Book Club Picks: The Illustrated Man

Thirteen weeks after a Friday the 13th, we have another

Don’t worry I got you covered with my new post.

So as you all know I started a book club last year. I have fallen behind with my posts, but I am now right on track!

Every month we read a book and I do a little post on the book we read and discussed. What can I say, I just love books.

There is no theme, other than with each month, a different member gets to pick a book, whichever one they want.

The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

I don’t remember when I first read this book, but I know it was after Fahrenheit 451Out of all his short story collections; this is my ultimate favorite. The stories range from funny, thoughtful, and downright creepy. It is an incredible collection and once you start, you just can’t stop. I’ve talked about this book before, but here we go again:

Or 10th, 50th, 100th….

Since I have posted on this before, I am only going to discuss the stories we went over in our book club.

The Illustrated Man starts with an average joe taking a walking tour in the summer of Wisconsin. As he stops for the night he is come upon by an illustrated man.

This man used to work for the circus, but back in 1900 he broke his leg. Looking for a way to make money while he rested, he went to a tattoo artist who covered him from neck to belt. What he didn’t know was that this tattoo artist was a witch.

Yes, she infused his illustrations with magic making them be alive and always moving telling their story.

However, there is one blank spot on his back. If you are a woman, you see your whole life from birth to old age. If you are a man, you see how you die.

The illustrated man warns his companion not to look, but he doesn’t listen and has to see them…

Illustration I: The Veldt

The Lion King

This is what the DCOM Smart House is loosely based on.

The live in the future in a smart house that does everything for them. They even can change the pictures on the walls to be anything they want them to be. The children constantly want it to be a veldt with lions.

The parents try to discipline their children and get them to do more but all they want to do is sit around and have the machines do everything for them. The parents determine it is time to turn off the house and go back to how things are supposed to be. Will the parents be able to change their kids? Or will the kids make sure their parents can never boss them around again?

“The lions look real, don’t they?…I don’t suppose there’s any way—–‘

‘What?’

‘—that they could become real?”

No one else really enjoyed this story as they felt it was too sad. I like it as it is a great blend of creepy and thrilling. It shows you why you should not spoil your children-and a big wake up to having your kid just sit in front of a tablet, phone, or TV. I love it, and think you should check it out.

Illustration III: The Other Foot

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Mars has been colonized only by African Americans. Now they hear that European Americans are traveling to Mars and decide to institute a Jim Crow law for them. Will they decide to make them pay for past wrongs, or will they all be able to start a new life in equality?

“This is the other shoe, Mayor, the other foot…”

We all loved this story. It has such a great message and a fantastic ending!

Illustration V: The Man

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A crew arrive on a planet ready to have glory and fame, but find the people uninterested as the person who came before them brought extreme happiness and bliss. One crewman believes him to be Jesus and wants to learn from the people. The Captain, however, is set on getting his glory and will stop this man any way he can.

“Leave these people alone. They’ve got something good and decent, and you come and foul up the nest and sneer at it. Well, I’ve talked to them too. I’ve gone through the city and seen their faces, and they’ve got something you’ll never have–a little simple faith, and they’ll move mountains with it. You, you’re boiled because someone stole your act, got here ahead and made you unimportant.”

The member who chose the book, this is her favorite story. She loves how it plays out and how the character’s testimony was so strong it helped the one man believe and have faith. She compared it to Christianity and Jesus. We all enjoyed this story as well. 

Illustration VI: The Long Rain

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We have colonized Venus, but it is a horrible place of endless rain. Sun domes were built to help us stay sane and in health, and this story follows a group of astronauts as they hope to make it to the dome, but will they?

“Drops fell and touched other drops and they became streams that trickled over his body, and while these moved down his flesh, the small growths of the forest took root in his clothing.”

We all enjoyed this story as well. One member posed a very interesting question: Does the sundome exist or is it just a mirage?

Illustration VII: The Fire Balloons

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A group of priests go to Mars to start a church and help bring peace and morals to a crazed group of colonists. One priest makes it his mission to try and bring Christ to the Martians.

“We feel absurd here—even I; for it is something new, this business of converting the creatures of another world.”

One member just loved this story. He felt that it was a perfect illustration for missionary work and just loved how the one priest had such a fire and desire to be there for the fire balloons and try and show them God’s love.

Illustration IX: The Last Night of the World

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A married couple realize that today is the last day on Earth. How would you spend your time if you had such an inclination?

“What would you do if you knew this was the last night in the world?”

One member just loved this story. She felt that if it was her last night on Earth she would spend it the exact same way.

Illustration X: The Exiles

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On Earth, countless literature from Edgar Allen Poe to William Shakespeare to Charles Dickens have been banned on Earth. They remain alive on Mars as their last books are still undamaged there. But when humans decide to completely destroy every page, these characters and their creators decide to wage a war on them. Will they win?

“His last book gone. Someone on Earth just now burned it.’

‘God rest him. Nothing of him left now. For what are we but books, and when those are gone, nothing’s to be seen.”

