Sunday, June 22, 2014

Five Years Ago This Week

This week will mark five years since the celebrity death streak that occurred in late June/early July 2009.   As all of you remember it was the week of Michael Jackson's death. But it started on June 23, 2009, with the death of Ed McMahon. He was best known as Johnny Carson's sidekick on The Tonight Show from 1962 to 1992,  as well as a pitchman for Publishers Clearing House, host of Star Search (the American Idol of the 1980s), and co-host with  Dick Clark of  TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes.   Next came the death of Farrah Fawcett, a first-season cast member of Charlie's Angels,  just several hours before (and several miles away from where Fawcett had died) the world learned of Jackson going into a coma. His death naturally overshadowed that of Fawcett, and 80s music fans were devastated.  His records began to sell out on Internet sites and at used record stores and other store that sell CDs and DVDs.  His death was the most hyped out of the three.

I remember exactly what I was doing that day.  It was a Thursday and I had just come home from work and was on Facebook and Twitter.  Naturally Jackson's death was all over both sites.  And on the even news I happened to watch that night.  After worked the following day, I passed by the USA Today kiosk near CVS Pharmacy and I'm sure you can guess what was n the front page.   The next day I stopped at Barnes and Noble and as I entered the movies and music section there was a display of Jackson's work, naturally. His death was still on everyone's mind, but it didn't stop the media from covering other celebrity deaths that followed.

The following Sunday, June 28,  I looked on Twitter and saw OxiClean as a trending topic. I wondered why that was, and a click on the link revealed why.   My mom then called and I suddenly I asked the following:

"Did you hear who just died?"
"Yes. Michael Jackson."
"No, I mean just now."
"No, who?"
"The man who did the commercials for OxiClean."

That man was Billy Mays.  I did not know his name at first, and I still refer to him as "the OxiClean guy."  I then posted this as my Facebook status that day,  saying that "Now the OxiClean pitchman has died. Three deaths last week, will there be two more this week?"  One friend responded "I loved Billy Mays!  His commercials always made me want to buy his stuff."  I then pointed out that the OxiClean guy was the same age was Michael Jackson, a fact that no one seems to have known.  I've asked many people if they knew that fact and every one of them has said no, they did not  know that fact.   Mays was a little over a month older than Jackson.  An obit for the OxiClean guy appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle the following day along with that for another celebrity I did not had died that weekend as well. (I kept and still have this section of that edition of the paper) And one the day after that, yet another I didn't know about either.   Unfortunately, the two celebrities in this case were not high-profile ones like McMahon, Fawcett, Jackson or Mays, and thus their deaths were not Twitter-ed  about, limited only to obits in major metropolitan newspapers such as that one.  Those two were 50s actress and singer Gale Storm (star of the 1950s sitcom My Little Margie)  and impressionist/comedian Fred Travalena.   And as June turned to July, the death streak continued, with actor Karl Malden and NFL star Steve McNair.  Those two celebs got more hype than did Storm and Travalena.  Many will remember Malden's commercials for  American Express, urging viewers to "Don't leave home without

This is as much as I want to say about this, but I just had to say something because I know the "five years later" spots on the news and the Internet will be inevitable in the coming week, especially about Michael Jackson.  In fact, here is once such article already.

A few days after the first four deaths, I was on a costume website's discussion group (which has long since been deleted from the site). I had stumbled onto this article from  Several people said they could see people as Jackson for Halloween that year but less so as Fawcett. I then asked, "How about the Oxiclean guy?" And someone replied "I can't imagine anyone being the oxy clean guy (sic)."  I then saw this link on that same site.  I remember wishing I were a guy then. I so would have been the Oxiclean guy for Halloween that year.  And FYI, I did not see one person that year as either Jackson, Fawcett or the Oxiclean guy, though I did come across a guy at a local temporary Halloween store, who was waiting in line as I entered the store. He announced that he was going to be Michael Jackson.  I then saw a fake beard at the store that looked like the one Billy Mays had. I so would have used that beard.

Do you remember what you were doing that day?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Definitely summertime...

Already summer, though the official start date is actually June 21, this coming Saturday.  Still hard to believe it's that time already.  The year always seems to start slow,  then it goes by fast.  The weather in my area definitely says it's summer.  Expect to see the fireworks stands popping up in the parking lots at Safeway and such in about a week or two.  The 4th of July is on a Friday this year, meaning you can expect a lot of fireworks going off well into the night, more than when the holiday falls on a weekday.

Just a few thoughts for now. Happy summer everyone!

