Why I don’t hate commercials—two

“Now, coffee is a sin all by itself.  It has to be a sin to smell so sexual everywhere I go that I have to have it whether at McDonald’s or Dunkin Donuts.  I blame my father for introducing me to coffee that was literally whitened by milk!” (Quote from my essay on Cravings of the Junk Food Kind, December 19, 2015)

Imagine you are a woman who knocks on a strange man’s door in your apartment building and asks him for coffee because you have run out.  He gives you Nescafe Gold Blend.   Then, in another commercial for that brand, she meets him at the party of a friend.   Eventually, in another commercial in the series, he drops by her job to give her something, probably more Nescafe (Taster’s Choice in the United States).

Creepy, you say?    Not in this serial commercial.   They eventually start dating.   Look how  coffee brought them together.    But, in real life, I would definitely be hesitant about knocking on his door.    That leads me to believe that she had seen him in the building before and knew exactly in which apartment he lived.   That could be creepy from either side.   But, this commercial serial was tantalizing at the least and I’m sure I bought some Taster’s Choice back then.

The actors were Sharon Maughan (episodes of TV series MacGyver, Inspector Morse, Murder She Wrote, etc.) and Anthony Head (Buffy the Vampire Killer TV show, Percy Jackson:  Sea of Monsters movie, etc.).   The “couple” was British and the commercials ran in England in 1987 and 1993.   They changed their accents for American television in 1990.   Each commercial ended on a cliffhanger, and resumed from where it left off the last time.   The commercials were “sophisticated and relatable” and sexy.


Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin






Review of Purple Hibiscus–A book by author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Ms. Adichie’s book, Purple Hibiscus, was painful for me because I feel for those who are abused in any way.   However, I found the look into Nigerian culture extremely enlightening.   This book centers on the use of religion to “civilize” a people, in this case a Nigerian people.   The important themes are love, sin, perfection, money/wealth, appearance, tribal ways/culture, poverty, purple hibiscus, and religion.


“Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs.”  (I Corinthians 13:4-5)

Love is not a word I use for inanimate objects, but toward human beings and even pets.    But, if 15-year-old Kambili’s father believed in love, he could not have treated his wife and children the way he did.   Nigerian culture allowed a husband to go out and get a younger wife since Kambili’s mother only produced two children for him.  But, why would a man pound his recently pregnant wife against a door in the children’s hearing 19 times until she was unconscious and miscarried?    This made no sense since the mother had been trying to have a third child for six years.


Should a priest have burned the hands of a young male ward (the father) with scalding water when he was caught masturbating?  Where were the forgiveness and the love?   Where was the priest’s punishment for not showing patience with his young ward?  The New Testament Bible says that “all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God” (Romans 3:23-24).  Either the Catholic religion in her book is based on Jesus Christ’s example of love or the Old Testament “eye for an eye”.   Which is it?


Who is perfect and who is the judge of perfection?   When 15-year-old Kambili didn’t make number one among the students in her class this year as she did the year before, she expected to be physically punished.    Her brother when younger had his pinky finger mangled by his father for the same sin.   But, her father, I believe, took it out this time on her mother, who was constantly being mentally and physically abused because she wasn’t perfect in her husband’s eyes.    Some might say that the father was frustrated and fearful about his publication being threatened or the coming overthrow of the government, but that was recent.   So, his wife was supposed to be grateful and just keep accepting the abusive situation so that she and her children would not put out on the street by a second wife.

Jesus Christ said to his disciples that “you will do even greater things than I have done” (John 14:12-14).   He didn’t suggest that they do worse things.   The father in the novel decided what made anyone he met perfect.   Even the children’s finger nails were cut to a chafing shortness.


The father had two businesses—a political newspaper and a factory that made consumable products like juice, wafers, etc.—which made him wealthy.   He had company cars and his personal cars.   So, he gave money away just to show how Christian he was.    He took care of the community of people at his vacation retreat every Christmas, gave money to groups of vendors without buying anything, to some beggars, and rescued his workers from political retribution.   What he refused to do was to help anyone who did not worship as a Catholic as he did.


Kambili’s father was dark like her paternal grandfather, but there’s where the resemblance ended economically, spiritually, etc.     Kambili had long hair but her cousin and aunt had close-cut hair.    Skin coloring, hair length and texture, body size and shape also made a difference in her culture just as it does in most cultures.

Tribal ways

Should the father have nearly kicked his daughter Kambili to death because she wanted to keep a home-made picture of her tribal paternal grandfather who she was only allowed to meet twice before her grandfather’s death?    Although Kambili’s father was raised tribally, he ran away to the Catholic Church as soon as he could as a child and hated tribal language that her grandfather spoke.   Kambili’s father spoke as if he were British at her school.

Generally, Catholic priests disdained Nigerian ways.   However, a young Nigerian priest was adept at combining Catholic beliefs like Jesus Christ’s love with his singing of tribal songs which Kambili’s father said was the young priest’s confusion.   Kambili wanted to leave with the young Nigerian priest when he was leaving to get his first post in another country, but she was too young for him and he left without her.