I love this one. Books fighting back, trying to survive in a world that feels they aren’t needed, a great story.

Illustration XVII: Zero Hour

Miscommunication is always funny as a kid. Not so much later on in life.

Kids are playing that aliens are coming, an invasion in which they will rule and the grow ups will be gone. But what if it isn’t a game?

“Mom, I’ll be sure you won’t be hurt much, really!”

All agreed super creepy, but a very good read.

Illustration XVIII: The Rocket

From the film Stargate.

From the film Stargate.

Fiorello Bodoni has saved $3000 to send a family member into space, but only one can go. Which one?

“We will remember it for always, Papa. We will never forget.”

We all loved this story. Just the love this family has and how much they care about each other. A fantastic read!

For more book club picks, go to Book Club Picks: The Masterpiece

For more books by Ray Bradbury, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For more on The Illustrated Man, go toEach Illustration is a Little Story. If You Watch Them, In a Few Minutes They Tell You a Tale: The Illustrated Man

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So You’re the Little Woman Who Wrote the Book that Made this Great War: Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Day 16) P is for Politics: Choose a book that is Political

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Uncle Tom’s Cabin or Life Among the Lowly by Harriet Beecher Stowe

In 1852 this book was published and created a phenomena. It became the highest selling book of the 19th century, just behind the Bible. The first year it sold over 300,000 copies in the United States and three years later over a million in the U.K.

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This book is credited with, like The Jungle, being a revolutionary change in the actual world.

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In fact the political change they believe it started, was the helping bring about more awareness of slavery in the South and promoting abolitionism that sparked the Civil War.

Wow

Wow

In fact, Stowe’s family claims that when Harriet Beecher Stowe met Abraham Lincoln, he greeted her with “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!” Whether or not this is true has been disputed for years with no one really certain whether it happened or not.

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Stowe was the daughter of minister Lyman Beecher, and wrote this novel to depict slavery, along with showing Christianity and being an allegory of Christ.

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I started reading this book when I was going down a list of classics provided by Barnes and Noble. As I borrowed the book from the library my mom spotted it and said she loved the book, it was one of her favorites.

I wasn’t thrilled to read it at first as I had heard it was a “bad book”, you know making fun of those of African-American descent.

I don't know...

I don’t know…

I started reading it and became sucked in:

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I was surprised as it was AMAZING! I couldn’t understand why people hated it. It was fantasticly written and such a great story.

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So many people today view the novel negatively; the way it uses “sentiment” to pull at heart strings, how all the slaves “had” to be helped by white men and women, and the fact that Tom never ran away but chose to honor the “contract” of his masters.

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But what they fail to see is that it is a powerful story, has some truly great African and white characters, and that Tom is supposed to represent Christ and the things he went through to save our souls.

Wow

Wow

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So the book focuses on six main characters: Tom (called Uncle Tom by others), Eliza, Augustine St. Clare, Eva St. Claire, Ophelia, and Cassey; and their views, interactions, and how they are changed or shaped by slavery.

Tom is a strong, middle aged, African-American slave. He is also a devout Christian and tries to embody the scriptures and live his life for the Lord.

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” Matthew 5:43-44

“All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered.” 1 Timothy 6:1

Tom has been a part of the Shelby family for a long time, and has a family and children. As Tom knows how to read, his cabin is the place for the other slaves to go and hear about Christ along with getting individual instructions. George Shelby is the young “master” of the house and spends all his time with his “Uncle Tom”. In fact Tom is more of a father to him then his own father, and also his religious instructor.

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However, the Shelby’s have debts and they have to sell somethings…or in this case some people. They choose Tom as his height and strength will get a lot and we have the incredible sadness of seeing a family torn apart because of an archaic principle.

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Another slave, Mrs. Shelby’s maid, Eliza is married to a slave from another plantation. After a series of miscarriages, the two were finally able to give birth to a boy, Harry. While the Shelbys are a kind people, George’s master is cruel and he can’t stand it anymore.

“My master! and who made him my master? That’s what I think of–what right has he to me? I’m a man as much as he is. I’m a better man than he is. I know more about business than he does; I am a better manager than he is; I can read better than he can; I can write a better hand,–and I’ve learned it all myself, and no thanks to him,–I’ve learned it in spite of him; and now what right has he to make a dray-horse of me?–to take me from things I can do, and do better than he can, and put me to work that any horse can do…he puts me to just the hardest, meanest, and dirtiest work, on purpose!”

George decides to flee to Canada, earn enough money, and then return to purchase his wife and son. After he takes off, Eliza gets the news that she will be sold as well to pay the debts.

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Afraid to be separated from her child, she too tries to take the long road to freedom.

Not good

As Tom is taken away, George vows to one day buy his friend back and free him.

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Tom is sold to a trader and being transported on a riverboat when he spots a little girl, Eva St. Clare. He misses his own children, so he begins amuses her, and she begs her father to buy him. Augustine St. Clare loves his little girl and gives in to her every whim. He buys Tom and takes him to his plantation.

