Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans: The Buccaneers, Episodes 1-2

So Happy Indepedence Day. It is time for another:

So after you watch every single version of Jane Austen movies, what do you have to watch next?

Hmm…I don’t know!

That’s why I started this list, to have non-Austen films that Austen fans can enjoy.

I can’t stop watching!

I was trying to decide what to  post today and was split between Poldark, which takes place after the Revolutionary War and The Buccaneers which is about a group of ladies “invading” England. After a long deliberation, Buccaneers won out.

So I first stumbled on this about six or five years ago when I was scrolling through Amazon Prime looking for the next thing to watch.

I started with one episode and was hooked!

The one thing that really struck me when I was watching it was all the famous actors in it. I mean there is the amazing James Frain as Julius, Duke of Trevennick; why, why, why hasn’t he been in a Jane Austen film yet?

Then there is Spy Kids mama Carla Gugino who plays the lead, Annabel “Nan” St. George.

And Greg Wise, (best known to Jane Austen fans as Mr. Willoughby), as the strong upstanding, Greg Thwaite.

This miniseries is what I consider to be “what would have happened if the Austen characters married the wrong people.” You know the Wickhams, Willoughbys, Churchills, Thorpes, etc.; of the world.

The horror! I can’t even think of it.

So I have yet to read the book and am going to focus on the movie only. There are a few changes-which you will see.

So the series takes place in the Gilded Age, after the Civil War. The St. Georges have become extremely wealthy in the aftermath, Mr. St. George being the third wealthiest man on Wall Street. They have moved to Newport Beach but find it hard to enter society as they are “coarse” and “nouveau riche”. It doesn’t matter that the St. George’s have more money that a whole coastline of “old money” people put together, they are not considered polite society. This hurts Mrs. St. George who wants nothing more than to finally be accepted.

Mrs. St. George was actually from a “good family” and married beneath her (as Nan shares), but her husband made a ton of money in the aftermath of the war. She reminds me a lot of Mrs. Bennet, but isn’t so worried about marrying her daughters off as she is in hoping they can get invited into society.

She is joined as an outcast with Elmsworths (who I don’t know what their money is in, I don’t think they say. The housekeeper from Two and a Half Men plays the mother-but all I can see her as is the grumpy housekeeper in that show and the murdered one in Murder She Wrote.) And rounding out this group are the Clossons. Mr. Closson met his wife in Brazil and married her, making his money in the ranches and plantations she owns combined with the casinos in New York that he owns. Their daughter, Conchita has an even harder time with society as all assume her to be a “dark-skinned Native”. So-yes no one wants them.

However, Conchita is invited to the right parties as she is newly engaged to Lord Richard Marabel, and everyone wants a real English Lord at their party. Remember A Change of Fortune?

Mrs. St. George, feeling desperate, hires an English governess to instruct her younger daughter Nan, and give her family some ummph. Ms. Laura Testvalley arrives from England, happy as the St. George’s not knowing any better are paying her a small fortune. She’s doing way better than she would  have in England. Too bad Jane Fairfax wasn’t born later.

Ms. Testvalley tries to instruct the girls and smooth out their rough edges. But they still are not invited anywhere.

It sucks!

Ms. Testvalley knows Lord Richard as she was governess to his sisters, and I don’t know if this is true but I always felt they had a “thing” in the past. They seem too close, if you know what I mean.

The big party of the summer is happening, and the only one who gets an invite is Conchita, and only because her fiance is Lord Richard. Elizabeth “Lizzy” Elmsworth and Nan’s older sister Virginia St. George, pretend to be Lord Richard’s sisters so they can go to the party, but they are later found out. Awkward!

Nan cannot go as she is not “out” in society, watching this I do get where Mrs.Bennet is coming from. It isn’t fun when you are stuck at home because your older sister isn’t married. Nan is adorable, fun, but a young girl. She thinks being a mistress is “exciting” as you have freedom and can do what you want. She even idealizes Ms. Testvalley’s life. Ms. Testavalley tries to help her with her naivety, but there is only so much she can do.

That is not what life is like.

Mrs. St. George is bemoaning  that she cannot get invited anywhere, when Ms. Testavalley comes up with the idea of a London Season. She understands the American class system better than Mrs. St. George and knows that if the ladies go to England, when they return-everyone will be begging them to attend their functions. Mrs. St. George agrees and they are off.

In England, Conchita marries Richard and meets the family. There are huge issues as they come from very different cultures. Richard is the black sheep of the family, a gambler, loose with everything, etc. He thought marrying the wealthy Conchita would solve everything, but that’s not how it works out for him. Conchita’s family expects him to take care of their daughter and actually work for a living.

Ugh! Work!

