Thursday, March 29, 2018

Tuesday Topics (Not on Tuesday) - Eight (Most Unusual) Film Characters That I Can Think Of

As I began brainstorming characters for this week's prompt, I gave great consideration as to what makes a character "unique."  Is it physical characteristics alone or does it go deeper?  In the end, I decided that a unique character is a someone who is hard to replicate, the kind of character who isn't a dime a dozen.  The characters I chose are ones who stand out from the crowd in my mind and who, ultimately, became somewhat timeless in their relevance in pop culture.

Here are the eight I came up with:

Benjamin Button
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

Hannibal Lecter
Silence of the Lambs (1991)

The Goonies (1985)

Edward Scissorhands
Edward Scissorhands (1990)

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

Karl Childers
Slingblade (1996)

Beetlejuice (1988)

What unusual film characters come to mind for you?  Please feel free to share, for I love audience participation!

Linking up with Jenn:

Coming Up:
Please join me next Tuesday, April 3 as I count down the most unusual movie/tv soundtracks, scores, and theme songs I can think of.

Parting thoughts...

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Blog All About It - Favorite Scent(s) - Wordless Wednesday (Vol. 29)

My blog is pulling double duty again today as I'm linking up with Herding Cats and Burning Soup and with Wordless Wednesday.

March's Blog All About It prompt is Favorite Scent.  I couldn't narrow it down to just one, so I created a collage of five of my favorites.

Clockwise from top left: buttercream icing, honeysuckle, cinnamon, summer rain, and the "smell of football" (my nickname for the smell of early autumn)

What is one of your favorite scents?  As always, thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Take Place in Another Country

by Fredrik Backman 


by Fredrik Backman 

by Elizabeth Gilbert 
(Italy, India, Bali)

by Nick Spalding 

by Jonas Jonasson 
(Sweden, Russia, Bali, France, Iran, Mexico, Korea, United States) 

by Jennifer Ashley 
(England, Scotland, France)

by Kristin Hannah 

by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan (England)

by Elizabeth Best and Colin Bowles 

by Kristin Hannah 

*Parts of Winter Garden also takes place in the United States, in the states of Washington and Alaska.

Do you have a favorite book that takes place in a foreign country?

Looking Ahead:
If you like reading about books and bookish topics, please join me on Tuesday, April 10 for my monthly installment of Recently Read as I share the books I read this month.  My post will also be pulling double duty that day as I will also share my "Top Ten Books That I Loved But Will Never Re-Read."

Linking up with:

Monday, March 26, 2018

This Weekend I...

...did something I've never done before in my life - I participated in a peaceful march.  

...braved the rain, the wind, and the cold, along with a thousand or so others, in the March For Our Lives here in Louisville.

...felt compelled to march in support of the local students who organized the event.

...listened to several well spoken, impassioned teenagers express their fears.
“As students, we should not have to worry about gun-toting classmates at 7:30 a.m.,” a student speaker said. “We should be worried about calculus tests and football games, not the possibility of having thoughts and prayers sent our family’s way for weeks.”

 ...was impressed by the supportive turnout, despite the dismal weather conditions.  (It really was miserable...) 

...was taken aback by the number of young students who were in attendance, students young enough to be students of my own.  It was a somber and solemn experience.

...also marched to represent the countless educators who, like myself, know that the possibility of dying while protecting students is very much a reality.

...didn't carry a sign nor did I cheer. 

...showed up and let my presence alone do my speaking.

...illustrated what democracy looks like.

I hope this finds you having had a great weekend!  

Inspired by Kristin's March 2018 post

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Spring '18 Goals & Winter 2017-18 Report Card

Before Christmas, I set some goals, goals I wanted to achieve before spring.  Here's how I did.

✔ Change up my exercise regime

I continued doing some planking, like 10 different kinds, when my tennis elbow allowed.  Although this is a minor, I'm still counting this as a win.

✗ Complete Book Challenge by Erin 8.0 (Round One) before the Spring Equinox

I was rather slow out of the gate on this one.  My first book was almost the length of two books and took me practically the entire month of January to finish. But, I was optimistic that I'd make up for lost ground come February, but... I didn't.  As of today, I've completed 8/10 categories and, given that the challenge runs until the end of April, I still have plenty of time to finish it.  I did the exact same thing last year, made a goal to finish it early and didn't.  Lesson learned - Ericka, quit putting time restraints on your reading.

