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This is Us episode 10: Hooking us in for a January comeback

Why must folks threaten to kill off characters to keep us coming back for another go-round? Gets on my nerves. But it works.

So we see the good doctor again, the one who delivered Kate, Kevin and their wee little brother who passed away. He’s also the one who was partially responsible for getting Randall to Jack and Rebecca.

It’s Christmas time. No, not in Hollis Queens… But in 1989.

So we see the good doctor again, the one who delivered Kate, Kevin and their wee little brother

Kate gets a tummy ache and they have to take her to the hospital, which is where they see the good doctor. He had gotten himself into a car accident… Skidded on an icy patch and sustained some internal injuries and bleeding… a slow bleed between the heart and lungs. Doc seems to think he won’t make it out of the needed surgery.

Of course Jack reeks of positivity. He thinks the doctor will be just fine. It was Christmas Eve, the good doctor’s family was not around… So the Pearson’s stood in as Doc’s supportive family. And Randall, the sweet young man that he was (and still is), used his allowance money to buy a snow globe to thank the good doctor for bringing their family together.

Stage Drama
So Kevin and the playwright, Sloane, slept together. And she tells him he needs to go to Hanukkah dinner with her. Because he owes her. And her family’s piece of work. But so is his, so he’s in great company.

So what happens is that he spills the beans about Sloane’s play is a no-go. Olivia disappeared, they don’t have a star, so the folks who are (were) funding the play pulled their money. So Kevin, in the spirit of his dad who was the EEEEEEternal optimist, he suggests they put the play on themselves. Kevin offers to back it with his money… And encourages Sloane to play the starring role. She’s familiar with it. She wrote the play, and played that while work shopping it.

Meantime Kate is meeting with a counselor about gastric bypass surgery. She’s listening to all of the risks… Rebecca is also present and seems unconvinced this is the best move for her daughter. Rebecca also learned a little more about Kate’s medical history. Like how she’d been on Prozac. But she stopped because it made her gain weight. Rebecca also learned about Kate’s binge eating.

So what else is up with their disconnect? It can’t only be because Kate mom is skinnier than she is…or is it? What else happened to Kate or to Rebecca that makes the relationship so fractured? I wonder if they’ll go into that more when the show returns on January 10. Rebecca wonders if Kate’s food problems are her fault, and tells Kate she didn’t know if she was bringing it up too much or not enough… she never knew what to say. Kate hasn’t put her finger on it either, and says she doesn’t know if her mom caused her food issues.

William is at a support group. And he speaks about taming his addiction from the inside. And then another man named Jessie speaks afterwards. As he talks about a man he loved. And a man who left. And left his heart in shambles. That man… William.

Yes sir, William is gay. He’s like the kid with two dads—like in a book at school. That’s what one of his granddaughters noted later on in the show, after William showed up at Randall’s house with Jesse. Grandad is gay. “Or at least bi,” she schooled her parents. Out of the mouths of babes who know what’s really going on, and have no qualms about love in all its forms.

Continue reading This is Us episode 10: Hooking us in for a January comeback

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Extra Tape, more story

When I am out in the field for work, I usually gather way more than enough tape than I need to turn a story around. What a waste if I don’t at least try to use at least some more of what’s gathered to tell more of the story.

That’s the goal of Extra Tape… even though I’m not using tangible tape to record anything anymore.

So let’s get to the story… The rector of a congregation in Silver Spring, Md. arrived to church and found hate-based messages written in two places on the church campus. Both messages read “Trump Nation whites only.” This congregation and its supporters and allies are pushing back with love:

Montgomery County, Md. Police are investigating what they call “hate-based vandalism,” and are offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information that leads to an arrest or arrests.

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Two, four, six, eight! The nation endured another debate!

Folks in the Twitterverse had plenty to say during the first presidential debate between candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.  NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt moderated six segments on topics ranging from jobs and prosperity, taxes, discussions on racial healing, cybersecurity and nuclear weapons.
On Trump’s temperament:

On Trump’s debating skills:

So… who won?

On tax returns and emails

And the most important thing (I think) to remember:

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A mid-season perv’s dream, audits and family frazzles in Greenleaf episode 7

OK, so the opening scene in this one disturbed me from jump. Uncle Mac wakes up, clothed in a wife beater.  Some young thang is sound asleep next to him. Looks like this mo-fo is at it again. Well, assuming he molested his niece and other girls in the first place… After all, those are only accusations. But this brotha seems guilty as sin, hell, death, and the grave.

But it was a dream. He woke up for-real. And alone.

Not everyone thinks he’s slime. He’s up for an award… Memphis Man of the Year.

Mac preps for the day, goes downstairs. In the lobby stands the teen girl of his dream… who’s having trouble with her mom. She seems vulnerable. The perfect prey.

The rundown
So, the church is in the midst of an audit. That’s the centerpiece of this episode.

Another storyline is Uncle Mac’s problem with Carlton. Charity wants him to join Calvary’s music ministry. She was concerned folks would feel or act some kind of way because Carlton is gay. Uncle Mac doesn’t give a hoot about Carlton’s sexual orientation. During the background check, Mac found out Carlton’s filed past lawsuits against prior employers (yes, plural) for wrongful termination. His concern: Carlton might be litigious.