Friday, May 30, 2014

2014 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge

And now this one too.  I've already read two witch books this year, so I decided to join this one. I'd like to read more books like this, so this was a good one to join.  I'll go for the first level, but may go over.  It's only five months till Halloween, so I'll be looking for more witch books to read between now and then.   To sign up,  visit Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf.  Details copied from the blog, below:

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the 2012 & 2013 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenges! I hope you all had as much fun as I did! Welcome to the 2014 Challenge!!
  • Low commitment…you can sign up to read just ONE book as an INITIATE!!!
  • Participants who choose to link up reviews will be entered for the end of year prize!!
Challenge Rules:
  • This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2014 – Dec 31, 2014. I will be posting a place to link up a sign-up post (below), reviews and a wrap-up post. (Note: You do not have to review the books to participate, but only those who link up reviews will be entered for the prize)
  • Grab the reading challenge button (code & button below) and post this reading challenge on your blog to track your progress. Please include a link back to this sign-up post so others can join the reading challenge too. You do not have to be a book blogger to participate- you could track your progress and post reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, etc.
  • Any full length book that includes a witch as a main character or includes major witchcraft elements counts. They may be fiction or non-fiction. However, they should not be reference books which are not read cover to cover-I will leave this to your discretion.
  • Books can be any format (bound, eBook, audio).
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.
  • When you sign up in the linky put the direct link to your post about joining the 2014 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge, not just a link to your blog.
  • You can move up levels, but no moving down.
  • Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2014, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.
  • Have some Witchy Good Fun !!!

The Levels:

Initiate: Read 1 – 5 Witchy Books
Maiden: Read 6 – 10 Witchy Books
Mother: Read 11 – 15 Witchy Books
Crone: Read 16 – 20 Witchy Books

The Prize:

Witchy book of choice up to $10 from The Book Depository!
Participants who have officially signed up by linking up a sign-up post declaring their level will be given one entry for every review they link up. The more reviews you write and link up, the more entries in the contest! Link up your reviews on that month’s Review Link Up Post. Winner will be chosen on Jan 11th 2015 to give everyone a chance to link up their end of year reviews. All Challenge Posts can be accessed from my menu bar under my header!

Here is what Im reading for this one:

Fairy Tales Retold Challenge 2014

Now that I've got three challenges completed (and am getting near to completing some of the others), I decided to try a few more, including this one.  I decided to try for the second level, even though this is a new one to me.  I already know a few books I can read for this one.  Sign up for this one here.   Details copied from the blog below:

It’s here! The 2014 Fairy Tales Retold Reading Challenge is back in it’s third year! This year has been rough and I almost decided not to host it this year, but everything worked out! I’m looking forward to hosting the challenge this coming year, and I hope you guys all
Here are the details:
  • The challenge starts on January 1st 2014, and ends December 31st 2014
  • The goal of the read-a-thon is to read as many fairy tale retellings as possible.
  • There will be six different levels to aim for in this challenge:
    • Poor Cobbler: 1-3 books
    • Devilish Wolf: 4-6 books
      • Lady in Waiting: 7-9 books
      • Mountain Troll: 10-12 books
      • Evil Enchantress: 13-15 books
      • Monstrous Dragon: 16+ books
    • This challenge is only for Young Adult and Middle Grade retellings. No adult or children’s books count towards this challenge.
    • Because of confusion in the past, this year only straight retellings of fairy tales will count. No fairy tale-ish books, and no mythological or classic retellings.
    • Single novellas do not count towards this challenge, however a compilation of novellas or short stories can count towards this challenge.
    • Have fun and spread the word!
    I’ve tried to compile as thorough a list as possible of eligible books for this challenge, which can be found here. If you can think of any book(s) that may be missing, don’t hesitate to let me know!
    If you have any other questions or concerns, you can comment, email, or tweet, and I’ll do my best to get back to you.
    ***UPDATES 12/24/13***
    It has been decided that instead of monthly link-ups, there will be quarterly link-ups, which will take place in March, June, September, and December. All those who link up their reviews (whether they be from blogs, Goodreads, Amazon, etc.,) will be able to enter a giveaway, which will most likely feature an assortment of old and new releases!

    Here is what I am reading for this one:

    1. Cinder--Marissa Meyer
    2. Scarlet-Marissa Meyer
    3. Cinderella 2000--Mavis Jukes
    4. Ella Enchanted--Gail Carson Levine

    Monday, May 26, 2014

    Feeling Like Summer

    Hello, I haven't been on the blog for almost two moths now, so I decided to post something--at least one thing--for this soon-to-be ending month.  It's really bright and sunny today making it feel like summer is upon us, which of course it is. Still only doing temporary work and hoping for more work as the year goes on.  No other plans for the summer as of yet.  I have several fans on right now as I don't have air conditioning.  It can get really hot.

    What does everyone have planned for this summer?  Can't believe it's already here--well most people consider Memorial Day weekend as the start of summer.

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014

    Erotic Romance Challenge 2014

    Ok, this one now too.  Will be going for level one, since this is a bit new to me.  I have a few lined up already. Sign up for this one here.