Richard was kicked out of the family home and Conchita allows him back in as his father would never kick out a woman, especially one as beautiful as her.

Richard exits the picture, using the allowance she gets to live his life however he wants, and leaving the fiery, fun-loving Conchita in a cold, damp, mansion with the uptight well-to-do family.

Meanwhile, the St. Georges and Lizzy have come to England. Ms. Testavalley wants them to do well and enlists another expatriate, her old friend Ms. March. Ms. Testavalley just wants aid in teaching them proper manners and how to follow society rules, but Ms. March has a better idea. Ms. March was once a young girl who came to England for a season, and it was hard to get into English society. In fact she was going to marry Lord Brightlingsea, Richard’s father, but was left at the altar. It seems that there was some nefarious plot, (I personally think that Lady Brightlingsea found a way to trick him, but that’s just my opinion.) Ms. March wants revenge and plans to do so by getting all the girls with wealthy, important, high-society men.

The girls visit with Conchita who is very unhappy, lonely, and determined to take a lover to ease the days. She loves having the girls to visit with her and brighten her days. She takes them to visit with Guy Thwaite. Every girl loves him but he is “unmarriageable” as he has no money. When his mother died she left him £20000 or £50000 (depending on who is telling the story). His father invested it and lost it all. Many a lady wouldn’t mind marrying him as he is handsome, intelligent, and comes from a great family-but he refuses them all as he wants to have his own money, he doesn’t want to just live off his woman.

This kind of character gives me mixed feelings. He reminds me a lot of Carl from O Pioneers! and both characters infuriate me. One one hand you have to admire a guy who wants to have his act together, provide a life for his family instead of mooching off the woman, and be a man. But on the other hand, having so much pride you waste so much time. And you might lose the girl to another.

Guy and Nan hit it off right away and she falls hard for him. He likes her, but even though she is extremely wealthy, he wants to have his own  money so he’d be worthy of his future wife.

I admire you and I’m angry with you. I’m angire or admry

So Lady Brightlingsea is not a happy woman. Conchita is pregnant, but Richard is never home and the money she brings in is not as much as this family would like to fill their extremely diminished coffers. And to add to it, her older son, the good one, has given no heir and has no interest to marry. He’s been involved with an older woman, Idina Hatton. Idina needs money and rents her cottage out to Ms. March, who brings the girls there. There they have fun and throw little parties.

From Emma (1996)

Nan is bored of those things-as she can’t really join in-and she and Ms. Testvalley go down to the countryside where Nan runs into Julius, Duke of Trevennick. Julius has been breaking hearts of all the ladies as no one can pin him down. He isn’t interested in any women as all they want are his title, he seems sweet but there is also something off-putting about his love of clocks and solitude. Like I get your an introvert, but it seems a tad…controlling. I don’t know.

Moving on…Nan impresses him as she has no clue who he is, loves the ruins as much as him, and is just full of innocence, childlike wonder, imagination, feelings, etc. She’s like a mix between Marianne Dashwood and  Catherine Morland.

The Duke is taken with her and invites her to tea-the two talking and he continuing to be struck by her.

Meanwhile, Virginia and Lizzy have both been struck by Lord Seadown’s “sad eyes”, “brooding nature”, and melancholy demeanor. Oh man, you know the type.

Lord Seadown on the hand has been doing some calculating. His extremely dwindling coffers compared to the GNP of the Elmsworth and the St. George’s. Virginia is a better choice as her family has a lot more money. Seadown boasts of his plan to his brother and how he’ll have the better deal.

One day Lizzy, Virginia, and Conchita are having a little party, when Idina shows up, angry that Seadown stood her up. She makes a scene and yells at Virginia. Virginia is a classy lady, but Lizzy won’t stand the way she is being treated and lets all know that Virginia and Seadown are engaged.

The two marry and Virgina is ecstatic over being married to her love, Lord Seadown, becoming the future Lady Seadown, and winning over her rival Lizzy. But the marriage happiness is short lived as Seadown reveals that he only married her for her money and will be using it to redo the West Wing.

Replace beauty with money

Virginia is crestfallen, but that’s not the worst of it-Lord Seadown just uses her money-giving all love and affection to Idina.

So now we are left with little Nan. Guy is extremely interested, but lets her know that he is not going to marry anyone without money. He also thinks that Nan is too young at 18. He is going to South America for two years to work on the railroad and make his fortune. Nan insists that she is not too young, as her mother married at 18. But he says no and walks out of her life.

You’re making a huge mistake!!!!!!! Come back, at least propose!!! Don’t leave her!!!!!!!

Julian on the other hand is very interested in Nan and goes to speak to her but finds her out. He instead speaks to Ms. Testvalley about his wanting to marry Nan. Now in an interesting twist Ms. Testvalley really discourages him against. She warns him that Nan is young and he should wait as in a year or two-after she’s grown up a bit, she could be an incredibly different person.