Family (un)ties
Uncle Mac and Lady Mae’s daddy shows up at the church. For some reason, they do NOT want that man in the building. Sir Pops told Mac he HAD to show up because he saw his boy on the front page of the newspaper, and was proud of him. Mac gives Pops a spot of cash. Pops walks out of the office… with a struggle it seems. Wonder if he’s a drunk… Or sick. No se. But WHY are they both so adamant about him never stepping foot on church property?

Anyway, while Mac talks to Noah about not letting his dad anywhere near Calvary anymore, he gets the sense Noah’s regard toward him has shifted somewhat. He tells Noah “Well you know Gigi’s been saying things about me and they’re not true.” Looks like Uncle Mac has an idea why she decided to stay in town.

Meantime, Jacob is still trying to get his dad back on television, and back in his good graces. He talks to Mac about it over food truck vittles. Mac asks him why he keeps trying. Jacob says he has to do something. Mac replies all of his trying makes him look desperate and with all the stuff that he’s pulled his dad is not going to reinstate him.

So my mental rewrite for that line?  “You been dirty in the church-house for years, yo! And God ain’t struck you… So help my daddy reinstate me.”

“But you’re still here,” Jacob responds.  So my mental rewrite for that line?  “You been ridin’ dirty the church-house for years, yo! And God ain’t struck you… So help my daddy reinstate me.”  Maybe Jacob knows something about Uncle Mac… Either about him molesting Faith, or maybe he’s pulled some other shenanigans that makes Jacob say that. What else has Uncle Mac been up to?

Later, Uncle Mac gives Bishop a report on the audit’s progress. Says it’s plain peachy—as far as audits go. But after getting copies of records from the past three years, the auditor notices there are a number of “Freewill Offerings,” or something of that sort. It has a pretty nebulous title, so she asks where that money goes. Old girl isn’t satisfied with Mac’s answer, so she asks for a personal audit of The Greenleaf’s finances (or is it Greenleaves). And Bishop is mad! These nosey mo-fos are about to go digging around in the Garden of the Lord!

So Uncle Mac gets pissed at Grace, quietly storms by her office and tells her to stay up out his business. He verbally seethes at her saying if she keeps pulling threads she’s going to unravel the whole business. WHAT BUSINESS? What is Uncle Mac trying to hide? This sounds like there’s more sordid goings-on in addition to these molestation accusations. Another question: How dirty are Bishop’s hands?

After Bishop chews Mac up and out, and Mac barks at Grace, he runs into Charity in the hallway… Charity tells him that she won’t be a party to any discrimination against Carlton. Mac ain’t thinking about that man, so he tells Charity to do whatever she wants. Looks like they’ll have a new music director.

So now let’s go back to uncle Mac and Lady Mae’s dad… Something interesting… He called her a “high yellow whore.” That’s mean for a dad to say. What dad with love for a daughter would call her a whore? Even if she was a stank-a-dank ho, I imagine she’d somehow still be daddy’s little girl in his heart.

Sir Pops also shouted, “She ain’t even mine!” If he’s not her daddy, who is her daddy? And why she got to be a whore? Why does she did detest him so much? What kind of skeletons are hiding in that closet?

Guess we’ll find out soon enough.

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Day 1: I’m grateful for decent health.

It seems life is a collection of great memories, friendships and lessons. It’s also a collection of ailments and pills as people march toward death. Yes, time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping… nudging away my youth while hoary strands keep pushing through more hair follicles. Even while thinking about what I would change about my life if I could re-live the past 10 years, I’m still so grateful to have decent health. Even with prescriptions and supplement orders through the years, I’m grateful for decent health. I walk. I talk. I laugh. I love. I live. And I appreciate it all.

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Quick-Fast Book Review | Something New

This week’s book is part of a charming series by Beverly Jenkins called the Blessings Novels.

          In Something Old, Something New, former teen sweethearts Trent July and Lily Fontaine, who are now reunited adult sweethearts. They’re also engaged.

This third installment in Jenkins’ Blessings series is rife with activity from page one.
• A reverend in Florida learns her tiny church is closing—the latest victim of gentrification.
• Trent and Lily are planning their wedding. They want something  simple, but haven’t really checked in with the other townspeople in Henry Adams who also have visions of how the wedding should transpire.
• And two of Henry Adams’ adopted children Devon and Zoey are enduring a changing relationship. Zoey is mute, however she has discovered she loves working with her hands. Specifically, she has a knack for working on cars. Devon’s knack is pretty much knocked–he doesn’t have this gift, and feels left out. So there’s that drama… a girl can outdo him fixing any car.  Devon’s also a tad confused because no one wants to hear his rousing Sunday sermons anymore. His delivery is quite electric, but the content is flat… and it seems folks have discovered hearing two or more of his sermons is like a church version of the movie Groundhog Day.
• And then there’s the town owner, Ms. Bernadine. She bought the financially beleaguered Henry Adams on the Internet, and is working to restore the town and establish it as a model community and a safe haven for foster and adopted children.

Something Old, Something New was my first introduction to Beverly Jenkins, and I’ve been hooked on Henry Adams ever since.

I like this book because even though a reader may not pick up the first Blessings novel, Jenkins’ fills in enough details about her characters to that it doesn’t take away from the present story. However it made me want to read more. So when I read the previous installments in the series, I got to understand the character history a little more, and why some of them acted as they did in Something Old, Something New.

If you want to take a journey that’s not quite out of this world, but far enough away from your daily grind, consider Henry Adams, Kansas. You’ll find history, hard workers, jokers, recovering drunks, hogs and swindlers, and adorable children—all sprinkled with a bit of drama and humor.

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