My goodness, it’s been a while.
Thanksgiving was nice. For the first time since school started in August, we were “five” again. As soon as the college girls arrived home on Tuesday, we loaded up the Expedition and headed to my mom’s. This was to be her first holiday since Dad went to heaven two months ago and we wanted to make sure her house was filled with laughter and love and the smells of good food.
My brother, who lives in Atlanta, was in town as well–doing a little deer hunting with old school chums. He joined us for the big Thanksgiving meal and together we spent a day going through a couple of Dad’s many storage sheds.
My folks have lived on that property since 1968. And for the past 42 years, their practice was not to get rid of anything. As they accumulated, they simply built another storage shed. J.D. and I began the daunting process of sorting through all this stuff by classifying everything into one of three categories: 1. Keep; 2. Sell; or 3. Toss.
We barely made a dent. But it’s a start. I’m holding out hope that at some point we’ll come across some buried collectible worthy of the Antique Roadshow’s highlight reel, or maybe a mint Honus Wagner baseball card stuck in a book.
So far, it’s mostly broken floor fans and an astonishing variety of weed eaters.
As I noted on my Twitter feed, I caught a show promo on the A&E network the other night that un-ironically featured the most cliche’ line in all of television show promotion, i.e., “a very special . . .” You know, as in, “Next week on the Hallmark Channel, a very special Little House on the Prairie.”
In this case, the use of the cheesy phrase was jarring because I heard a somber-voiced announcer say, “Next week on A&E, it’s a very special Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels.”
Oh, isn’t that swee … wait … Wha?!
Once I got over the shock of hearing the “a very special” line used in earnest followed by the shock of it being used in connection to a reality show called Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels, I turned my attention back to the promo. As it turns out, the mother of the KISS guy with the freakishly long tongue is a holocaust survivor.
His Hungarian mother and her entire extended family were sent to a Nazi concentration camp when she was a little girl. She and her brother, Simmons uncle, were the only members of the family to survive. The promo shows Simmons visiting the Anne Frank museum and breaking down in tears.
So, I take it all back. It almost certainly will be “a very special Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels.
How’s the Sarah Palin book doing, you ask? Pretty good, actually.
It’s not setting the world on fire and rocketing up the New York Times non-fiction list . . . yet. But it has sold well enough to remain on the shelves of most booksellers–thanks in large part to the fact that Governor Palin remains consistently in the news, her Alaska show on TLC has launched, and it is becoming increasingly apparent to many that she intends to run for president.
The last I heard, the book was #16 on the Christian Booksellers Association “Non-fiction/Inspirational” bestseller list.
I’m told this forever endows me with the right to say I’m a “best-selling author,” which seems to be a fairly meaningless designation these days. And since Paul Harvey’s America won a “Retailer’s Choice” award earlier this year, I am also now allowed to claim the designation “award-winning writer.”
So here I am, your humble, best-selling, award-winning writer . . . looking for work and bracing the wife and family for the most humble Christmas they’ve ever experienced–and after the last couple of years, that’s saying something.
Speaking of talented failures . . . I came across a fascinating German documentary about Orson Welles’ final years the other night. It’s called One Man Band and it’s a heartbreaking yet often funny look at his struggles to get a project . . . any project . . . finished in the last decade of his life. (If you’re a Welles fan, it’s definitely worth viewing. (86 min., some artsy nudity)