This reminds me of Mrs. Bennet and Mr. Bennet. If Mr. Bennet had not been taken in by a pretty face but really spent his time getting to know Mrs. Bennet or maybe had a longer engagement he would have realized she isn’t the right person for him. But they both were young and didn’t think.

Julian ignores Ms. Testvalley and goes to Nan who is crushed and heartbroken and lonely. When Julian proposes he gives her a puppy! A PUPPY!!! There is a guy who knows how to do a good proposal, Mr. Darcy could take notes. She’s sad, crushed, alone as her sister and friends are married ad gone and she says yes.

So Nan becomes the crown jewel for Ms. March and Ms. Testvalley as she snagged the Duke, just under a Prince. Wowee!!

Yes the americans have won and conquered the English marriage market.

So here we have as I see it-Lord Richard is nothing but Mr. Wickham. Charming on the surface but a gambling bounder who only cares about having a good time for himself. We get a glimpse of how life would have been if Wickham succeeded in marrying Georgina or Miss Gray.

Then we have Lord Seadown. He reminds me of Mr. Elliot or Mr. Willoughby. But are as calculating when it comes to maintain their fortunes/way of lifestyle. Either would do all they can to keep it.

Smarming and plotting away.

And then we have the Duke. I’m not sure who he best lines up with, he seems like a nice catch…but I guess we will just have to wait and see.

So I was going to do the whole series in one post, but there is just too much. I’ll do a secondary post on the last three episodes.

In other news, I’ll be spending this weekend with my niece. I usually post every three days, but I might have to postpone as I don’t what we will be doing. I hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July, whether it is just another day:

Or celebrating our Independence!

For more Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans, go to Non-Austen Films for Austen Fans: Stardust (2007)

For more Gilded Age, go to Book Club Picks: Julie

For more 4th of July posts, go to Let Freedom Ring

So I like to joke and have fun, but I’m going to end this post on a serious note. I just want to thank all past and present who have served to protect not only my country and my rights, but those around the world.

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.

Family

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

Why Everyone Should Read Gone With the Wind

B is for Best-Selling Novel

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Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

When it came to look for a Best-Seller to put on the list I decided to start first with 1916, as that book would be celebrating its 100th anniversary.

Double double yay

But I didn’t see any I was a very big fan of so I went to 1926. Nothing there as well.

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I decided I would then check 1936 and if I couldn’t find a book I was a fan of I would try 1896, then 1886, then 1876, and then go back to 1946 and on and on until I finally found something.

However, I stopped at 1936 with Gone With the Wind.

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Gone With the Wind was published in 1936 and at time sold 176,000 copies. It was a best seller in 1936 and 1937, winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1937, and by 1938 sold a million copies. In 1939 the film came out and the book sold two million copies.

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My first introduction to Gone With the Wind was when I first watched the film when a friend and I were going through AFI’s list of the best films. We made it to #15 before we became too busy and haven’t finished doing it since.

Oh well.

Oh well.

Anyways, I watched it and thought the movie was really good. The cinematography was absolutely stunning, it was full of good quotes, and Clark Gable was just amazing as Rhett Butler (funny thing is Margaret Mitchell didn’t want him as she thought he wasn’t handsome enough to be Rhett).

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I didn’t care for Scarlett as I thought she was a…

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And thought she was just horrible, not Vivian Leigh’s performance but her.

Then three years later, as it was on my reading list, I decided to read it, borrowing my mother’s copy. And when I read it I was amazed at how it was a truly fantastic book!

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

And I believe that everyone should read it at least once.

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So the book is a huge epic! It follows the Irish O’Hara clan from the father’s immigration into the new world and settling in the South, the radical changes from the Antebellum period, to the Civil War, and the Reconstruction era.  At the heart of all this chaos is the story of the beautiful, ruthless Scarlett ‘O’ Hara and the dashing soldier of fortune, Rhett Butler.

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So let’s list off why one should read this book:

A) Shows How the Irish were Viewed in America

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So we start off with Gerald O’Hara, head of the clan. Back in Ireland he was a part of a Catholic Emancipation group, like the Ribbonmen or such and ends up having to flee because of his political activities. He comes to America and isn’t always treated very nicely, as the Irish weren’t. Often they were made fun off, not allowed in certain areas, and thought to be taking over jobs. He starts working in his brother’s store but what he really wants is land, the very land that was denied him back in Ireland as no Catholic Irish could ever own anything.

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He eventually wins a plantation in a poker game and spends a long time building it up and having it be one of the richest ones in the area. He then decides to marry, but while these Southern families enjoy his wealth and propsperity; none could ever think of marrying their daughter to an Irish immigrant who’s family is unknown. The only thing for him to do is try to find a woman somewhere else, as he returns to his brother for help in finding a bride.