Here Tom and Eva share their love of Christ as they both have a strong faith and relationship with the Lord. We also meet St. Clare’s sister Ophelia, who is from the North, who has moved to help take care of the house. Now here we have a great critique on the North’s treatment of African Americans. Ophelia is an aggressive abolitionist, constantly lecturing St. Clare and talking about the evils of slavery, yet she can’t stand to be around those of African-American descent. She is a complete racist, but can’t even admit it to herself.

“Well!” said Miss Ophelia, “you southern children can do something that I couldn’t.”
“What, now, pray?” said St. Clare.
“Well, I want to be kind to everybody, and I wouldn’t have anything hurt; but as to kissing – ”
“N*****,” said St. Clare, “that you’re not up to, – hey?”
“Yes, that’s it. How can she?”

St. Clare, tired of her constant lecturing, buys her a slave girl, Topsy, and bets she won’t be able to help her. At first Ophelia does poorly, having to instead be lead by Eva in showing kindness.

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Eva and Topsy become best of friends, even though they “should” be separated buy race and class, it doesn’t matter to Eva as all she sees is someone who needs love.

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Augustine is another interesting character as he isn’t a fan of slavery, but won’t do anything. He sees the way Christianity is, how his daughter lives but won’t commit to it. He is supposed to represent the people who were against slavery but never took a stand against it, waiting for future people to decide or others to fight. When his daughter dies, he is utterly heartbroken.

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He promised Eva on her deathbed to release the slaves and become an abolitionist for his daughter, but waits too long and is killed before he can do it.

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Meanwhile, Eliza has been running for her life and from slave catchers, and she actually manages to find her husband. After they go through horrible hardships they manage to make it to Canada and freedom.

Tom is sold by St. Clare’s wife, while Ophelia returns to the North with Topsy, taking what she learned with her, as Topsy does the same.

Tom is sold again, this time to the incredibly cruel owner Simon Legree. He rapes and beats his slaves. He begins to hate Tom and treat him in unspeakable ways. He has a slave, Cassy, who is his unwilling mistress. He has stolen her children from her and sold them, beat her, and just given her a horrible life. She is bitter and in pain.

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She is a quadroon, one quarter black, so she has a strange place in society. She is better educated than most, but is a sex slave, representing the harsh lives of female slaves and how they are at the whim of their master more than the men. Simon is planning on replacing Cassy with a young girl he just bought, Emmiline.

One day as they are picking cotton, Tom sees a woman struggling to fill her sack and looking at horribly beaten or worse. He helps her, aided by Cassy, and is then ordered to whip the women by Legree. When Tom refuses, Legree whips him and Tom has earned a permanent spot on his hit list.

This movie

Tom’s pain makes him consider turning back on his faith, but he sees a vision and remains true.

I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.” Psalm 89:1

Cassy knows the life that Emmeline will have and decides to run away with her. When Simon finds them gone he tries to beat the answer out of Tom, but he will not reveal anything. He is so horribly treated that he begins to die.

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George arrives to buy him, but is too late. He fights with Simon and takes Tom’s body, giving him a proper burial.

Leave me alone so I can cry over the death of my fictional characters

Cassy and Emmeline reach Canada and find themselves with George Harris and Eliza. It turns out that Eliza is Cassy’s daughter, and the two are finally reunited.

Double double yay

In the end George goes home and decides to honor Tom and free all his slaves:

“It was on his grave, my friends, that I resolved, before God, that I would never own another slave, while it is possible to free him; that nobody, through me, should ever run the risk of being parted from home and friends, and dying on a lonely plantation, as he died. So, when you rejoice in your freedom, think that you owe it to that good old soul, and pay it back in kindness to his wife and children. Think of your freedom, every time you see UNCLE TOM’S CABIN; and let it be a memorial to put you all in mind to follow in his steps, and be as honest and faithful and Christian as he was.”

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So this story is an amazing thing. Why would people call it horrible?

Why not?

Why?

Well what I personally feel has caused this shift from honoring Uncle Tom and all the other characters to having their names now be used as derogatory terms was the over-popularity of the novel.

Say What

As this book became so sought after and was selling millions of copies; everyone wanted a piece of the pie; but when there such a wide amount of people madly grabbing to make their fortunes, they tend to forget about what the book actually stood for and was trying to change. Plays and films were being made based on the story, but instead of honoring and revealing the social issues that Harriet Beecher Stowe was writing about, these pieces became all about entertainment and cheap laughs. No longer are we shown the characters going through different trials to reveal the hypocrisies and social injustices of the time, but instead are given pure comedy or in extreme cases sexual innuendo.

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Too few people actually read the novel and understood how the characters and situations can be easily relatable.

