Six Degrees of Separation

Reading books are really special, not only for their content:

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But the fact that something you read can become a part of you. The characters can become your friends, family, a part of who you are.

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We love them so much that if asked, it would hard to pick just one.

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But have you ever thought about how a book you love is loved and touched by others? Especially a library book.

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Have you ever thought about how every book you check out has been checked out by countless others. Even though each book affects people in a different way; it still is pretty amazing how many people can be reached through a book.

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So there used to be something that I would do in novels I borrowed from the library. I would leave little things in them for the next reader.

Bookmarks, stickers, quotes, pictures, etc. I thought that maybe these little gifts would enhance the reader’s life, maybe make them very happy. Brighten their day.

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I stopped doing it after a while because I started to think that maybe I was causing more trouble for the library workers who have to check through the books.

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But after a while I started to do it again. I joined the site PaperBackSwap and as I sent out my books to trade; I sometimes include little things: bookmarks, cards, etc. To thank them and set a smile on their face too.

Double double yay

Is that a weird thing to do? Or something you do as well?

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For more Neil Gaiman, go to One of Many

For more Virgina Woolf, go to True Treasure

For more book-filled posts, go to The Strange Case of a Fangirl and Her Fandoms

A Haunting We Will Go: The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977)

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Why would they all come back?

So this year I am doing something a bit different. I decided that every Friday this year I will review a TV episode instead of a film. I know it kind of goes against the grain, but I just feel bad for those awesome shows that try to make really creepy Halloween episodes or just have great episodes that fit for this. Their still horror, so they count.

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So this episode is from the TV series, The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Mysteries. This show came out in the 1970s, the first season alternating every week between the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. The second season saw four crossover episodes, and only three Nancy Drew as the actresses playing her, left the series. Season three was reworked to be just the Hardy Boys. It was a good series while it lasted, I just wish there had been more. If you are interested in watching, all these episodes are currently on youtube, here’s the link if you want to watch this one.

So on to the review:

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At the beginning of every episode we see the Universal logo. I’ve always wondered why they haven’t remade it, I would watch it. But then again they would probably mess it up like they did with Nancy Drew (2007) film.

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So then we have the awesome intro and amazing intro music.

I love the setup, the book covers in the background, and that music. Ooh! It sends shivers up an down my spine and gets me in the mood for a mystery.

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So the first thing we see is a woman, yelling at Nancy Drew (Pamela Sue Martin) about knowing who she is and pulling a knife on her!

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But it turns out that it is just a rehearsal for a play they are doing. Yep, they are tearing down the old theater in River Heights, and using the property to build a youth center. It was Nancy’s idea to put on a play Murder in the 4th Act. 

Unlike the book series, Ned and Nancy’s relationship isn’t clearly defined. Are they going out? Or just good friends? He seems more into her than she into him. As much as I like book Ned, I have to be honest and admit I love the idea of Nancy Drew and Frank Hardy, especially in this series. OTP of the TV series.

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Anyways, so Ned is a bit of an egotistical jerk in the TV series than the book, and this episode is no different. He sent some telegrams to some famous actors: Thelma March, Hollywood actress; Alex Richmond, game show host; Danny Day, TV actor, and Seth Taylor, news anchor- and they all agreed to come. Ned thinks it is because of his brilliance, Nancy thinks it is a bit odd. Why would these famous people be willing to give up their time for free to help a youth center?

The woman Nancy was rehearsing with, Janet Mustane (Pippa Scott), used to perform with these people, choosing to remain in River Heights instead of going off to “bigger things”. She does not seem happy about all those people coming back. Wonder why?

suspicious Hmm

Nancy decides to clean up the stage area and make sure that everything is nice for the “famous” people. As she looks around stage, their is a shadowy figure above her on the catwalk.

Phantom of the Opera

No it’s not him, :(. However there is a story that the theater is haunted by “The Phantom”.

Well, whoever or whatever this is, they decide to take down the chandelier and almost get Nancy with it.

Bad Stuff happens when you don't listen

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nancy was able to get out of the way in time, but starts thinking that something inky is going on. She checks the cord and sees that it isn’t frayed or old, but was cut.