Yes, most don’t realize this but the wealthy South wanted to be like the old manors of Europe. Be the master of the land with pure bloodlines of other wealthy families, not bringing any low class in, and very racist against any that weren’t established in their group. This kind of racism against the Irish and Catholics went much farther than the South and was seen all over the country. Many times Irishmen and women had the lowest class jobs, found it hard to get land and keep it, and found themselves competing against African Americans who would work for lower wages (in the North). While Gerald O’Hara does extremely well, a lot of Irish weren’t able to ever reach that, especially in the South at this time.

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B) Scarlet O’Hara

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Scarlett is a Southern women in the Antebellum period and has very little schooling. All that is expected of her is to marry well and have plenty of children. But Scarlet has always felt different and out of touch with the time she lives in.

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She is extremely intelligent and has great business acumen. In fact it is often remarked that if her brain had been born into a boy she would have been able to go far.

Scarlet doesn’t have life easy either. With the Civil War she finds herself becoming a nurse, a midwife, and eventually has to take on the plantation or risk starvation. Because of those experiences it makes her hard, as with the book we see how she is constantly worried if things will turn out alright, if they can make it, or if they will be back to starvation; everyone looking at her to take care of everything.

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That is an incredible burden to be laid on a teenager (as she is about 17 or 18), let alone one who’s education was “how to look her prettiest”. She becomes tough because if she doesn’t, none of them will survive.

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When the home is attacked, she defends it shooting the deserter and protecting the home and people.

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Now she does steal her sister’s boyfriend, so she has faults, but she does it because she has foresight none of the others do. He has a hardware store, but when Scarlet takes over she also creates a lumber mill, triples the money, and is able to provide for everyone. Even though she accomplishes all this everyone still tells her she isn’t being a lady, running businesses and doing better than her husband. They try to convince her to stop, but she keeps on doing it. Using her “ladies mind” which contains a powerful way with numbers.

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She continues to be this strong, forceful woman throughout the rest of the novel; even though she does make a lot of bad personal decisions. Still, for a woman in the 1800s to have her own business, earn her own money, choose who she will marry (several times), is pretty awesome! She is a powerhouse of a character.

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C) Not as Racist as People Think

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People had slaves and if a book mentions it, that is not racist. In fact in this book the slaves aren’t really shown to be stupid, slow, or other clichés; except Lettie who is mentally disabled (something we understand more now than we did then). There is the house slave who didn’t want to work in the fields, but being a house slave was seen as better than an outdoor slave and slaves on the inside often treated the field slaves as being lower class.

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In fact this book isn’t racist to African Americans, but points out racism and hypocrisy that African Americans faced from those who were trying to free them. It is often remarked that while the North wanted the Southern slaves to be free, that did not mean they actually wanted to work with those freed slaves or have them near. There were plenty of racist people living in the North fighting for African American rights, but if they were near an African American they would still treat them cruelly. Mitchell points this out when the new Republicans brought in by Reconstruction say they would never have an African American nanny their children as they have “diseases” and “uncouth ways”. In fact they would much rather ship over an Irish immigrant than ever let their child be touched by someone black.

What jerks

What jerks

Many say that Mitchell started this “Mamie” stereotype  creating a myth that all Africans were pleased with being slaves; which Mitchell does not do. Like The Help, which by the way everyone loved and praised, she shows that because the nannies lived in the house and raised the children they sometimes became like family. It didn’t happen with everyone, but in this case Mamie was a mother to Scarlet more than her own mother.

Also people are all different and have their own views, even if they live in the same area. Mitchell presents a look at the many ways people regarded slavery; indifferent as Scarlet, necessary as Mr. O’Hara; and how some treat African Americans rudely, cruelly, or like family.

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D) The Person You Love are Not Always True

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Scarlet is in love with Ashley Wilkes, but they could never marry as her blood (Irish) is too inferior for the Wilkes family. He is to marry none other than his cousin, but instead of flat out saying that to Scarlett, Ashley likes how this beautiful woman who everyone wants loves him and leads Scarlett on, trying to make sure her “flames of love kept burning” because it made him feel good. He was such a jerk and a coward! I mean we’ve all had guys like that who say “they would make the commitment”, but their life isn’t quite together yet. They haven’t reached their plans. And then when you try to move on, they always snag you back, bemoaning that if only things were different; trying to get you to wait for them.

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They get their poisonious hook into you and keep you.

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My friend was in the snare of a guy like Ashley for three years. He would go on about how they couldn’t be together, she deserved someone better; but as soon as she started to move on or see other people he would pop in about how much he cared about her. Constantly stringing her along in this cycle.

