I'm down to the last three pages in my journal, and I went digging around trying to find another one. That's when I realized I'd have to buy another journal . . . from somewhere else. For some of you, that's no big deal. But I've spent ten straight years buying journals from Border's, especially in the entrance way where the cookbooks used to be. Actually I think it may be longer than that but I'm counting from the time I worked at Border's Books, Music & Cafe on the Magnificent Mile my junior year of college. The discount didn't even matter. All of the access to books and seeing what everybody else was reading was what did it for me. Plus, there were a select few co-workers who I just loved to hang out with and still have fond memories of to this day.
1) Celebrating my great great aunt's 100th birthday: Although she has a habit of "I'm old. I'll say anything I want" and we both have very strong personalities, I love her. I asked for Feb. 8 off to make sure I was there the morning of her birthday. I can count on one hand the number of people that I'd go to breakfast with at 8 a.m. after being at work from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., but I was up. My mother and I took her to breakfast and then my great great aunt talked me into coming back for a senior citizen party she had at 3 p.m. By the time I went home, I was good and delirious, but it was worth it.
2) Talking my grandfather into coming to my great great aunt's party: Before he was married, he would hit up every "tavern" from Hawaii to Chicago. He'd traveled to so may locations around the world that his map of tacks were crammed together. But at 88, a party animal he is not. I can get him to go to China Hut and occasionally we'll go shopping, but he's not the type to be at big group events excluding his own family reunion. However, he said "yes" to coming with me to her 3 p.m. party. And let me tell you my grandfather is the best date ever! I was glued to his hip the entire time, and we were over on the side cracking jokes and having a good time eating chocolate cake and ice cream. My great great aunt did some mild flirting with him, too, and he threw it back at her. Those two! Wow!
I've got some family members who I think would be great if they ever stepped foot onstage at a comedy event. In the meantime, I enjoy spending time with them, especially my parents and my grandfather. I've got a couple buddies who keep me laughing, too.
Here are a few things that were said to make me laugh/smile on Valentine's Day and a couple of gifts, too.
1. My grandfather's latest creation: There is never a dull moment with this guy. You leave him alone long enough and he's going to do something strange. I just so happened to glance at his dining room table to see he'd done this only a few minutes after I walked out of the room.
2. My grandfather's V-day quote: "You can have your valentine as long as you'll still be my punkin." (That's just plain sweet! He calls me "Da Punkin" all the time since birth.)
3. My grandfather on why he won't snitch on our conversations: "Hey, when we talk, what you say is Vegas. Whatever's done in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas." (Gotta love Grandad for being the one I can vent to or get his opinion, except when it comes to relationships. He tries to play it way too safe with that. He'll listen but when it comes time for me to ask him what he thinks I should do, his usual response is: "You're not going to have me giving you bad advice. I need to hear his side, too. I don't know him. If he came in here and plunked me upside the head, I still wouldn't know we were talking about him." (BTW, I would strongly suggest not plunking my grandfather on the head. If you do, he will revert back to his war days and knock you halfway across the room. :-) And after he's done, turn around, CAUSE HERE I COME!)
Earlier today while doing laundry, I was thinking, "I'm falling behind on that blog idea 'What are you smiling about? I should do that today" and I was going to. But while I was talking to my mother via phone and checking my work e-mail (which two of my bosses have lectured me to stop doing but I like keeping up with the news), I paused and my voice almost cracked when I saw the news alert at 7:13 p.m.
I told my mother Whitney Houston was dead. There was a long pause and a gasp before she said, "You're joking." Of course she knew I wasn't, but that's my mother's reaction to anything she doesn't want to believe. Both of us couldn't find much else to talk about after hearing that. That's the kind of impact Whitney Houston left on us and I'm sure many other fans. Twitter is going crazy talking about her. She's five trending topics in the U.S. right now.
Someone said no one could do a tribute quite like Whitney, and I usually hate tributes because nobody sings as well as the real thing. However, I honestly think that Jennifer Hudson is the only person who could really nail it. Don't believe me? Watch Whitney Houston's reaction to watching Jennifer Hudson onstage. I love this video for two reasons. One: I wasn't a Jennifer Hudson fan when she was on "American Idol" but she sure as hell grew on me after "Spotlight." Two: I have always been a fan of Whitney Houston.
Putting her in my top 30 favorite artists for Black Music Month is proof of that. Click here to read it. Click the "Read More" option (if you're looking at this blog in preview mode) to see the link to the J-Hud video and check out my favorite Whitney Houston song, too.