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Uncle Tom is more than a slave toiling in the United States waiting for his freedom, but is a figurehead for any oppressed people. As David Reynolds writes in his book, Mightier Than the Sword: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Fight for America, Tom easily connected to the Russian serfs; the Chinese peasants, the Chinese immigrants in America, Jews all over the world, black slaves in Brazil, black slaves in Cuba, etc. Tom’s passive resistance to Simon Legree, as he does not listen to Legree’s warning but continues to stand up for what he believes in and aids Cassy, and Emmeline; can even connect to passive resistance done by Gandhi in India, Martin Luther King Jr. in the South, and Cesar Chavez here in California. While the unjust situations may never be the same as those that Tom or the other slaves faced, wherever trouble arises and people are suffering Uncle Tom is there struggling alongside and encouraging the oppressed that everything will be alright in the end.

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Another way that Tom’s character is still so relatable and present in today’s time is how loving and willing he is to protect others. Tom lives by the mantra “the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few”; causing him to be the type of person we all want to be. The way Tom lays down his life so that the rest of the Shelby slaves could be spared and in the end dying to protect Cassy and Emmeline; is behavior we all admire and hope would imitate in such situations; as no one wants to imagine themselves being a Sambo or Quimbo character; betraying their fellow man to protect their own interests. We all recognize the value and honor of self-sacrifice for a person or a cause.

In Stowe’s novel she hit upon so many issues, and attempted (and in some cases succeeded) in trying to make a difference in how African-Americans were treated. While she did not completely change the way the United States worked, or resolved every issue; her novel did bring awareness and start people talking and thinking about abolition, integration, education, religion, politics, etc. This initial jolt eventually set America on a path to striving for change.

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to The Great Depths of the Ocean are Entirely Unknown to Us: Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

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For more Harriet Beecher Stowe, go to If It Means A Lot to You

For more on the Civil War, go to Why Everyone Should Read Gone With the Wind

For more Frank Peretti, go to A Giant Metal Man: The Iron Giant (1995)

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Today’s song is O Holy Night. In 1843 Roquemaure, France; the church organ was renovated. The priest asked wine merchant and poet, Placide Cappeau, to write a poem to commemorate the event. Four years later it was turned into a Christmas carol by compser, Adolphe Adam.

In 1855, minister John Sullivan Dwight translated and created the version that most sing today.

I choose the version by Josh Groban.

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For more Josh Groban, go to Midnight in Austenland

For more Christmas Carols, go to I’d Spent Some Time As a Kid Wishing My Name Were Ashley or Katherine, if Only Because It Would Have Made Life Simpler, But My Mom Liked to Tell Me That My Name Was a Litmus Test: Along for the Ride

Simply Fantastic

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So here we are with post two on my fandoms. As I mentioned in Fanning All Over the Place there was just too, too many to include in one post so I split them up into a series. Here we go again! 🙂

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Archie Comics

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I first got into Archie Comics through my parents. They had grown up with the comics as kids, and bought my sister and I our first comic books for Christmas one year. We quickly grew to love them.

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So the comics came out in the 1940s, and are about a clumsy, accident-prone, redhead, Archie Andrews; who moves to Riverdale meeting a blonde, girl-next-door, Betty Cooper and a food-consuming, girl hater Forsythe “Jughead” Jones. As the series progressed they added more characters, and changed the history to being everyone grew up in Riverdale together. I love the comics from the 1940s-90s. The ones that have been written in the last ten years are not really my favorites as these newer ones seeming to have something missing. So here are the fun characters:

Archie Andrews is the sweet, all around “good guy”. He’s your average male, but has a heart of gold. He is always having issues in his classes, and constantly going to summer school, but is still a pretty clever guy as on more than one occasion he manages to outwit Reggie. He does every sport known to man and also is the school’s newspaper editor. His biggest flaw is that he is girl crazy. Not only does he form a triangle with Betty and Veronica, but he will run after any pretty girl he sees. Add to this a habit of attracting disasters, and he is one funny guy.

Betty Cooper is the girl-next-door. Blonde, sweet, a great cook, and always lends a hand when one is needed. She is not only pretty, but brainy to boot.

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She also is a mechanic, school newspaper reporter, sews her own clothes, and a budding writer.

That's a lot!

That’s a lot!

Betty is the best. She was always my favorite character and I felt bad about her constant competition with Veronica over Archie. Betty has loved Archie since the first time she saw him, and will wait around, anytime for him. I know they need her to be one of the points in the love triangle, but I aways wanted Betty to say love me or leave me; no more in-between. In one issue she did dump Archie and started dating this guy Adam, but the fans didn’t like it and she and Archie got back together. Betty and Veronica may compete over Archie, but they are also the best of friends. Veronica is the total opposite of Betty, and Betty often uses her morals and kindness to show Veronica a better way to be. Betty is one of the few characters with siblings; having an older brother that works for the FBI, Chip Cooper; and an older sister who is an investigative reporter, Polly Cooper.

Veronica Lodge the final point in the love triangle. Veronica is the only daughter of gazillionaire Hiram Lodge. Mr. Lodge worked up from nothing and now has not only billions, but his fingers in every financial pot. Him and his wife were unable to have children for a while and had her in their old age. Veronica can be nice but is mostly spoiled, conniving, materialistic, and devoid of any skills besides ordering people and looking nice. Unlike Betty who has eyes only for Archie, Veronica flits about with any guy she finds attractive. She is also highly temperamental  and can be a major ice queen if one little thing upsets her. Of course this is somehow irresistible to Archie (as with most guys). Her constant scheming to get Archie away from Betty, while dating more wealthier and cuter guys, always brings laughs.