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No one believes her though. So its up to Nancy to figure it out.

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The team split up to check over the theater more thoroughly.

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Nancy heads down into the prop room to see if she can figure out what is bringing everyone back. As she is looking, she finds an old playbill from the orginal opening of the play. And it turns out, all of those who are coming back, including Janet, were in the original performance.

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Weird

Weird

So they all show up, but no one can pay the cab, leaving Ned to foot the bill. How odd. How can such huge entertainment giants have no money? Hmmm….

suspicious Hmm

Something else strange is that they all seem to hate each other.

Hate YOu

If they dislike each other, why would they come back to perform with each others? And stay in the hotel across the alley (Janet’s place) rooming with each other?

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

So they start practicing, when Seth decides that he can’t do the scene without a pipe. He heads down to the prop room, but the lights won’t work.

You know what that means. Someones coming after you.

You know what that means. Someone’s coming after you.

But instead of looking for a prop he tries to open the window. While he is doing that, our mystery person or ghost knocks a statue over, trying to hurt him.

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He’s fine, but Nancy wonders if there is more going on. Janet is convinced that the Phantom did it, and everyone else thinks it was just an accident; but Nancy knows that something is not adding up.

suspicious Hmm

She notices the light was unscrewed so it wouldn’t work, and that the window is opened. The window shouldn’t be unlocked as Ned checked it earlier, so Nancy is convinced someone came through there. Seth tells her it is stuck, so no one could get through it.

Wait a second!

Wait a second!

Now how would he know that? He was looking for a prop. He must have tried to open the window, but why?

suspicious Hmm

Later that night Nancy tries to get Ned, her friend George Fayne, and her Dad, Carson Drew to investigate with her to find out what is going on, but no wants to help. None are convinced that there is anything more to it then an old building that is falling apart. In fact Mr. Drew thinks they should move the play somewhere else, as that building is probably too old.

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But Nancy is convinced there is far more to the tale and won’t give up. She notices how all the actors are completely hostile to each other, and there has to be another reason why they would all come that isn’t nostalgia. But what?

The plot thickens

The plot thickens

That night the four visiting actors sneak out of their rooms and head over to the theater. They head down into the prop room and start taking it apart.

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That night, unbeknownst to them, Ned decides to head over and check the place out. You see Ned is very full of himself (I cannot repeat this enough, he is not like that in the book series) and decides that he needs to recheck the light plan as his genius must reflect well on the actors. When he gets there he runs into Julia and Alex disposing of the bricks from the prop room wall.

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This is one of the funniest scenes in the whole episode. Ned asks them what they are doing, and Alex tells him he needs the bricks to make a bed for his back, it is the only thing that can help him sleep. Ned finds it weird, but who is he to question it? He tries to head into the theater, but Julia stops him telling him he needs to go to bed and be well-rested. He says he doesn’t need to because he is young, and then Julia gets offended.

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She yells at him, are you calling me old?

I don't think so

And Ned, like a typical male, knows that it is no time to argue but vamoose.

Run Away

The next day, Nancy discovers the actors all asleep in the dressing room. They wonder what the heck is going on? Ned wakes them up and as they head upstairs to the stage, Ned tells Nancy about everything that happened the night before. Now Nancy is 100%s sure something is up, but what?

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So while they are talking the actors are having their own discussion. They are a bit worried about Nancy as she is always watching them.

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The other thing that is making them act crazy is they are all completely broke. Everyone has been paying a blackmailer for something they haven’t discussed, just yet. They know one of them must be the blackmailer, but which one is doing it?

suspicious Hmm

So they rehearse, and just as they are about to break up for lunch, a light comes crashing down, nearly hitting some people.

Phantom of the Opera chandelier

Everyone thinks that it is just another accident in an old theater, but Nancy feels that these accidents are too deliberate. As if someone was purposely attacking the people performing. But which one is doing it?

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So Nancy tries to get Ned and Mr. Carson to back her again, but they still just think all the mishaps are from an old building falling apart, not a saboteur. Ned says that he heard a door shut and he thinks someone might have been there, but wasn’t sure. George disagrees as she thinks it is the Phantom!

