LADY CHABLIS
If you were already familiar with the “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” movie or book, you know that The Lady Chablis was the standout star.
Now, just days after discovering her and the movie, it saddens me to report that the 59-year-old transgender star died at a Savannah hospital Thursday.
Now, I have to read her 1997 autobiography, “Hiding My Candy”.
Here she is in a 1996 performance.
I have very versatile taste when it comes to music, movies, and television.
Some of my choices are rather risque, including today’s choice by Manila Luzon.
Warning: Contains adult language and situations!
With all the craziness in the world, make it the best in your little part of it!