Triangles are not for me:

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Forsythe “Jughead” Jones is an interesting character. Jughead pretty much marches to the beat of his own drum. He wears a crown instead of a hat, shirts with the letter “S” on them, is a girl-hater, and an immense lover of food. Yep, he eats nonstop. But hey:

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Jughead doesn’t always do well in school, but is one of the cleverest guys out there. I believe that he just has his own way of learning that hasn’t been discovered. He loves to always pull one over on Reggie. Besides eating, his hobbies are sleeping, video games, and almost every sport. Ethel Muggs has the hots for him, and is always trying to get him to date her but Jughead is not interested. Usually if Jughead is “dating”, the girl’s parents own some restaurant he wants free food from. He and Archie have been best buds since day one, and will stay that way until the end.

Reggie Mantle is one of those jerk characters I love anyway. Think Gaston. He’s completely superficial, narcissistic, a prankster, and all around jerk. But all Reggie sees in himself is perfection.

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Reggie is also spoiled as he is an only child and also comes from a very wealthy family. He, like Archie and Jughead, doesn’t do the best in school and plays every sport offered. He is an amazing athelete, as he always manages to outscore Archie. He mainly dates Veronica, but also chases any girl he thinks is hot. The other girl he is interested in is Midge Klump, something her boyfriend doesn’t appreciate. What’s interesting about Reggie is that he and Archie have what I call a “Bert and Ernie” relationship. At times they seem to be each other’s enemies and can’t stand one another, but other times they are best buds.

Ethel Muggs is a tall, gangly, girl who has the hots for Jughead. If Betty is a doormat, then Ethel is even lower than that. She doesn’t have too much more of a personality other than her comedy of trying to win Jughead’s heart. She is nice, an athlete, and does well in school.

Dilton Doiley is a genius. Besides being great in school, he is an all around nice guy. He is picked on by Reggie, and finds it hard to get a date. Mostly Dilton comes in the story with some kind of invention he’s made. Sometimes they are great improvements, other times they create big messes, but they always produce something hilarious.

Chuck Clayton is African-American and was introduced into the series with his girlfriend Nancy Wood. Chuck is a great student, one of the best athletes in Riverdale, and a terrific artist (his favorite media is cartooning). His father is the assistant coach at Riverdale High and is always encouraging Chuck and his friends to do well and go to college. While Archie is goofy, Jughead unique, and Reggie deeply into himself; Chuck is more level-headed and less likely to get into crazy scrapes. In fact, he often tries to talk Archie out of them.

Nancy Wood is also African-American and was introduced the same time as Chuck. Like Ethel, she doesn’t have a lot of interaction in the comics besides being Chuck’s girlfriend and a friend of Betty. She is a tremendous athlete and student.

Moose Mason is the brawn to Dilton’s brains. Moose is tall, muscular, and loves sports excelling in everthing. School, however, gives him a lot of trouble. He’s a real nice guy always eager to help out, although he becomes insanely jealous if anyone even looks at his girlfriend Midge.

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He and Dilton are best friends.

Midge Klump is Moose’s girlfriend and friend of Betty and Veronica. She is a great student & athlete; although a bit of a gossip. She wavers between liking Moose’s jealousy and constant attention to feeling stifled by how much he “cares”. This is a continuos issue for her, which causes her to time and time again date Reggie to “test” her feelings. This of course hardly ever turns out well for Reggie.

Cheryl Blossom is a redhead, snob, gazillionaire, conniver, and the archenemy of Betty & Veronica. She somehow is irresistible to all the guys in town and is constantly cooking up some strategy to steal them away from their girlfriends. At one point in the story she moved away and the writers introduced her replacement, Ginger, but fortunately they realized that Cheryl was too good to leave her out for long. With Cheryl around, humor abounds.

Besides almost every character having their own actual comic book, there is also Archie’s Weird Mysteries. These stories involved Archie investigating into some strange occurrence in Riverdale. This eventually became a TV series, and I would watch it every Saturday morning.

For more on Archie Comics, go to When Potatoes Go Bad: Attack of the Killer Spuds (1999)

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Boy Meets World

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Yes, this show. I love it so much!

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I used to watch this show everyday. My friends and I were huge fans and fangirls over it!

So the story is about Cory Matthews, a middle son in a five person family. It covers them and their friends, all living in a suburb not too far from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was funny, sweet, and even hit the really hard issues.

Cory Matthews is our main character and he starts out your average preteen boy. He only cares about sports, food, etc. As he got older he fell for Topanga Lawrence, and the two became inseparable.

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Cory is an all around sweet guy. His best friend is Shawn Hunter, and the two were living a bromance before the word was ever invented. Shawn grew up on the “wrong side of the tracks”, but Cory never let that come between them or saw it as a bad thing. The two remain best buds until the end of the series.