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Nancy decides to put together a plan. She gets some phosphoric paint, and starts painting the areas in the prop room to discover who might be this “Phantom” messing with things.

Afterwards, the actors return and she puts her plan into motion. She turns off the lights and has George turn on the blacklight….and it shows that EVERYONE has the paint on them.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

THEY ALL ARE A PART OF IT!!!

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

So Nancy overhears them talking and decides there is much more to this story. Time to head to the library and do some research.

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They find the newspaper article and get some answers.

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So Jason Hall went from town to town raising money and investors for the show, promising it would be an amazing thing. In fact he really took River Heights, Nancy’s hometown, for a ride. The play closed before it opened, and it turned out that Jason took off with it all!!!! Or at least that’s what people think because he just disappeared. It turned out that he never had New York critics coming, that he intended to take everyone for a ride. But is that it, or is there more to the story?

suspicious Hmm

She starts thinking about it and everything starts coming together: the disappearance of Jason Hall, they all hate each other, they all are poor, etc. They must have done something to Jason. Someone is blackmailing them and they have no more money left. When they heard that the theater was going to be destroyed they must have decided to come back and clear up whatever evidence  they have before it comes to light with the destruction.

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Nancy thinks she has it figured out, now all she needs is to find the hard evidence to prove her theory.

While they are looking, the actors have been trying very hard to finish what they started. At last they have opened up the wall, and pulled out a sarcophagus. It turns out that Nancy was right. They did kill Jason, they hid the body in the sarcophagus, and sealed up the wall. They have been digging to get it out, so that their crime would not be discovered. And they have finally accomplished it.

When Ned spots them carrying it out, they tell him that Mr. Drew said they could have whatever props they wanted, and Seth wanted this one.

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Nancy sees Ned who tells her about the sarcophagus and Nancy knows instantly, that must be where they put body. She tells her dad, who decides to call in the Sheriff.

As the group is gathered to open it, in walks the Sheriff. He demands to open it and when they do, they discover………………..

come on

Bricks.

Say What

Yes everyone is shocked! What happened? Where is the body?

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Everyone but the actors are sent on home, and they talk amongst themselves. Danny thinks that one of them came back and moved the body, only pretending to help dig it out, but which one did it?

WhoDoneItMystery?

That night is the performance and the mystery is bothering Nancy. Who is the blackmailer? What happened to Jason? Who has been sabotaging the theater?

The plot thickens

She finally comes to the conclusion that the only solution that fits, is if Jason IS the blackmailer. Think about it: he somehow recovered from whatever they did to think they killed him and has been blackmailing them since. He must also be the person who has been sabotaging the theater. Yes that has to be it! Before she can tell Ned and everyone her cue comes, and she has to go onstage.

She goes onstage, and has to give everyone champagne, as she plays a maid. As she is giving out the glasses, she smells something odd.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Poison!

Spoke too soon

Nancy stops the play, crushing the glasses and keeping everyone from drinking them. She then yells at George to put on the blacklight. As they scan the audience, they spot one man covered in phosphorus paint. They get him.

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They pull off wig, fake glasses, and pretend nose. And discover that it is Jason. He has been alive the whole time.

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Afterwards the crew met up so Nancy can get the whole story.

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It turned out that Jason was a hustler and conman. He took the money for investing in the play and sent it to a private account in the Cayman Islands. He was planning in leaving the actors holding the bag, and having to pay for his crimes. They discovered this and argued with him, Jason fell and hit his head. They thought they killed him, so they buried the body in the wall, like in Edgar Allen Poe’s story The Black Cat. He escaped at one point and began blackmailing them, while the whole time they thought it was one of the five.

With everything done, the actors decide to finally stop bickering and continue in the play until enough money is raised for the youth center. Another case solved by Nancy Drew!

TheEnd_Title_2

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To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It Has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

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For more Nancy Drew, go to I’m So FANcy!

