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People, Places and Things

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GWEN DERU

TODAY…
**COMEDIAN MO ALEXANDER 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 ROD MAN at the StarDome Comedy Club.
SATURDAY…
**SATURDAYS IN THE GARDENS at Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
**WINE DOWN HAPPY HOUR, 4-9 p.m. at Saferoom Lounge Bar.
**COMEDIAN ROD MAN at the StarDome Comedy Club.
**FUN, GAMES, YARD AND HOUSE WORK including Uno, Monopoly, Solitaire, Shopping, Eating. Times are changing soon.
SUNDAY…
**FAMILY TIME, GOOD FOOD AND MOVIES.
**FUNNY BY NATURE COMEDY TOUR at the StarDome Comedy Club.
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: KING FOR A DAY that is written by RUKHSANA KHAN.
TUESDAY…
**READ A REAL GOOD BOOK…You might like the book AMAL UNBOUND that is written by AISHA SAEED! Check it out!
WEDNESDAY…
**INTERFAITH NOONDAY PRAYER SERVICES every Wednesday, Noon at Linn Park in Downtown Birmingham.
**FALL WEATHER, HOLIDAY PLANNING …THE WEEK AND WEEKEND. Looking for the weekend and thinking of what to do that depends on good weather outdoors. Getting out of the house even if going nowhere…. Take a walk if the weather is good.
NEXT THURSDAY…
**READ THE BIRMINGHAM TIMES. Catch up on the news!
NEXT FRIDAY…
**MOVIE NIGHT: Rent and Watch movies at Sidewalkfest.com. Don’t miss  Bad Movie Marathon …and other movies at Sidewalk Cinema.
**COMEDIAN ROD MAN at the StarDome Comedy Club.
FOR COMMUNITY LOVERS…
**LIFE SKILLS THROUGH CHESS MOTIVATION – Be Someone is teaching children to win by making the right choices every Saturday through December 12, 11 – noon. For more call (770 )465-6445 or go to info@besomeone.org.
**PRISM LAUNCHED – The Birmingham Zoo and the Greater Birmingham Arts Education Collaborative, along with numerous participating arts, cultural and science organizations, has launched Prism, an online directory of resources to help students of all ages experience arts, culture and science safely. Prism is a searchable directory of socially-distanced resources that help stimulate curiosity and creativity at home and at school. These high-quality lessons, activities, and tools are developed by local arts, cultural and science organizations to increase access to the benefits of STEAM education in Greater Birmingham. Resources are designed for all ages including Pre-K, K-12, and adult learners and include virtual performances, after school classes, virtual field trips, lessons for teachers, and programs for schools. Topics include music, theater, dance, creative-writing, visual art, social and emotional learning, history, environmental literacy, and more. Many resources build curiosity and creativity while supporting academic learning like reading and math.
FOR LOVERS OF MUSIC, ART AND CULTURAL ENTERTAINMENT…
AT ALYS STEPHENS CENTER…
**ERIC ESSIX & HOLIDAY SOUL, 7:30 p.m. on December 13 at the Drive In Show in the parking lot 5A at 16th Street & University Blvd projected on a 40 x 80 foot screen. A MUST SEE SHOW! Call (205) 975-2787 for more.
AT THE BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM OF ART…
**ART IN CONVERSATION: THE LABOR THAT BUILDS OUR NATION, December 10, 10:30 a.m. is an online event. Artist Jacob Lawrence’s work is used as a springboard for talking about the work of immigrant workers throughout the state.
**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!
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.
FOR HOLIDAY SEASON LOVERS…
IT’S THE HOLIDAY SEASON! EAT SOME GOOD FOOD! GET OUTSIDE AND ENJOY THE WEATHER!!
Happy Holiday Season!  Days are shorter, temperatures are cooler, and some of you are taking road trips …or more. NOW…What about eating some great food, smelling some spice in the pies and cakes, drinking hot chocolate and getting out to watching fall foliage, going to the farms, SO, Holiday lovers, rejoice! Enjoy the good smells, desserts, egg nog, too much food and great times with loved ones. Enjoy the good weather while you take a walk!
FOR OUTDOOR LOVERS…
**SATURDAY DAY HIKE, Meet 8:45 a.m. with Southeastern Outings Dayhike at DeSoto State Park and Lost Falls. DETAILS: Moderately easy hike in DeSoto State Park. Hike along the beautiful West Fork of Little River, various other trails in the park, visit Lost Falls and possibly DeSoto Falls. This is one of the most scenic state parks in Alabama. Well-behaved, carefully supervised children age 9 and over able to walk about five miles without complaining are welcome. After the outing enjoy an optional restaurant dinner together. Meet 8:45 a.m. at the Applebee’s Trussville. Plan to depart at 9 a.m. Info: Dan Frederick, seoutings@bellsouth.net  or phone 205/631-4680.