    Challenge runs from January 1, 2014 until December 31, 2014

    The goal is to read at least 12 Erotic Romances in 2014! 
    • Level 1--12 erotic romances
    • Level 2--18 erotic romances
    • Level 3--24 erotic romances
    • Level 4--30-60 erotic romances
    Added a couple extra levels for yall super readers ;)
    • Level 5--61-80 erotic romances
    • Level 6-- 81-100+ erotic romances
    **Note**You can change your level at any time. It's just a starting point :)

    **Note** I'll be adding a check list of ideas for those that would like to use that-- ex- BDSM, menage, dark erotica/romance, etc.

      What counts!
      • Every erotic romance you read and review in 2014
      • They can be any type of erotica-- paranormal, historical, m/m, contemporary, etc
      • All erotic romances over 100 pages in length--audio, ebook, print
      • Re-reads, cross overs from other challenges
      To Join! 
      • Grab the challenge button and create a post or page on your blog to track progress.
      • Non-bloggers you can use your Goodreads, LibraryThing, etc profiles. Just create a 2014 Erotic Romance Reading Challenge shelf 
      • Link your blog starting post/page or your Goodreads/etc challenge shelf in the linky below. 
      • We also have a closed FB group for the challenge. To join click HERE

      Sign Up HERE! Just include your Name and link to your challenge post/shelf. 

      Saturday, March 1, 2014

      2014 Newberry Reading Challenge

      Ok, I'm doing another one.  I've finished one already, and so why not another?  Some I haven't made any progress yet, but there are still nine months left in the year.    I'd pondered this one for a while now, and I've already read some that will fit this one I'm now entering. and have a few more sych books planned as well.

      The Newberry Reading Challenge is  hosted by Smiling Shelves.  The levels in this one are achieved by points, rather than a number of books.   I'll be doing the first level.  Sign up at the link above.  Details below, copied from Smiling Shelves:

      Smiling Shelves

      It’s been a goal of mine for quite awhile to read all of the Newbery Award winners. I'm sure I read some as a kid, but I also know I only touched the tip of the iceberg. I needed a way to inspire myself to focus on this goal. What better way than a reading challenge?
      I'm so excited about hosting this reading challenge that I may have made it a bit more complicated than it needed to be. But I didn't want to leave out the Newbery Honor Books. Are they any less of a good book just because they didn't win the Medal? Certainly not. So here's my compromise:
      Each book you read is worth points. You get:
      • 3 points for a Newbery Medal Winner
      • 2 points for a Newbery Honor Book
      • 1 point for a Caldecott Medal Winner (Gotta give the picture books some love, too.)
      In addition to that, you pick a level to aim for:
      • L'Engle: 15 - 29 points
      • Spinelli: 30 - 44 points
      • Avi: 45 - 59 points
      • Lowry: 60 - 74 points
      • Konigsburg: 75+ points
      You can get to this level with any combination of points you want. You can read all Newbery Medal winners. You can throw in a few Honor Books. If you want, you can even read 75 Caldecott Medal winners! How you get to your point level is totally up to you.
      (And just to make it extra fun, every couple of months I'll give you a mini-challenge. You can earn bonus points by completing mini-challenges!)

      List of Newbery Medal Winners & Honor Books
      List of Caldecott Medal Winners

      Challenge Guidelines:
      • Rereads count (because you were probably a kid when you read it last, and your perspective on the story just might have changed since then).
      • Audiobooks and ebooks count.
      • And paper books count, too. :)
      • All books must be read between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2014. Books begun before January 1 don’t count.
      • Books can be used for other challenges as well.
      • You don’t have to have a blog to participate. You can link up reviews from Amazon, Goodreads, etc., or just hang out with us in the comments!
      • Reviews are encouraged, but not necessary. There will be a monthly post for you to link up your reviews if you want to share your thoughts.
      • Choose your point level. You can always aim for a higher point level, but you can't move to a lower one.
      To join the Newbery Reading Challenge:

      • Write a post (or a comment) stating your intention to join. Choose your point level. You can find the challenge button below to use in your post.
      • Add your link to the Linky at the bottom of this post. Make sure you include the link to yoursign-up post, not just your homepage.

      Here is my progress below:

      1. Number the Stars--Lois Lowry   3 points
      2. A Wrinkle in Time--Madeleine L'Engle 3 points
      3. The Giver--Lois Lowry  3 points
      4. Jacob Have I Loved--Katherine Paterson 3 points
      5. Al Capone Does My Shirts--Gennifer Choldenko  2 points
      6. Hatchet--Gary Paulsen   2 points
      7. Where the Wild Things Are--Maurice Sendak  1 point
      8. Because of Winn-Dixie--Kate DiCamillo   2 points
      9. My Friend Rabbit--Eric Rohmann  1 point
      10. Rapunzel--Paul O. Zelinsky  1 point
      11. Ella Enchanted--Gail Carson Levine  2 points
      12. A Single Shard--Linda Sue Park  3 points