Shawn Hunter is Cory’s best bud. He also is the bad boy with the heart of gold that all us ladies love!

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Now he was the stereotype of the hot guy who does okay in school and gets all the ladies, but he was also much more than that. His mom and dad ran off and he had to deal with that abandonment along surviving without them. He was afraid to get close to any girl, as he was afraid they would leave him, but at the same time recognized what Topanga and Cory had was really special. He did everything he could to get them together, and keep them together. Eventually he fell for Angela, but they had some problems as he had to once again deal with those issues brought on by his parents’ abandonment. It’s the same reason he had so much trouble letting Cory go when he and Topanga married. He was afraid of losing another person he loved.

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Later on in the series he finds out that he has a half-brother Jack (played by Matthew Lawrence). That brings more issues for him as the two try to figure out what it meant to be brothers and how to deal with not having had each other in their lives.

Topanga Lawrence is one of the most unique characters on TV.

Boy Meets World

She is the youngest daughter in a hippie family that owns a health food store. She wore what she wanted, and just ultimately was herself. However weird it was at times.

Boy Meets World

As the series progressed her unquie qualities dimmed down, but she always remained the powerhouse she was.

BoyMeetsWorld Topanga Damsel in distress not distress

So later on in the series they actually changed her family. Her father was played by three different characters, of which the second and third were high ranking businessmen that only seemed to care about money. At one point her family moves away, but Cory and her are able to convince her aunt to let her finish up high school with him.

Then as the two are planning to get married, Topanga finds out that her parents are getting divorced and she stops believing in love as she saw her parents as an ideal. To make matters worse, the divorce is because of her father’s infidelity. Cory fights hard to win her back, as nothing will stop him from loving Topanga.

Eric Matthews is Cory’s brother and he was played by Will Friedle. He was Cory’s hot older brother.

DDontHateme cause beautiful boy meets world

He wasn’t book smart, as he didn’t do well in school, but was full of  brotherly wisdom. He loved the ladies and was a girl chaser, but when he had a women he focused solely on her. He was hilarious, sensitive, and had some great moments. He and Jack become friends, and he helps the socially awkward guy meet the ladies. He and Mr. Feeny have a really great relationship as well. Mr. Feeny mentors all, but he and Eric are even closer than that.

Fee-hee-nay Call Boy Meets World Eric Matthews

Near the end of the series they made Eric really dumb, which I always hated as I loved the old Eric.

Mr. Feeny, you just can’t have a Boy Meets World post without him. Mr. Feeny lived next door to the Matthews and was the kids’ teacher in middle school. When Cory and Shawn move up to high school, they are thrilled to be done with him, only to find him becoming the principal and teacher at their high school. The year Cory, Shawn, and Topanga graduate, he decides to retires. Luckily the writers decided that was a bad idea and brought him back. He first attends college as a student, and later becomes a professor there.

Besides school teachings, Mr. Feeny was always a great mentor, friend, and grandfather to the kids. He could be hard and strict.

Boy Meets World Mr. Feeny I have a megaphone

But always encouraged them

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and tried to teach them life lessons.

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Sarcastic, sweet and ultimately lovable. This series really won a place in everyone’s heart! So much that Disney decided to bring it back (sort-of) with a series chronicling Cory and Topanga’s daughter Girl Meets World. Power of the fans! We rock!

For more on Boy Meets World, go to Who’s Afraid of Cory Wolf

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

WWBD

When you become friends with someone one of the first things you do is try and brainwash them into liking everything you like.

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It’s not like you are trying to make them into something else, change them, or anything like that. It’s just you love something so much you want to share it with the world. You want everyone to love it as much as you.

When someone likes the show I love Spongebob Squarepants

This is what happened with my friend Elaine and the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I had heard of Buffy the Vampire Slayer as I like Sarah Michelle Geller, but I was never really into the show. I did see the 1992 film and loved it. It was more of a horror-parody than scary film, and Joss Wheedon decided that with the TV show he wanted to take it to a deeper level.

So in the show we have a blonde, sweet, “damsel in distress like character” be the Slayer. That is the woman who is going to save the world slaying demons, monsters, vampires, aliens, bug creatures, etc.

BoyMeetsWorld Topanga Damsel in distress not distress

Buffy is a strong, independent woman that totally kicks butt and goes against every female stereotype. The only thing that I wonder is if you know you are going to be hunting vampires, why not invest in heavy duty turtlenecks?

She is lead by Giles her Watcher or mentor. He’s the type of guy you’d want as a dad or uncle.

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One if her best friends is Willow (played by Alison Hannigan) a shy, insecure, brilliant girl. Later she takes care of spells and reversing curses.

We have Xander who is a total goofball. He is the comic relief and has some hilarious moments. He also has some really stupid ones. But that’s to be expected.

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Cheating on his girlfriend with his best friend. Going off with Faith and sleeping with her.