For more mysteries, go to Murder is My Favorite Crime: Laura (1944)

For more TV series based on books, go to Happily Ever Aftermath: Grimm (2012)

Jane, Jane, Jane: A Jane Austen Biography

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Jane Austen by Carol Shields

As this book lacked an interesting title in which to title my post, I had to pull lyrics from Jefferson Starship‘s song Jane. 

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About three years ago I was in the library. While I was roaming through the stacks, I came upon this book and was intrigued by such a slender biography. I had been disappointed by another Jane Austen nonfiction, published by Cambridge, which seemed to tear apart her books quite horribly. I hoped this one would be better.

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When I read the introduction, Shields confessed to being more of an Austen fan, then a researcher. In that moment I began to have high hopes for this book.

Or book

Or book

A fellow Austenite/Janeite?

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And then I started reading the book

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And I really enjoyed it.

Shields presents all the facts of Jane’s life very directly and resolutely, not over-dramatizing or romanticizing it, but presenting the truth.

Shields focuses on Austen as a writer, how her life influenced her works, it being one of the few avenues an unmarried women could try, etc.

Hmm

Not only was it informative, but Shields analyzation of her family, friends, and possible romantic interests was also very illuminating.

Good job

Good job

I highly recommend it for any Jane Austen fan wanting to know more about the women behind the books.

The Lovely Jane

The Lovely Jane

I do have one criticism. At times the book can be a bit dry. I love history and read such books all the time, so that wasn’t why I had issue. I just felt that at times it needed a boost as it became a little boring.

Otherwise, it was a great biography and you should check it out.

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For more on Jane Austen, go to One of a Kind

For more book filled posts, go to It’s a Fan World After All

 

Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way

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13) Something That You’re Proud Of

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No it’s not any of those. Well the thing that I’m most proud of might sound silly or boring to you, but it was hard for me to accomplish.

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So let me back up. You recall from a previous post that I graduated last year from college?

Graduation

Well before I could do that, for my study I had to write an intense thesis paper. And I don’t know about other places out there but my university didn’t let you choose your own topic. Instead they gave you a large one and you were able to pick something underneath that umbrella.

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Yeah. Then the professor noticed my love of film, and recommended that I choose that for my project and I did. I choose to talk about the Civil Rights era and Western film.

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I know, it sounds weird, but it there were actually a lot of Western films that correlated with the changes occurring due to the Civil Rights Movement. It was different, it was ambitious, it would be a perfect change from anything anyone else had done.

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It also was the hardest thing I have EVER chosen to do.

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Yes, it turns out that people write about Westerns taking place in 1960s-70s, and they talk about films (specifically those relating to the movement) but NO one ever discusses this as a correlation. On one hand it’s good as it is new, on the other, how was I supposed to pull from resources so separated?

I don't know what to do

I ended up reading Western History, Civil Rights History, Western Film History, and Film History of the Civil Rights Movement. It was hard and a loooot of work. I spent nearly every waking hour in the library.

Me

Then there was the problem of primary sources. The films I choose weren’t the really popular films and were also not available to borrow from the campus library, or purchase.

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I was able to rent one from Amazon Instant Watch, score another off of Youtube, and the remaining ones off some site that I’m sure had obtained the films illegally. But that wasn’t even the hardest thing, It was just so much time and effort; all-the-while knowing that if you fail you are not graduating.

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Eventually, through the all-nighters, the crazy researching, the personal drama, work, and other school work: I finished it!

Finally something GOOD!

And it even went on to win a writing award.

Take note Hollywood

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to Musical Madness

For the previous post, go to Number Two Look Just Like You

Going on a Treasure Hunt

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Day 2) Most Treasured Item

Now this is a hard question. There are just so many things I love, how could I choose just one? Well I can’t, sorry. Instead I am going to list my top 5 treasured items.

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5) My Library

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I know this sounds like a copout, but it’s the truth. I have so many favorite books in there that it would be hard to pick just one. I have classics, mysteries, horror, romance, comics, my bible, childhood favorites, books that were gifts, books that were recommended, books over a hundred years old; it’s a lot and I value every one.