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Thankfully she finally realized it or she would have been like Scarlett constantly pining after something she thought she needed when the real prize laid before her. It is horrible, and this book really teaches you the errors of being stuck on someones hook.

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E) Stop Looking to the Past

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Like most people, Scarlett gets stuck in the past. All she can do is think of Ashley and wish of Ashley.

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How many of us have had a broken heart and instead of realizing how that person wasn’t right and deciding to move on, we cling to the past dreaming, wishing hoping. How many of us waste our time like Scarlett?

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Scarlett was so consumed with her dreams and thoughts of the past that she was blind to the person who really loved her, that if she had only let her dream of Ashley die and stop mooning about him she would have seen how much better Rhett was for her.

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F) Never Be afraid to Say How You Feel

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Everyone talks about Scarlett’s blindness and how she was unable to see what she has but you know who was a real coward? Rhett! Rhett never told her he loved her until the very end. Maybe if he had not been so afraid to admit his real feelings and told her the truth about how he felt instead of distancing himself for the fear of her breaking his heart or lording over him, then they might have had a chance at true happiness.

Yes it can be hard to be vulnerable, or share your heart with others. Things can go very wrong of the person doesn’t care. But they can go just as bad of you say nothing and let the person you love pass you on by.

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G) Hold On to Tomorrow

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As Little orphan Annie says, “So you got to hang on ’til tomorrow, come what may!” Even after all she’s been through, Scarlett has an optimism that seems to go against everything else about her. She has faith that in tomorrow things can change. Life is hard now but in the flip of a dime it could turn out better. This kind of optimism we should instill in our life as well. Anything could happen tomorrow, don’t give up as things can get better.

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

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For more on Gone With the Wind, go to At the End of the Rainbow: 17 More Irish Heroes

For more on Margaret Mitchell, go to I Will Survive

For more Ayn Rand quotes, go to The Power is Yours

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Today’s carol is O Little Town of Bethlehem. Phillip Brooks visited Bethlehem in 1865 and three years later wrote the poem, asking his organist Lewis Redner to write the music.

“As Christmas of 1868 approached, Mr. Brooks told me that he had written a simple little carol for the Christmas Sunday-school service, and he asked me to write the tune to it. The simple music was written in great haste and under great pressure. We were to practice it on the following Sunday. Mr. Brooks came to me on Friday, and said, ‘Redner, have you ground out that music yet to “O Little Town of Bethlehem”? I replied, ‘No,’ but that he should have it by Sunday. On the Saturday night previous my brain was all confused about the tune. I thought more about my Sunday-school lesson than I did about the music. But I was roused from sleep late in the night hearing an angel-strain whispering in my ear, and seizing a piece of music paper I jotted down the treble of the tune as we now have it, and on Sunday morning before going to church I filled in the harmony. Neither Mr. Brooks nor I ever thought the carol or the music to it would live beyond that Christmas of 1868.”

Amazing. Now it is famous and such a part of the festive year. My favorite version is the Nat King Cole one.

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For more Christmas carols, go to We Wish You A Merry Christmas

Escape to Alcatraz

So as today is Clint Eastwood’s birthday….

Happy birthday

Happy birthday

So I thought that I would do a post that relates to him in some way…

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So this adventure took place around three years ago. So you all know what that meanes, we’ve gotta go back in time…

Back to the Future

So about three years ago I was a junior in college and getting ready to start my finals. And I’m sure there are plenty who remember how that feels. Your mood flips faster than the weather in Wyoming. From stressed out:

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To sad and unsure that you even know what you are doing:

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I was a part of the history club, and we decided that this was the perfect time to take a trip.

I've got to get out of here.

I’ve got to get out of here.

We tossed around a bunch of ideas like going to the Scottish Games, Alcatraz Night Tour, Exploratorium, Wine Tasting, Cheese Tasting, etc. Of course it took forever for everyone to decide but we finally settled on Alcatraz.

Now I have always wanted to go to Alcatraz. I have been a big fan every since the Clint Eastwood movie based on a true story, Escape from Alcatraz.

The story is about Frank Morris. He was sent to Alcatraz because he escapes every prison they put him in. They placed him in Alcatraz because it was impossible to get out of.

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Not only because of all the guards, as said in the trailer, but the location. Alcatraz is in the bay of San Francisco, which if you have never been there, has freezing cold water year round. Mark Twain once said:

“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”

Not to mention the coordinates of the prison has a horrible pull of the current that if you managed to try to escape by swimming, the current would keep you from going forward, and you would eventually die from hypothermia.