**SUNDAY DAYHIKE, Meet 9:45 a.m. with Southeastern Outings moderately easy approximately five-mile dayhike on the Black Creek Trail in Fultondale and Gardendale, just north of Birmingham. DETAILS: Walk on a rails-to-trails conversion route on an old railroad right of way. This smooth trail is wide and level. No hills! This finely-crushed rock surface trail goes through mostly wooded terrain. Note that the trail has been extended recently. See and experience what the new part looks like! Total hike distance is 4.9 miles. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the trail! Bring your picnic lunch and drink with you. Eat picnic lunches on the trail. Well-behaved, carefully supervised children age 7 and up able to walk five miles without complaining are welcome on this walk. This outing is easy and close to Birmingham. Meet 9:45 a.m. at the Black Creek Park in Fultondale, Alabama. Plan to depart at 10 a.m. Trip Leader: Dan Frederick, seoutings@bellsouth.net  or 205/631-4680.
**MAGICAL NIGHTS: VULCAN’S HOLIDAY LIGHT EXPERIENCE
Vulcan Park & Museum invites the Birmingham area to gather for the 3rd Annual Magical Nights: Vulcan’s Holiday Light Experience, Dec. 3-6, 10-13 and 17-23 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Each hour, beginning at 5:30 p.m., guests will enjoy a 15-minute lively array of dancing lights choreographed to delightful holiday music.  Also, there will be games for all ages, special guest appearances, music and a picturesque view of the “Magic City”. The Anvil and Museum will have extended hours until 9 p.m.  There will also be food, wine and beer available for purchase.
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 the months of December, and 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 BOOK LOVERS…
**FIRESIDE STORIES – ELI GOLD is guest reader, Wednesday, 7 p.m. at Renaissance Ross Bridge Resort. Eli Gold is the voice of the Alabama football Crimson Tide. FREE in the lobby at the fireplace.
…HERE are a few books for children by Asian writers for anyone or everyone looking to diversify their books. This list of children’s literature is for everyone looking to reinvent their childhood through books with characters of color, to finally discover a piece of themselves in their literary heroes. (Some taken from Book Riot)
**BOOK: MAMA’S SARIS is written by POOJA MAKHIJANI.  When a young girl eyes her mother’s suitcase full of gorgeous silk, cotton and embroidered saris, she decides that she, too, should wear one, even though she is too young for such clothing. When the mother finally realizes how important it is for her little girl to feel like a big girl on her seventh birthday, she dresses up her daughter in the folds of a blue sari. Feeling grown-up and very pretty, the daughter is thrilled to look just like her mother, even if only for a day. Mama’s Saris captures an elegant snapshot of every girl’s wish to play dress up. A deep sense of nostalgia for a forgotten childhood and our deepest longing to playact as someone else, even if it’s just for a day, will strike a chord with every adult reading this book.
**BOOK: KING FOR A DAY is written by RUKHSANA KHAN. It’s that time of the year (no, I’m not talking about Christmas)! The spring festival Basant is here and Malik is all prepped up for the battle of kites. With his kite, Falcon, he does take other kites down. But his bully is not too happy with his success rate. To massage his hurt ego, he tries to snatch away the kite of a little girl. But our Malik is stronger and braver than anyone could have imagined. He will figure out the perfect solution to help the girl. A great book about the interrelation of traditional festivals and communal fraternity, this one is a must-read.
**BOOK: AMAL UNBOUND is written by AISHA SAEED.  Amal has a quiet but mostly peaceful life. Her ordinary background has never stopped her from dreaming about the day she would become a teacher. But being the eldest daughter, she is soon stopped from going to school as her younger siblings need her to attend to their needs. To make things worse she has to start working as a servant at her corrupt landlord’s house to pay off her family’s debts. However, perseverance saves the day. Her unwavering courage and determination to get her life back help her get back on the road leading to her dreams.
**BOOK: BRONZE AND SUNFLOWER is written by CAO WENXUAN. A young city girl named Sunflower moves to the village and falls in love with the vastness of the sky, the friendly buffaloes, and the river that seems to have no definite ending. But more often than not she also feels lonely. Then Bronze, a village boy whose inability to speak has had him ostracized by his peers, comes into the picture. The kids become the best of friends. However, Bronze’s family is barely able to feed themselves and Sunflower staying with them makes things harder. Now the question is, will Sunflower be able to stay at a place where she has finally found a brother and the happiness that every child deserves?
