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People, Places and Things

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BY Gwen DeRu

TODAY…
**COMEDIAN RODNEY CARRINGTON at the StarDome Comedy Club.
**READ THE BIRMINGHAM TIMES. Get all the latest news
**WATCH LOTS OF MOVIES …after dinner and with the family and friends.
FRIDAY…
**COMEDIAN RODNEY CARRINGTON at the StarDome Comedy Club.
**ENJOY THE DAY …the food, reading books, watching movies, taking a nap or just talking with loved ones and friends on the phone.  Please… get a little sun if you can.
SATURDAY…
**SATURDAYS IN THE GARDENS at Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
**WINE DOWN HAPPY HOUR, 4-9 p.m. at Saferoom Lounge Bar.
**COMEDIAN RODNEY CARRINGTON at the StarDome Comedy Club.
**FUN, GAMES, YARD AND HOUSE WORK including Uno, Monopoly, Solitaire, Shopping, Eating. Times are changing soon.
**TRIBUTE TO TONI BRAXTON featuring vocalist MELISSA CAMPBELL, 7 p.m. at Perfect Note.
**JERK REGGAE COMEDY TOUR, 7:30 p.m. showcase time at Bizarre the Coffee Bar featuring THE ORIGINAL STEVE T. HAMMOND AND HELL RELL. Food Specials are 4 – 9 p.m. There will be Caribbean food of all kinds. For more, call (205) 427-0710.
SUNDAY…
**FAMILY TIME, GOOD FOOD AND MOVIES.
MONDAY…
**Head to the Birmingham Zoo GLOW WILD…enjoy the weather and the fun.
**READ A GOOD BOOK…There are a few on the bookshelves, just lying around are some to read …or you can get an e-book. Read BOOK: AFRO PUFFS ARE THE ANTENNAE OF THE UNIVERSE by ZIG ZAG CLAYBOURNE.
TUESDAY…
**READ A REAL GOOD BOOK…You might like cookbooks, to-do books, game books, picture books. Check it out!
WEDNESDAY…
**INTERFAITH NOONDAY PRAYER SERVICES every Wednesday, Noon at Linn Park in Downtown Birmingham.
**IT IS COLD WEATHER …focus on NEW RESOLUTIONS, HEALTHY EATING HABITS and so much more. A NEW YEAR, A NEW DAY!!
NEXT THURSDAY…
**READ THE BIRMINGHAM TIMES. Catch up on the news!
**COMEDIAN FIND YOUR FUNNY – COMEDY CLASSES WITH EUNICE ELLIOT at the StarDome Comedy Club.
**COMEDIAN DESI ALEXANDER at the Star Dome Comedy Club.
NEXT FRIDAY…
**MOVIE NIGHT: Rent and Watch movies at Sidewalkfest.com. Don’t miss ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI…and other movies at Sidewalk Cinema.
**COMEDIAN GARY OWEN at the StarDome Comedy Club.
FOR MOVIES LOVERS…
**MOVIE: ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (2020) directed by REGINA KING is a fictional account of one incredible night where icons Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown gathered discussing their roles in the civil rights movement and cultural upheaval of the ’60s. Screening January 15- 28 at Sidewalkfest.com.
**MOVIE: PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN (2020) is directed by EMERALD FENNELL. It is about a young woman, traumatized by a tragic event in her past, who seeks out vengeance against those who cross her path. Screening is through January 14 at Sidewalkfest.com.
**MOVIE: WONDER WOMAN 1984 (2020) is directed by PATTY JENKINS. The movie fast forwards to the 1980s as Wonder Woman’s next big screen adventure finds her facing two all-new foes: Max Lord and The Cheetah. Screening is through January 21 at Sidewalkfest.com.
**SIDEWALK PARTNERS WITH SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL 2021 – Join movie lovers in downtown Birmingham from January 28 through February 3 at Sidewalk Cinema and at the Starlite Pop-Up Drive-In. Look for more at sidewalkfest.com.
**STOWE STORY LABS 2021 APPLICATION SEASON OPENS – Sidewalk Film Fest is partnering with the Labs for the Third Annual Sidewalk/Stowe Narrative Lab. The Stowe Story Labs was founded to help top emerging screenwriters, filmmakers and creative producers from around the world get work made and seen. The 2021 Programs include: MAY 14-18: Stowe Writers Retreat, JUNE 5-8: Stowe Narrative Lab, AUGUST 25-28: Sidewalk Narrative Lab (Remote) and SEPTEMBER 3-7: Stowe Writers’ Retreat. Apply at Sidewalkfest.com.