For more bookish posts, go to Walk My Way

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4) Tea Mugs

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I love drinking tea and I have three special mugs. My first mug I won at the fair. The game was a bunch of glass cups and bowls stacked up in a pyramid, and the point of it was to toss your quarters into them. Whichever ones the coins landed in, you were able to take home. I won two glasses, a bowl, and a beer mug. But I don’t like beer, so I use that mug for my tea which is awesome as it is gigantic!

My second favorite mug is one I made after going to Disneyland with my friends. I wanted to bring back a souvenir, but couldn’t find anything I really liked. So when I got home I went to Walmart.com and made a collage mug with pics from the trip.

And my third mug, a pint sized mug that comes with a lid. It is AWESOME!

For more on tea, go to Never Big Enough

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3) Star Wars Collection

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Some of you might think I’m strange or a loser, but I don’t care. I love Star Wars and think it is the coolest thing ever. I have a huge collection of all kinds of Star Wars memorabilia.

I have action figures (Barbie size) of Han Solo, Princess Leia, Obi Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, and Chewbacca; a stuffed Chewbacca; a R2D2 mug; two commemorative coins (princess Leia & Darth Vader); all of the collectable Slurpee cups, 2 special edition Burger King crowns (one with the characters from the original and the other with characters from the new film); the graphic novel of Return of the Jedi; Star Wars Monopoly, two Star Wars watches; and much much more. It has taken me quite some time to hunt down some of these objects, and I would hate to part with them.

For more on Star Wars, go to We Want You

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2) Tippi Hedren’s autograph on my copy of The Birds

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So I haven’t gotten around to reviewing this film for Horrorfest yet, but will be soon. This is one of my all-time favorite Alfred Hitchcock films along with being the first of his films I had ever seen, quickly becoming the gateway to the road of my obsession. Not only was this the first Alfred Hitchcock film I have ever seen, but the first one I have ever owned, saving up my money and purchasing it, And believe me that took a lot as I was a young girl (about 7 or 8) and didn’t get an allowance.

Anyways, one year when I was in college I was looking at the paper and saw Tippi Hedren was going to be at Bodega Bay (where the film took place) and was going to be signing autographs. I had already made plans with my family that were unbreakable, but encouraged my friends to check it out, and if they did could they please take my DVD with them.

Long story short they stood in a massive line and had to pay (to this day none of them will reveal how much no matter how hard I try to get it out of them) in order to get the autograph for me. Not only is it awesome to have Tippi Hedren’s signature on a film that changed my life, but every time I look at it I am reminded of how amazing my friends are and how much they care about me. 🙂

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1) Clint Eastwood Autographed picture

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Sorry the pic is of low quality and a bit blurry (I purposely made my real name hard to read.

Anyways, yes you all now how much I simply adore Clint Eastwood. I think he is an amazing actor and a total hottie. Last year I wrote him a fan letter and sent a picture (in a self addressed stamped envelope) asking him to please sign it. I also gushed about how much I loved him as an actor. In December I was surprised with the greatest gift of all, my photo back with his signature. Not only is it an amazing piece of memorabilia to own, but it makes me feel so special to know that Clint took time out of his day for little ole’ me.

For more Clint Eastwood, go to Year of the Anniversaries 

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To start 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to Musical Madness

 

Speed Racer

So I’m sure you were expecting this.

But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m taking about the type of racing, the sport I excel at.
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We only have a limited time on this planet. Not only are there books over 500 years old, but new ones being written everyday.

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So much.

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Sometimes it hurts to look at my to-read list. Or when I go in a bookstore or library.

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It’s true, there probably not enough time in my life to read everything I wish. But as long as I try, it’s worth it.
Reading

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For more Dr. Seuss, go to the 25 Films of Christmas

For more book-filled posts, go to Drug of Choice

For more quotes, go to Normal is Boring

Stranded for Good

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I read this book  once about a girl getting stranded in the library and I used to hope something like that would happen to me. Being stranded in a library or bookstore may sound crazy to some but:

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Like in the movie The Day After Tomorrow, when they are all trapped in the library, that would be absolutely perfect for me.

MeanGirls I know right!

I mean except for the deathly, freezing temperatures; that’s like a dream come true.

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Yep that would be pure bliss.

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For more book-filled posts, go to Smells S’Wonderful