Those who still worshipped in the tribal ways were excluded from her father’s philanthropy, including his own paternal father and another elder who grew up with his father.    Kambili’s father regarded his wife’s father as if he “walked on water” because he looked nearly white and also worshipped as a Catholic before his death.


The local college where Kambili’s aunt worked was not kept up and the students rioted several times in protest which didn’t help much.   The community of people who were under Kambili’s father’s care were poor for the most part, and heavily depended on him for the gifts of charity he brought to those who worshipped as Catholic.   When he was elected as community leader, he demanded that all pagan undertones be removed from his title-taking ceremony.   Along the way to their vacation two weeks per year, there were half-naked mad men near the rubbish dumps, some of whom urinated at corners.

Purple Hibiscus

Beautiful red hibiscus plants grew everywhere including in Kambili’s garden outside of her father’s house.   However, one of her aunt’s college co-worker/friends created a hybrid purple hibiscus.   Her aunt gave her a cutting from the purple hibiscus to take home.   The hibiscus was considered a malaria cure.


Kambili and her family had to recite rosaries and other church traditions while at home and when traveling.   But, her cousins had freedom in their family to have an opinion, to watch television, to play outdoors, to not be number one at everything, etc., and they turned out to be mature, respectful and fun.

When Jesus left the earth by death for us sinners, he gave the remaining disciples the task of “doing even greater things in the world than I have done”.   I don’t believe He meant for them to do worse things than his example.  (John 14:12-14)

Other resources:



Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin











How Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (Obamacare) Save You Time, Money, and Effort in the Long Run

We all have relatives and close friends who are independent for the most part because they work.   However, there are relatives, close friends, and even strangers who won’t make it without Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

In other words, you individually don’t have to foot the entire bill for your individual:

  • Grandmother
  • Grandfather
  • Spouse
  • Aunt
  • Uncle
  • Sister
  • Brother
  • Niece/Nephew/Child/Grandchild
  • Friend
  • Neighbor

Most people on those programs are able to live independently without you—whether in their own homes, apartments, assisted living, nursing homes, disability centers, etc.

Do you individually want to start footing the entire bill as a caretaker you never had to be before?    Right now, maybe you visit, email, Skype, or call your relatives and close friends who are covered by the programs above.

What is the alternative?   Do you really want the people in the list above to have to move in with you, add to the homeless population, or die needlessly?

“Social Security has provided financial protection for our nation’s people for over 80 years…With retirement, disability, and survivors benefits, Social Security is one of the most successful anti-poverty programs in our nation’s history.”  https://www.ssa.gov/agency

The bottom line is that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is Obamacare is The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is Obamacare.   The act is officially the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.    “The purpose of the ACA is to lower health care costs over time.”  https://www.thebalance.com/benefits-of-obamacare-advantages-of-the-aca-3306066 (this site also suggests areas for improvement)

But, ask your loved ones, friends, and even strangers how they are being helped by these benefits; and, whether they would be able to make it without the benefits that MOST of them have EARNED from working most of their lives.

Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin

Did you know? Pocahontas

There are so many stories of Pocahontas, mostly romanticized as in Disney’s Pocahontas movie.

Supposedly, Pocahontas was kidnapped at 17 from the Powhatan tribe and paraded around England.   She is said to have died at 21.   John Smith is said to have started the rumor of her helping him.    www.looper.com/10289/

This Native American woman, Pocahontas, was born Matoaka, known as Amonute, circa 1596-1617. She was notable for her association with the colonial settlement at Jamestown, Virginia.   Pocahontas was the daughter of Powhatan, the paramount chief of a network of tributary tribal nations in the Tsenacommacah, encompassing the Tidewater region of Virginia.  Wikipedia also agrees that the John Smith tale was probably untrue.

In 1613, Pocahontas was captured by the English during Anglo-Indian hostilities, and held for ransom.   During her captivity, she converted to Christianity and took the name Rebecca.  She chose to remain with the English.

In April 1614, she married tobacco planter John Rolfe, and bore him a son, Thomas.

In 1616, the Rolfe’s traveled to London where Pocahontas was presented to English society as the “civilized savage” in hopes of stimulating investment in the Jamestown settlement.

In 1617, Pocahontas died of unknown causes in transit to Virginia and was buried in St. George’s Church, Gravesend.

For more information, check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocahontas.

Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin

Can’t Close My Eyes—It’s no longer the little dirty Secret (Announcement)



Saturday, October 28, 2017, 2-5 p.m.


Location:   Enoch Pratt Free Library, 3601 Eastern Avenue

Contact:  410-209-9560, Director Barbara Moore

Topics:  Stranger Danger and the Danger Within; Child Safety Workshop; Stop Child Sexual Abuse; Child Sexual Abuse Awareness; Anti-Bullying Resolutions; Social Media Precautions; Abduction/Loss Prevention; and so much more.