FOR THE COMMUNITY…
**FREE PROGRAM for ages 16-24 providing training, scholarships, paid internships, job placement, program completion incentives and more at Jefferson State Community College. Call (205) 856-7834 or email: nstanley@Jeffersonstate.edu. and teisha.agee@jeffersonstate.edu.
**TAKING IT BLACK on 98.7 FM, every Sunday at NOON with host ATTORNEY VALERIE HICKS HALE. Call In (205) 741-0987. Check it out!
FOR LOVERS OF ART AND CULTURAL ENTERTAINMENT…
AT STEPHEN SMITH FINE ART…
**HEALERS IN THE SKY, PENTACLE IN MY HEART is a solo exhibition by LANETTE BLANKENSHIP. The Gallery is open Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturday 12-5 p.m. at the Stephen Smith Fine Art Gallery in Fairfield. This exhibition will coincide with the Grand Opening of GYPSY TREASURE, an antique emporium located within Stephen Smith Fine Art.
AT THE BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM OF ART…
**JACOB LAWRENCE: THE AMERICAN STRUGGLE through February 7, 2021.
**AN EPIC OF EARTH AND WATER Claire Leighton and the New England Industries Series through May 2, 2021.
**ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL through March, 2021, primarily from the Museum’s permanent collection that looks at themes of power and agency. This exhibition takes its name from a painting by Amy Sherald, whose portraits depict Black sitters with pride, dignity, and joy, representation historically only afforded to white people. Some artists in the exhibition look towards power in other creative endeavors, like music. Others contemplate the hidden potential of everyday objects by transforming them into works of art. Several artists engage the representation of space and architecture – including museum spaces – to discover the dynamics of power. Considered together, these works illustrate the importance of being seen, choosing how to be depicted, and telling one’s own history.
**WAYS OF SEEING – BUILDINGS AND MONUMENTS through March 2021
**WALL TO WALL – MERRITT JOHNSON through Spring 2021. BMA hours are Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sundays Noon – 5 p.m. with virtual offerings will continue, including live programs, meditation exercises, art-making activities and much more!
FOR OUTDOOR LOVERS…
AT THE BIRMINGHAM ZOO…
**GLOW WILD: An Animal Lantern Celebration! This extraordinary event will be held on select nights 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. during January. Guests will be captivated by visually stunning lantern creations of wildlife from around the world. The Zoo will come alive with hundreds of marvelous animal shapes of all sizes – from pandas, elephants, cheetahs, polar bears, and whales – soaring up to 30 feet high! Spend the winter with your Birmingham Zoo. GLOW WILD into the new year!
FOR DAYHIKES IN THE PARKS…
**SATURDAY DAYHIKE, Meet 9:45 a.m. with Southeastern Outings Dayhike along the Locust Fork River from Swann Covered Bridge to Powell Falls – DETAILS: A moderate three-mile dayhike and picnic along the lovely Locust Fork River in Blount County near Cleveland, Alabama. View and drive through the genuine and newly-restored wooden covered bridge. Hike along the river from the bridge and have lunch right beside Powell Falls. This waterfall drops about eight feet and carries a substantial amount of water. View sheer cliffs rising over 60 feet right above the water. See a rushing river, covered bridge, high rock bluffs and a large waterfall—all along a one and a half mile stretch of river. Well-behaved, carefully supervised children age 7 and older welcome. Bring a friend or several if you wish. Meet 9:45 a.m. at the Cleveland Chevron. Plan to depart from there at 10 a.m. Info: Dan Frederick, 205/631-4680.
**SUNDAY DAYHIKE, Meet at 12:45 p.m. with Southeastern Outings Second Sunday Dayhike in Oak Mountain State Park – DETAILS: Enjoy a moderate four-mile walk in the woodlands near Birmingham on a Sunday afternoon. This is an excellent outing for introducing your friends to Southeastern Outings and for making new friends who enjoy the outdoors. Parts of this hike may be off the color-coded trails. There will be some ups and downs. Well-behaved, properly supervised children age 8 and up able to walk the distance of about four miles and complete the hike are welcome. Share an adventure! Bring a friend. Optional dinner after the hike. Meet at 12:45 p.m. in the Oak Mountain Park office parking lot. Plan to depart from there at 1 p.m. Bring $5/person ($2 seniors) park admission fee plus your drink. Info: Randall Adkins, 205-317-6969.
FOR BOOK LOVERS…
…HERE are a few good books… Black indie SFF writers (indie meaning small press and self pub) who deserve way more attention than they’ve been getting. Give their books a look!