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So the story is that Frank Morris comes up with this way to escape Alcatraz by digging a hole through the vent in his room, creating a facade to hide the digging, paper mache heads and fake bodies, and a raft. He teams up with three other guys, but unlike the movie one failed to escape through the vent because he had a pipe blocking his path, not that he was afraid. No one knows whether the three drowned or escaped. Their bodies and persons were never seen again.

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But I was so jazzed to learn more about the island. Beside the Frank Morris story, Al Capone actually walked there as he was imprisoned there. How cool would it be that I was where one of the greatest gangsters was?

I mean he did horrible things, but it still is slightly cool

I mean he did horrible things, but it still is slightly cool

And to be somewhere CLINT EASTWOOD ACTUALLY SPENT TIME!!? MY FANGIRLNESS JUST EXPLODED!

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Words cannot explain my excitement.

You definitely made mine!

You definitely made mine!

And then of course Sam Neil when he filmed that show Alcatraz (on my to-watch list).

It was great

It was great

So I was sooo excited.

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And it didn’t disappoint. The bay was beautiful, and so was Alcatraz. I didn’t know that the families of the workers lived with them on the island, so there were beautiful gardens and flowers growing.

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And the complex was used for so many things. During the Civil War they kept it as fortress and military prison, Native Americans were housed there, it was used as a jail, and most recently a famous author had a show there.

It was so cool being there. So much information, and such a history. Plus the architecture was amazing.

So we were able to see the rooms of Frank Morris, the brains, and his compatriots. It was pretty cool how they kept everything the same for the tourists.

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But because we were the Night Tour, things definitely took a creepy turn.

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Like the hospital room. Full of these older, slightly rusty tools, and at night with a weird light. I wouldn’t want to stay long in that room.

Getting out of here

Getting out of here

Or the Isolation Chamber?

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The isolation chamber was were you were sent when you were causing trouble or if a guard hated you. You are in a small cell with nothing in it, and the day it is okay. But when it is night, it is pitch black in there and super creepy.

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It was right next to the library where they were doing a lecture I wanted to attend, and that was the only way to get there so we had to pass through it. Oh man, it was scary.

Creepy!

Creepy!

And another kinda creepy factor? There were tons of seagulls everywhere. It felt as if I was in The Birds and they were just waiting to attack.

Not gulls but you understand the feeling.

Not gulls but this was what it felt like.

But it was a lot of fun and even though it was spooky, I definitely recommend it to anyone.

 

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For more San Francisco adventures, go to I Left My Car in San Francisco

For more stories from my everyday life, go to A Bump in the Night

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In other news, as I said before today is Clint Eastwood’s birthday so I’m going to celebrate the best way I can!

Just a few of his films.

Just a few of his films.

MARATHON!!!

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For more Clint Eastwood, go to A Cowboy’s Christmas

Fandom Love

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So I’m sure you can tell where this is going. Post six of my fandom love. Hope you enjoy it and get interested in checking these out. 🙂

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Elvis Presley

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The King of Rock ‘n Roll himself! Elvis!!! Yes I am a huge Elvis fan, in fact I don’t know anyone who loves Rock ‘n Roll, that doesn’t love the “father” of the genre. He’s awesome! Yes Elvis, the pandemonium that Elvis created was bigger than any artist before or after. His fandom is one of the earliest and strongest. Nothing can hold a candle to him.

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 So not only was Elvis a great musician, singer, dancer (signature style) but an actor as well. The big deal there!

So now onto my favs. For favorite songs I love them ALL.

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If I had to pick a favorite…I would have to go with A Little Less Conversation or Burnin’ Love. But then there is something to be said for Jailhouse Rock or Can’t Help Falling in Love or…I need to stop or this could take forever.

For films I like all his films, but I loved Jailhouse Rock. In that he choreographed the dance moves..well kind of. You see he couldn’t do the moves created by the choreographer. They were taking a break and his buddy Russ Tamblyn came by and checked out the issues he was having. He asked him what he could do, and the two created a dance number that incorporated it.

Then there is Spinout, which is hilarious. Elvis is a lead singer in a band and a racer. All he wants to do is race his car and sing, but finds himself in a love triangle. His bandmate Les and mechanic has fallen for him, a spoiled heiress who’s dad gets her anything she wants is trying to force him to date her, and then an author on Men has taken a liking to him. What’s Elvis to do?

And then A Change of Habit. This was the last film Elvis made and it is very different from his other works. In this one he is a young doctor working in the ghetto at a clinic for the underprivileged. There he meets three women who are evangelizing to the people. He and one of the women begin falling for each other. The only problem…she’s nun. She hasn’t yet taken her orders and finds herself faced with a huge decision. Take her orders, become a nun, and continue to serve and help the community. Or chose life as a wife and be unable to work with the Catholic church she has been building up. It was sweet, dramatic, and one of those films that confronts hard issues and decisions.