**BOOK: A NEW YEAR’S REUNION is written by YU LI-QIONG and ZHU CHENG LIANG. Little Maomao’s father works in a faraway land and only comes home during the Chinese New Year. Maomao barely knows him, but every time he is home her family unites to make rice balls, listen to the firecrackers, and watch the dragon. Before she can completely immerse in the festivities of the upcoming year it’s always time for her father to leave. This book is an endearing tale of how families always find a way to convey and hold onto their love for each other even with miles keeping them apart.
**BOOK: THE UMBRELLA THIEF is written by SYBIL WETTASINGHE. Kiri Mama lives in a small Sri Lankan village. One day he visits the big city and comes across this amazing invention called ‘umbrellas’. He gets one for himself, but very soon it gets stolen. He will keep going back to the city and buying umbrellas but every time he will be robbed of his prized possession in some way or the other. He is determined to find out who the thief is and what comes next will indeed be a sweet little surprise for the readers.
**BOOK: THE STORY OF A PUMPKIN: A TRADITIONAL TALE FROM BHUTAN by HARI TIWARI. A childless couple adopts a pumpkin who toils in their land until the day he leaves to find a wife. In a surprising turn of events, he gets married to a princess and breaks into pieces after falling off a mango tree. From the debris steps out a handsome young man. This folktale has been published both in English and Nepali. The kind, new residents of New Hampshire of Bhutanese origin have come up with the illustrations for this book, thus adding to its charm.
FOR COMEDY LOVERS…
AT THE STARDOME COMEDY CLUB…
**COMEDIAN MO ALEXANDER… Mo Alexander is a Memphis, born-and-raised, comedian who has worked with some of the biggest names in the business as both a stand-up comedian and radio morning show host. When Mo Alexander hits the stage, it’s clear that you’re in the hands of a man who knows what he’s doing. With an ability to access both the smartest and the stupidest parts of your brain, there’s a reason this comedy phenomenon has been headlining comedy clubs nationwide for over 20 years. Mo’s comedy history includes his own running show in Las Vegas “The Mo Funny Show”, a stint opening for Keenan Ivory Wayans, and appearances on BET’s Comic View and Politically Incorrect. In the past few years, Mo has been on the Bob & Tom radio show, appeared on Mancow, and made his way through the ranks to become a semi-finalist of both the San Francisco Comedy Competition and the Seattle Comedy Competition. Nothing compares to the energy of a room when Mo is through with it. You realize that not only are you entertained, you’re changed. You have a mission: to slap the stupid.
**FRIDAY AND SATURDAY…COMEDIAN ROD MAN… Best known as the winner of Last Comic Standing Season 8, Comedian Rod Man is truly a gem in the World of Standup Comedy today. His unique delivery and voice capture the attention of audiences. Throw in his laid back style, southern charm, wit, and ability to find the funny in everyday life, and you have the ingredients for a future Comedy Star in the making. Rod Man got hooked on comedy at a young age. He signed up for “open mic” nights at Atlanta’s Uptown Comedy Club, hosted by the hilarious Earthquake. “Uptown was the place to be on Tuesday nights. The place was packed. You never knew who would stop in and do a guest spot. And you never really knew when you were going to hit the stage, because the list meant absolutely nothing to Earthquake.”
**SUNDAY…FUNNY BY NATURE COMEDY TOUR… Vivica A Fox PRESENTS: Funny By Nature Comedy Tour starring four of the country’s Naturally Funniest Women in Comedy, ie. Funny by Nature!!! Kelly Kellz (Milwaukee Native), appeared in HBO’S All Def Comedy (2017/2018). Just Nesh (Chicago Native) HBO’S All Def Comedy (2017/2018) Kevin Hart’s Next Level & Monique’s Showtime Live. Ashima Franklin (Mobile, AL), Ready to Love (2019) & Crystal Powell (Texas Native) America’s Got Talent (2020). These four ladies provide four different views on life in a hilarious way, giving their audiences non stop laughter for the Soul Comedy…
** NEXT THURSDAY, FRIDAY AND SATURDAY…DARREN KNIGHT’S SOUTHERN MOMMA AND ‘EM.
**COMING SOON – COMEDIANS CAROLANNE MILJAVAC, JOHN MORGAN, MIKE EPPS, HENRY WELCH, BRUCE BRUCE, RODNEY CARRINGTON, GARY OWEN 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