**BOOK: KILL THREE BIRDS by NICOLE GIVENS KURTZ – We have winged people following a Phoenix goddess, with a caste system that’s laid out as kind of birds. And our main character, Prentice Tasifa, is a Hawk, gifted with the supernatural ability to see things others can’t. And then it’s a well written procedural mystery where Prentice has to hunt down a serial killer.
**BOOK: AFRO PUFFS ARE THE ANTENNAE OF THE UNIVERSE is written by ZIGZAG CLAYBOURNE. Technically, this book is the second of its series (the first is The Brothers Jetstream: Leviathan) but Zig Zag himself has described it as “Four women accidentally create an AI goddess, then destroy capitalism with the help of a telepathic octopus.” I am not strong enough to withstand a pitch like that; it’s space opera that can, without a trace of irony and with all joy, be described as a romp.
**BOOK: OF CINDER AND BONE by KYOKO M is a book with a distinct Jurassic Park vibe, except in dinosaurs, we’ve got dragons…probably the only thing out there more dangerous that scientists could choose to resurrect. Humanity breathed a sigh of relief when the dragons were hunted to extinction in the 15th century, but then Drs. Jackson and Anjali brought one back. And then it got stolen. By yakuza who want to clone it. All of this seems like a bad idea. The four-book series this one starts is now complete.
**BOOK: PIMP MY AIRSHIP by MAURICE BROADUS. This is a steampunk book, but it’s not your average “spray of gears that hides unchallenged colonial ideas.” It’s a tale easily described as rollicking to go with absolutely delicious prose, which touches on racism, the media, corporate greed, and mass incarceration. The main characters are a poet and a professional protestor. I cannot recommend this enough.
**BOOK: THREADS OF CONFLICT by MIQUEL A. JACOB. This is actually the entire The Core Trilogy as an omnibus, which maybe is cheating, but who doesn’t love a finished series? You’ve got gender shifting, aliens, betrayals, two leaders who have no idea how to govern, and a lot of messiness as a result. Together, they can probably fix their problems-—and fall in love—if they can set aside their differences first.
**BOOK: EXILES OF A GILDED MOON: EMPIRE’S WAKE by DUSTIN R. CUMMINGS.
The first book of what promises to be an epic series with a literary sensibility, this starts the journey of a young man named Darshima who is from a very complex and tradition-bound society. While he’s trying to figure out how to take his place as an adult, everything he’s ever known is destroyed in a brutal invasion by an heretofore unknown empire that enslaves him and takes him to a distant world. First he must survive, then he must break an empire.
FOR COMEDY LOVERS…
AT BIZARRE THE COFFEE BAR…
**JERK REGGAE COMEDY TOUR, Saturday, 7:30 p.m. showcase time at Bizarre the Coffee Bar featuring THE ORIGINAL STEVE T. HAMMOND AND HELL RELL. Food Specials are 4 – 9 p.m. There will be Caribbean food of all kinds. For more, call (205) 427-0710.
AT THE STARDOME COMEDY CLUB…
TODAY…STAND-UP COMEDY CLASSES WITH EUNICE ELLIOTT…Whether you actually have dreams of becoming a stand-up comedian or you are looking to become a more confident, effective communicator…… this class is for YOU.  Classes are taught by Comedian, Writer, Actor, Author Eunice Elliot. With over 10+years onstage and onscreen, Eunice has learned the importance of receiving creative feedback and critiques in becoming a sought-after speaker and performer. In addition to loving to perform stand-up comedy, this former television news anchor stays busy as a writer/actress for “It’s A Southern Thing”, author, and podcast host.
Beginner Class Starts on Thursday, January 14, 2021. In-person Class Every Other Thursday/Virtual Sessions Every Other Thursday (8 weeks total PLUS Graduation Showcase). Intermediate Class Starts on Thursday, January 21, 2021. In-person Class Every Other Thursday/Virtual Sessions Every Other Thursday (8 weeks total INCLUDING Graduation Showcase).
**TODAY THROUGH SUNDAY… COMEDIAN DESI ALEXANDER…
**NEXT THURSDAY THROUGH SUNDAY…COMEDIAN GARY OWEN.
**COMING SOON – COMEDIANS MIKE EPPS, WELLRED and more… DON’T MISS THEM!
Well, that’s it. Tell you more ‘next’ time. People, Places and Things by Gwen DeRu is a weekly column. Send comments to my emails: gwenderu@yahoo.com.