But he does have his moments. Like the Halloween episode when everyone turns into their costumes, and he becomes this intense military guy.

Then we have Cordelia, the snooty, rich girl. At first she is Buffy’s nemesis, but she actually ends helping the group out. The more you see her the more you love her. She and Xander date for a while, until Xander screws it up.

And then you have Angel (played by the sexy David Boreanaz).

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Oh yeah, one of the best characters in the series.

Angel

Angel was a guy living in Ireland in the 19th century. He was turned into a vampire and wrecked havoc on the world. He was cursed by a group of witches in getting his soul back, forcing him to have feelings and a conscious. He turns from his life of killing, to protecting; attempting to atone for his mistakes. He’s just the way I love them:

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He’s just one of the most romantic characters ever!

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To read more about him, come back next March and check out my Saint Patrick’s Day post.

Besides a great show, great actors, great characters, and great lines; it has one amazing theme song.

Yep, thanks to Elaine this is now my show. 🙂

Go here to see which you belong in

Go here to see which you belong in

For more on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, go to Every Time I Bring A Girl Over, You Try to Eat Her!: Vampires Suck (2010)

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 Captain America

Captain America

I love Captain America. I just think he is one of the best superheros ever. He is so earnest, sweet, perfect!

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I mean he is just everything you want in a guy. 🙂 I loved the film Captain America: The First Avenger. At first I wasn’t going to see it because of Chris Evans. I mean I never hated the actor, it’s just he did a horrible job in the Fantastic Four films, and let’s be honest. Practically every film he’s ever been in he plays an egotistical jerk. Not Another Teen Movie, Cellular, Fantastic Four, The Nanny Diaries, etc. But when I watched the film it was perfect, PERFECT!

Finally something GOOD!

I think that prior to The Avengers, it was the best superhero created yet. I completely forgot that it was Chris Evans and instead just saw the Captain America I love!

Perfect!

Perfect!

This past spring break I went to Disneyland as my graduation present to myself. One of the recent changes they have made is that in Tomorrowland you can see the Iron Man suits, Thor props and meet him and MEET CAPTAIN AMERICA! I was thrilled and fangirled out!

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I couldn’t wait to meet him. I mean I was like Phil Coulson. Anyways, when we found out, my friend Elaine and I made plans to go asap and get our pictures with him. As we waited in line, I was joking around that I wasn’t sure what I would do. I might even totally fangirl over him and throw myself at him. LOL I’m not that crazy, lol.

Yeah right.

Yeah right.

So once we reached the second floor that housed the superheros, even though Captain America was to the right they forced you to go all the way around through the Iron Man and Thor exhibits. Elaine and I had already checked those out, so we took off running past Iron Man, Thor, playstation etc. We reached Captain America and were like third in line, excited although really tired.

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When we got to Captain America, I totally lost it. Even though I knew that the guy wasn’t the real Captain America he just seemed so real! I threw myself at him and hugged him like five times. I babbled on that he was one of my favorites and how happy I was to see him.

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A total fangirl.

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He was cool with it. In fact he was perfect. He took the whole thing in stride.

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After we took like ten photos (me & Elaine), we were heading out when this happened:

“Captain America: Hey, Moreland.

Me: Yeah?

Captain America: Maybe I’ll see you around.

Me: Okay!”

I was like:

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Even though I knew the odds were zilch and not going to happen, there was still a small fraction of me that was hoping maybe, just maybe we would run into each other again.

Yep, the mentality of a fangirl. This is why we have places like tumblr where we can be understood for our irrationalities.

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Thank goodness it was Elaine who was with me and understood.

The next day we were heading back to our apartment and stopped off to see Elaine’s parents. We showed her mom all our pictures. She was looking at the Captain America one, and wondered out loud what kind of padding he was wearing. I told her that there wasn’t any padding. Those muscles were real.

If you love Captain America as much as I do, come back in March and check out my St. Patrick’s Day post to hear more on him.

Otherwise: For more Captain America, go to Fanning All Over the Place

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Chronicles of Narnia

Narnia

So while other kids grew up waiting for a letter to Hogwarts, or Camp Half-Blood, or any of those other places I was like whatever. I wanted to go to Narnia. Narnia prepare yourself spider-man memeI read the books and watched all the BBC films. I was so disappointed that I could never find a wardrobe to take me there (no matter how hard I tried).

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It was the first fandom I have ever been in and the one I’ll be in until I die. I will never grow tired of C.S. Lewis’ books. You’re never too old for them.

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The first book in the series is The Magician’s Nephew (1). It was actually the sixth book, but he wrote it as a prequel to the rest of the series. I thought it was okay, but he introduces a backstory that gives me more questions for the whole series. It’s not bad, but not one of my favorites. In it Digory and a Polly find themselves being sent to multiple worlds, having some of those enter their own world, and even witnessing the creation of Narnia.

The actual book that started it all was The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (2)This is my favorite as it is the first and AWESOME!

