Friday Unwind #10 September Holidays, All the Light We Cannot See, Don't Hug Your 4" Turtle, Babylon, Some Good Reads, Idioms
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📅 September Holidays
I’d barely finished licking the BBQ sauce from my sticky fingers on Labor Day Monday. The grill needed scrubbing, the typewriter-chomped corn cobs were starting to collect flies and the paper plates and red napkins had blown around the yard. Tuesday was my day to put on those blue rubber gloves and have at it. I got so en-grossed (see what I did there) that I forgot to haul the trash can to the curb for pickup, which, of course, was Tuesday. Another week of the remains of Labor Day in my trash can. That stinks.🤣
The redeemer? I inadvertently celebrated a famous September 5th holiday - ‘Be Late For Something Day’. Who knew? I am
not a procrastinator.
There are other really important September holidays that might hold a special place in your heart. But the one that shivers me timbers - International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Arr, Matey. That’s the one for me.
📚 BOOK REVIEW: All the Light We Cannot See
This story, by Anthony Doerr, made me cry. 😭
Marie-Laure LeBlanc is blind. She and her father, Daniel, live in Paris. But when the Germans invade in 1940, they flee to the coastal town of Saint-Malo to live with her uncle, Etienne.
Daniel builds a scale model of Etienne’s home and the surrounding streets to help Marie-Laure learn her way around. But the model hides an ominous secret.
In a parallel story, Werner Pffenig, a teenage German orphan, finds himself in the midst of German espionage. He has a special skill at detecting radio signals and the German military use him to track and identify French resistance signals. He eventually ends up in Saint-Malo where his life and Marie-Laure’s collide.
While Doerr captures the horrors of World War II and the cruelty of the Nazi’s, the heart of the book is the tragic story of a young boy who is caught up in Nazism, a young girl who, despite her disability lives courageously, and the innate kindness within us.
With stolen gems, hidden keys, mysterious secrets, and a young romance desperately trying to escape the Nazi’s, you won’t want to put this book down until the last page. And even then, you’ll wish it hadn’t ended.
🎬 Coming November 3, 2023, a new Netflix series based on the book.
🐢DON’T HUG YOUR 4” TURTLE
When I was nine and my brother was thirteen, we got a cute little turtle that fit right in the palm of my hand. His shell was forest green with yellow streaks. He was spunky for a little guy, and he enjoyed the occasional bumpy romp on the tan carpet in my brother’s bedroom.
We also had a smart, if one-owner type Scottish Terrier named Mimi. True to her breed, she was jet black and low to the ground, in case any rats, foxes, or especially badgers crept into our yard in the little town of Glen Rock, New Jersey. Mimi wasn’t particular when it came to game. And that was our little turtle’s downfall.
Of course, I am sensitive enough to spare you the gory details, but a story I recently read: “Don’t Kiss or Cuddle Your Turtle”….especially if it’s a ‘wee’ one with a shell smaller than four inches, brought my own turtle story back to me in a messy rush. (To this day I do not blame Mimi, who was simply doing her terrier thing.)
Now I don’t know how many of you had weekend plans to go out and illegally buy a 4” turtle. But just don’t do it. Find something else illegal to buy if you must. These itsy bitsy reptiles can harbor salmonella and that ain’t good. People in 11 states have gotten sick from turtle cuddling (spoiler alert: everyone is ok).
The CDC has issued this warning…”Don’t kiss or snuggle your turtle, and don’t eat or drink around it.” Oh, and don’t let them hang out in the kitchen with you either. So basically, no necking, carousing, or partying with your turtle. Got it? Ok then, let’s move on to the next topic for this week…a movie review of Babylon.
🎬GROOVIE MOVIE: Babylon
Babylon is sprinkled with some Good, some Bad, and some Ugly…and it’s not even a Clint Eastwood movie.
The film opens with a lot of debauchery. A LOT. It’s a wild party for filmmakers and Hollywood stars at producer Don Wallach’s mansion. Slinky naked men and women. White powdery stuff in every corner. Endless champagne flutes. It’s a scene from heaven or hell, depending on your perspective.
This is the 1926-1930’s raucous and rowdy Hollywood film era when silent films were about to become permanently silent and their actors fizzled from hot flames into dwindling embers. They just didn’t know that. Yet.
Brad Pitt (as Jack Conrad), Margot Robbie (as Nellie LaRoy), Diego Calva (as Manny Torres), and Tobey Maguire (as James McKay) lead us down an ugly road with no return for everyone in the Silent Film Era.
Even though we know how it’s all going to end, the individual struggles of the actors make this film an engaging watch. But be prepared with plenty of popcorn…the movie is 3 hours.
BONUS: One of our amazing (and talented) Substack writers, comedian, Alex Dobrenko, appeared in Babylon. Check out his awesome newsletter, Both are True, where you can see all kinds of pictures of Alex (eeeee) so you can try to spot him in Babylon! Plus you might just stay for his writing…
📚📑SOME GOOD READS
Mostly in the After 21 Club I’m trying to hog all the limelight.🐷 Hey, I’m human.
But this week I thought I’d share a few newsletters that I enjoy (not a complete list, just a teaser) so you can check them out, if you wish.
Everything is Amazing by Mike Sowden. Mike is full of curiosity…well, not 100% full because he’s also full of humor. Yorkshireman + travel writer + archeologist + enthusiastically weird.
Leaves by Sharron Bassano.🍁 Sharron is the real deal when it comes to words that grab you by the heart and suck you in to her world. Short stories, novels, sci-fi, musings…each week is a new adventure with Sharron.
Don’t take my word for it with any of these writers. Go ahead and click those red links. Adventure (and good reading) awaits.
Hey. I’ve got an idea. Let’s all string a bunch of words together that don’t make any literal sense and then declare that they mean something. And then call
us them IDIOTS IDIOMS.
Although the Greeks started this idiocy with the word ‘Idioma’, which means ‘peculiar phrasing’, over the centuries, individuals probably accounted for the creation of idioms.
For example, the phrase, ‘Mad as a hatter’ originated because hat makers from the 18th century went mad from the poisonous mercurous nitrate used to make felt hats. See. Idiots.
I can think of a few others that I’ve used over the years.
Piece of cake
Under the weather
Back to the drawing board
Bark up the wrong tree
Beat a dead horse
Jump on the bandwagon
Get cold feet
Fly by the seat of your pants
Before reliable aviation instruments, pilots often had to navigate cloudy skies by instinct and ‘feel’ and their backside had the most contact with the plane.
Over time, the origin of many idioms has been lost, but the phrases remain and are part of many good writers’ arsenals.
Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Oh, haha, that’s an idiom. But I’m really looking for the idioms that you know and/or use. What’s your fav?
What’s your favorite pirate phrase and who’s your favorite pirate actor?
Anyone been to Saint-Malo?
What’s your best turtle story….you could just make this up…
Who spotted Alex Dobrenko?
Hi. Why is this a favorite comment?
Are you one of those
IdiotIdiom people? Do share.
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Wherever you are, I hope life is sunny. 🌞❤Heather
PS: My other publication, Kindness Magnet, is out getting a makeover. But you can still subscribe (Oh, please do. She may have a different name when you click this link). She’s a little wonky right now, but she’ll be back in a few weeks. You’ll want to be there for the before and after pics of her makeover. I promise not to show the surgery… 💚🤕