For more on Elvis Presley, go to Heartbreak Hotel

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Grimm

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So Grimm is a modern day telling of the Grimm Fairy Tales but with a twist. Creatures from the fairy tales live among us, appearing as human to all but a select few. Instead of being the “brothers Grimm”, the Grimm are certain people who have the ability to see those monsters, or Wesen as they are called, from the tales. They are kind of the police force of the “fairy tale world,”  as it is their job as Grimms to destroy all the Wesen. The Grimm ability is passed genetically, and sometimes it can miss a generation or skip a few, but all Grimms are related if you go back far enough on the family tree.

In the series the main character is a homicide detective named Nick Burkhardt, who is played by the very handsome David Giuntoli.

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OMG I just find him so attractive. He has these really intense green eyes that just bore into you. He also has an amazingly adorable little boy/mischievous smile. Sometimes I’ll be watching the show and lose track of what has been happening because I’m too caught up in staring at him.

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What can I say? He’s dreamy. Anyways let’s get back on track.

So the “Grimm sight” didn’t come to Nick until he was in his 30s. He discovers that it’s up to him to destroy all the creatures, but Nick actually does things much different. Because he is a cop, he likes to ask questions first before shooting, maiming, beheading, etc. Because of this he actually befriends a lot of Wesen.  He meets up with a vegetarian Blutbad (Werewolf) named Monroe, who helps him figure out what the monsters are and how to take them down.

Now I just love Monroe. He is so casual and normal and such a sweetheart.

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Later on they recruit a Fuschbau (Fox) named Rosalee. It’s really cool as they bring to life all those fairy tale stories you used to love as a kid, but at the same time they also use a lot of German and the culture; promoting the same thing the Brothers’ Grimm did. There is also a lot of mystery and intrigue with a story that spans over four seasons.

So in season one is Nick trying to figure things out, as everything is completely new and a little hard for him to understand. Season two he has a better handle on it, but also faces issues of trying to conceal or reveal to his close friends. He also gets involved more in the political intrigues and history of the Grimm. In the third season we have a guy who really has it together but faces a lot of issues as an enemy from the past is trying to kill him, a new Grimm comes to town, and much, much more. I highly recommend it!

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For more on Grimm, go to Happily Ever Aftermath: Grimm (2012)

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Growing Pains

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I loved this show so much as a kid. In fact I was in love with Kirk Cameron and wanted to marry him (after Clint Eastwood and Michael J. Fox).

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Growing Pains is about the Seaver family. The father Jason (Alan Thicke) is a psychiatrist and is doing very well. His wife, Maggie (Joanna Kern), is a reporter. They have three kids: Mike (Kirk Cameron) the cool kid who is only interested in girls and having a good time; Carol (Tracey Gold) who is the smart, studious, straight arrow; and Ben (Jeremy Miller) who is the adorable, rambunctious, boy.

The series is a normal show as it follows the group as they progress in age. It was absolutely adorable, funny, and awesome. Later on as Ben grew up, he developed similar to Mike, and the Seavers had another child, Chrissy (Ashley Johnson). As Mike grew up his character changed as well. He originally wanted to be an actor, but ends up becoming a teacher. As he is teaching low-income students, he notices one who is living in the school as he has no where to go. This boy is Luke, played by Leonardo DiCaprio (in one of his earliest roles), and Mike brings him home to his family.

I love this show and it was great watching.

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Guardians of the Galaxy

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So at first I wasn’t going to watch this movie. My ex-boyfriend had been really into it, and that is were I first heard about it. When it came out I wasn’t interested. That is until my friend saw it and said I had to as it was full of ’70s and ’80s references. She convinced me to check it out and I did. My reaction was:

love it

So the story is Peter Quill’s mother is dying of cancer. He runs outside as he is hurting, and gets abducted by aliens. Twenty years pass, and Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, is a treasure hunter. He goes to a planet to steal an orb for a buyer, and finds himself caught in a huge adventure.

Guardians of the Galaxy Star Lord Chris PrattUnbeknownst to Star-Lord, others want that orb. Gamora (the green girl) is an assassin. Her species was exterminated and she was adopted by Thanos and trained to be an assassin after he rebuilt her cybernetically.

While the two fight over the orb, Rocket (a raccoon-type alien) and Groot (a tree-like alien) also attack trying to get the bounty on Star-Lord. They all get arrested and end up bonding in jail, adding to their group Drax the Destroyer.

It was a truly hilarious film. Almost a parody of superhero films, completely on par with Mystery Men. Check it out once, twice, or a hundred times.

And this is for anyone who has watched it already.

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Loved this film and now the comics.

My favorite characters were Rocket and Groot, of course, and Star-Lord. He is Star-Lord after all.

Go here to see who your match is.