First 10 adults who bring 2 or more children, get a Walmart gift card

Light snacks and drinks will be served

The weak, the powerless, the abused are my heart.    Director Barbara Moore announced this event at the Black Writers’ Guild of Maryland meeting on October 7.   Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin


Woodlawn Page Turners Book Club

I recently joined the Woodlawn Page Turners’ Book Club at the Woodlawn branch of the Baltimore County library.    For the annual Maryland Humanities One Maryland One Book program, the book Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, was selected for the October 2017 state reading.   Because of that, a free copy of the book was hard to find.   I had to wait a few weeks for a copy to become available.   Although I haven’t finished reading the book, it was well worth the wait.    I’ve stopped watching television so I can finish the book.

I will participate in a discussion of the book at the Woodlawn branch on the third Thursday night, October 19, 2017 at 7 p.m.    If you’ve read the book, why not come and participate in the discussion?   All are welcome to participate.  There will be light refreshments.

Baltimore County Library Woodlawn; 1811 Woodlawn Drive; Woodlawn, MD  21207; 410-887-1336

Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin

Why I don’t hate commercials–one 

When I watch movies or television shows, I get hypnotized.  I have to see every character, every detail–lighting, special effects, costume, weapons, plots, words, facial expressions, etc.

If I’m eating, my food gets cold and a meal might take a couple of hours to eat if there aren’t any commercials.   If a human being is talking to me, I’m not listening and I’m looking very annoyed at the interruption.   If the phone rings, I let it go to voicemail.  Or if I do answer the phone, the person on the other end senses that they don’t have my undivided attention unless it’s a life-or-death situation.    I have witnesses to those things.

So, if not for commercials, I wouldn’t re-heat my food, talk or listen to a human being, or return a phone call.    I also use these station breaks to fold and put away or hang up clean clothes.   Don’t forget bathroom breaks, snack breaks, coffee breaks, checking on meals I might be preparing, and writing.   Turning up the television set helps me know when my program resumes because the commercials are usually louder than the television program.   Some shows have anywhere from 3-10 commercials between each smidgeon of story.

Next time, I will be talking about specific commercials.   There are some prize-winners out there.

Rosa L. Griffin



Did You Know?   Job Trend Sources

Most business journals or magazines have articles on job trends that are developing now or in the next 5-10 years.    Are you afraid to get out of your field?    Study everything on the subject first so you will know what to expect if and when you change fields.



“Understanding some of the trends that shape the job market can help narrow your search.  If you are looking for job security and growth, you’ll want to focus on the industries that are adding the most new jobs in the next decade.”


https://www.bls.gov/ces/           The Bureau of Labor Statistics


  • Entrepreneur
  • Forbes
  • Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
  • Fast Company
  • Inc.
  • USA Today
  • Fortune
  • The Atlantic


Your local library has thousands of books on topics such as becoming:

  • Molecular biologists
  • Sports medicine doctors
  • Software developers
  • Chefs
  • Life guards
  • Midwives
  • Actors
  • Singers
  • Dancers

You name it—the library has a book for that!   What one library branch doesn’t have—another branch does and your library can order it!   I love libraries! My first job was as a page in the Enoch Pratt Free Library in my East Baltimore neighborhood.  The library is where I became fascinated with books and journals.   I ended up working in libraries for most of my life.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook is published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and was one of my favorite books to look at when I worked in a college library.  It gave career information on duties, education, training, pay, and job outlook for a multitude of careers.

Here’s another interesting book:

Top 100 Careers Without A Four-Year Degree:  Your Complete Guidebook to Good Jobs in Many Fields, by Laurence Shatkin

Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin



Gone with the Wind, book and movie

Posted 9/4/17  to http://www.chicagonow.com/friendly-curmudgeon/2017/09/gone-with-the-wind-banned-in-memphis-actually-indicts-the-confederacy/


I also enjoyed Gone With the Wind because I like movies that are historical, showing how people lived back then–the housing, costumes, songs, etc.

As a Black woman, I agree that things have gone too far when we are trying to ban or get rid of everything historical.   I also agree that no confederate flags should be flying over any municipal or federal buildings anywhere in the U.S.

But I don’t have a problem with white peoples’ showing pride for their own history on their personal belongings.  Remember, the Dukes of Hazzard–a popular tv show–had their General Lee car.  And, remember, the statues were dedicated during a different era.

Museums are the places for the statues, etc. dedicated to slavery and prejudice.  Like I saw engraved on a monument to the Jewish holocaust, “If we forget the past, we may fall prey to these evil things again” (paraphrased).   But, I suspect that U.S. President No. 45 missed the whole point of protesters being able to protest the statues without getting shot or bludgeoned.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  George Santayana, 20th century Spanish-American philosopher associated with Pragmatism.


Rosa L. Griffin



Technology aids


Teaches about websites, applications, and social media.


Where to get rid of old electronics.


Internet radio broadcasts of songs and shows from the 1920’s to the 1950’s.   Live streamed for free.  Available in the Apple app store.  On Android, Old Time Radio and Shows app free at Google Play.


World’s largest network of readers and book recommendations.     Free in the Apple App and Google Play stores.    Share your love of reading.

Source:   Baltimore Beacon, September 2017, v.14, no.9, free, “Beacon Links and Apps”, p.5, TheBeaconNewspapers.com

Rosa L. Griffin