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The time is the 1940s and four siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy,  are sent to the country to get away from the bombs of London. While staying at the house they go through a wardrobe into a magical world. The four find themselves caught in a battle between the evil White Witch and the Godly Lion, Aslan.

It is an amazing adventure story with magic, animals, swordfighting, everything you love and want! I always wanted to be Peter the High King and Lord of Narnia. I thought that he was just amazing as he fights the White Queen, werewolves, etc. One Christmas my mother bought me a bible cover that had images from the books and one was Peter with his sword held high. I used to joke that the guy I ended up with had to have the inner soul of that. Yeah-not a joke.

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The “next book” is A Horse and His Boy (3). I don’t really like this book as it was written fifth and doesn’t fit in the timeline right. In The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe it ends with the kids having lived far into their lives and returning home to discover they are back to their orginal ages and had only been gone a few hours. This book takes place in the middle of that time of them ruling. It bugs me as it just doesn’t go. I could have lived without it.

The next book Prince Caspian (4) was another of my all-time favorites and was orginally the sequel to the first. Time between Narnia and our world is much different. In the first book 40 years passed and it was only a few hours. In this one, hundreds of years have passed in Narnia. The land is ruled by men and talking animals, dwarfs, etc.; no longer roam the area. Prince Caspian is a young prince, about 10-12, who has grown up hearing the stories of King Peter, Queen Susan, King Edmund, and Queen Lucy. His uncle is ruling the land until he comes of age. One night he has to flee for his life as his uncle is set on killing him and making his newborn son the next in line for the throne. He rallies the rest of the magical creatures and calls on the help of the four from the first book.

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This was another of my favs as it had the same kind of action and magic of the first one.

Then comes Voyage of the Dawn Treader (5)In this one Peter and Susan are no longer allowed back into Narnia as they are too old. Lucy and Edmond go back, and take along their horrible, annoying cousin Eustace (on accident). They find themselves on the Dawn Treader a boat built by King Caspian, now in his 20s. I loved this book as they are traveling through the lone islands and searching for the lost Lords exiled under his uncle. This has amazing adventures, swordfights, magic, dragons, etc.

In The Silver Chair (6) Lucy and Edmond are also too old to return to Narnia. Instead a bullied Eustace and Jill Pole find there way there. It has been many years in Narnia, as Caspian is now an old man. His son was lost to him years ago, just up and vanished, and Aslan sends Eustace and Jill to find him. They meet up with a Marshwiggle named Puddleglum, who is so negative it is hilarious. In here they continue their adventuring coming upon giants, black knights, underground men, etc.

The last book is The Last Battle (7). This book is the end of the series. It has been hundreds and hundreds of years since Caspian and his son. One day a monkey finds a lion skin, clothes a donkey with it, and proclaims him Aslan. There like in Animal Farm, he begins to use his newly gained power to turn the animals into slaves. Eustace and Jill use the magic rings from the first book to help Narnia, and are soon followed by everyone. Endings are always sad, but this one goes out with a bang.

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The BBC films are amazing as they copy the books to a T. The actors are also fantastic. The special effects are so-so, but that was the technology they had and you got to give them props for that. The Disney versions are horrible. HORRIBLE! Trust me, don’t watch them at all. Read instead.

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For more on The Chronicles of Narnia, go to 25 Films of Christmas

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Copper

copper

Copper is one of those shows that was amazing and got canceled far too early (only two seasons). I’m still upset over that.

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So I wanted to watch Copper when it first came out as it intrguied me. It was a historical drama and plus it had him:

Copper Corky shirtless

swoon dreamy

Let me back, up I’m getting too far ahead of myself. So Copper takes place during the mid 19th century in New York City. New York has a lot of tension not only between the Southerners and Northerners; but the racial clashes between “Americans”, “White” Europeans, Irish, and African-Americans. The main character, Kevin “Corky” Corcoran is an Irish immigrant, who has become a “copper”. He tries to keep the notorious Five Points in line with its murders, thievery, prostitution, opium trade, etc.

During the war, Corky worked with the wealthy Robert Morehouse (played by the hot guy from Alley Cats Strike). Morehouse used his influence to get Corky that job. Matthew Freeman, a freed slave who fought with them during the Civil War, acts as Corky’s pathologist and coroner.

They had the first season free on Amazon Instant Watch and I breezed through it and the second one as well.

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The main character is amazing as he is just what I like:

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And Irish. 🙂

He also really cares about the people in his neighborhood and protecting him. He not only a honorable man, but one of action who goes out and takes care of things. Super attractive!

Besides all those wonderful things, Copper also has a great intro.

For more on Copper, go to At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heros

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Loving Everything

If people don’t like it, well:

PeopleWhoDon'tAcceptYouForWhoYouAreNotWorthKnowing

The ones who do understand you, you will have awesome times with.

For Part 1 go to Fanning All Over the Place

And Stay Tuned for Part 3

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For more book filled posts, go to Peeta Please!

For more of my favorite quotes, go to I Before E, Especially After P

For more quizzes, go to That Girl is Poison

For more Disney, go to The Little Moreland