Go here to see who your match is.

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Hell on Wheels

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Hell on Wheels is an amazing show that I just absolutely love. I am a huge fan of Westerns, so when this show came out I was all over it. Hell on Wheels takes place after the Civil War, in which railroad companies are trying to create raillines all over the United States. Thomas “Doc” Durant is the one who is in charge of the investors and building the railroad. Thor Gundreson is his security man, known as the Swede, even though he is Norwegian. They oversee a huge group of people: freed slaves, immigrants, and others leaving the South and North looking for jobs.

One of these freed slaves is Elam Fegursan, eager to prove his work and worth. He gets into some skirmishes with Cullen Bohannon, an ex-confederate soldier. As the two fight more and more, they end up becoming friends. But unbeknowest to anyone, Cullen has a secret vendetta, to kill the men who raped and murdered his wife and child.

Also in this group, is Joseph Black Moon, a Cheyenne who has converted to Christianity. He was the chief’s son, but because of his conversion he has been kicked out of the tribe and has joined up with the church following the railroad. He too becomes friends with Cullen, a very interesting trio in 1870s.

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Also on this group are two Irish immigrants, Seán and Micky McGinnes. These two get into lots of scrapes with the Swede as they don’t want to pay for his protection.

And last but not least we have Lily Belle, who’s husband was the surveyor for the railroad. He was killed by Native Americans while Lily Belle was saved by Joseph. She thinks about going back to England, but ends up staying in America continuing her husband’s work.

The first season was amazing. I have yet to finish it as I have no cable and need to catch up. I will say that I hope the rest is as good as the story was amazing and the characters so good.

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How I Met Your Mother

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How I Met Your Mother was such an amazing show and I am so sad that it has ended. It was hilarious, sweet, and just adorable. It covers five friends living in New York and their lives in trying to find love, work, etc.

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Ted Moseby

Ted is the architect that is the narrator of the show. He is looking back and telling his children the complete story of how he met their mother. He is undeniably sweet and dreams of finding the right woman to marry. He is so eager, that he is constantly getting with the wrong woman. He is the greatest best friend ever, and the guy any girl would be lucky to end up with.

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Marshall Erikson

Marshall is the all around perfect guy. Every girl dreams of having a Marshall in their life. Marshall is from Minnesota and he and Ted meet freshman year of college as they were placed together as roommates. He later met Lily who became the love of his life. He studies to be a lawyer and hopes to have a great future with Lily. Unfortunately, Lily dumps him, but comes to her senses and gets back together with him.

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Lily Aldrin

Lily is the smart and sassy member of the group. She meets Marshall and Ted, when she knocks on their door and asks Marshal to fix her radio. She and Ted is typically the center of the group, although she gives far better advice than Ted to everyone.

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 Barney Stintson

Barney meet Ted at the bar bathroom. He quickly roped Ted into one of his schemes to pick up chicks and quickly becomes a part of the group. He is hilarious, a magician, and loves to act. His biggest flaw is that he constantly creates these extremely funny scenarios to pick-up-chicks.

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Robin Scherbatsky

Robin has a very interesting background. Her parents got divorced when she was young and she started out being raised by her father who wanted a boy and treated her like one. When she becomes a woman she moves in with her mom, and starts a career as a pop singer, Robin Sparkles.

She wants to be a news anchor and meets Ted in a bar. They become friends and she is brought into the group, becoming Lily’s best friend and dating Ted and Barney off and on. Barney and her finally get together, and he proposes and they get married. And that’s the end of the series for me.

***Spoiler Alert***

I hated the last episode of the series. I never wanted Robin and Ted together as Robin never loved everything about Ted, she just put up with his quirks. I wanted Ted with someone who really loved him. I also hated how after all that time Ted spent in planning his wedding, they have a five-second one they fit in between everything else they do. I hated how Robin and Barney divorced as they were perfect for each other. And I hated after all that growth he did, after the divorce he was back to being the same person from before.

For more on How I Met Your Mother, go to I’ll Be Back: The Terminator (1984)

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For Part 5 go to What A Fanatic!

And Stay Tuned for Part 7

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For more on my favorite music and musicians, go to Dreaming of the Sandman

For more of my favorite quizzes, go to Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads

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.

bookfriends

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.

Big brain small boobs

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:

Love triangle pizza

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:

julia child

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.

the-grady-twinsPride&Prejudice Elizabeth Jane come play with us the shining

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.

BrokenHeart-Icecream Buffy the VS

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:

TallDarkBrooding

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

BuffytheVampireSlayer Angel

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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!

swoon dreamy

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!

CaptainAmerica

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:

be-still-my-heart-gaston-o

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!

chronicles of Narnia lion whitch wordrobe BBC

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:

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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