✗ Have a specific credit card 50% paid off.

As of today, it is 25% paid off.  I'm still plugging away at it.  I'll get there.

✔ Buy nothing the entire month of January other than food and any toiletries that run out and need replacing

Confession: I bought two e-books ($8.46) for my Kindle using a gift card.  I also bought a new coat to walk in because I found one on sale for 50% off.  BUT - I used the money that I made by selling my old walking coat and a Columbia fleece jacket, both that were way too big for me, on eBay to pay for the new coat.  So, yes, technically I failed this one, but considering I wasn't out any money for either purchase, I'm considering this a win.

✗ Organize my Christmas ornaments and purge decorations I no longer want or use

I had the best of intentions for this one, but the weather interfered.  I store my ornaments and decorations in an outside shed and by the time we took down the tree, it was snowy and cold and I just said, "Screw it..."  Maybe I'll tackle this project when it's warmer.

Well, there you have it.  Not the best season I've had in terms of achieving goals, but that's just how it goes sometimes.  Such is life.  There's a part of me that feels like it's time to hang it up with the seasonal goals, especially given my dismissal success rate with my winter goals (40%). But, I'll give it one more shot.  
Here are my spring goals:
  • Finish KDF Mini Marathon injury free and with a smile of gratitude on my face.
  • Drink more water (because I really suck at it and know I don't drink enough).
  • Have all of my end of the year paperwork finished and filed on or before my last day of work. 
  • Be brave (but not stupid) when I go to Utah in June (more on this later).

I'll report on my progress around the first day of summer.  Check back then to see how I did.

Have a good one!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Tuesday Topics - Nine (Most Unusual) Album Titles I Can Think Of

Achtung Baby by U2

OU812 by Van Halen

Dizzy Up the Girl by The Goo Goo Dolls

Enema of the State by Blink 182

Hot Sauce Committee Part Two by the Beastie Boys

Goats Head Soup by The Rolling Stones

Chocolate Starfish and the Hotdog Flavored Water by Limp Bizkit

Here Come the Runts by AWOLNATION

The Boy Bands Have Won, and All the Copyists and the Tribute Bands and the TV Talent Show Producers Have Won, If We Allow Our Culture to Be Shaped by Mimicry, Whether from Lack of Ideas or from Exaggerated Respect. You Should Never Try to Freeze Culture. What You Can Do Is Recycle That Culture. Take Your Older Brother's Hand-Me-Down Jacket and Re-Style It, Re-Fashion It to the Point Where It Becomes Your Own. But Don't Just Regurgitate Creative History, or Hold Art and Music and Literature as Fixed, Untouchable and Kept Under Glass. The People Who Try to 'Guard' Any Particular Form of Music Are, Like the Copyists and Manufactured Bands, Doing It the Worst Disservice, Because the Only Thing That You Can Do to Music That Will Damage It Is Not Change It, Not Make It Your Own. Because Then It Dies, Then It's Over, Then It's Done, and the Boy Bands Have Won by Chumbawamba

What's one of the most unusual album titles that you've heard of?

Linking up with Jenn:

Congratulations to my alma mater, Marshall University, for winning the C-USA Championship, for the exciting upset of a #4 seeded team, and for going further this season than many thought was possible.  

Friday, March 16, 2018

Six Tips for Celebrating St. Patrick's Day in Chicago

St. Patrick's Day is tomorrow and one of the best cities to enjoy the Irish celebration is in Chicago.  Chicago has a large Irish-American population, but you don't have to be of Irish descent to enjoy the festivities.  Apparently, everyone in Chicago, from locals to tourists, is Irish on St. Patrick's Day.  

If you are planning a St. Patrick's Day trip to Chicago, here are few tips to keep in mind if as you plan your visit.

Some of the Festivities Don't Happen on St. Patrick's Day

That's right, the downtown parade and the dyeing of the Chicago river always take place on the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day, unless St. Patrick's Day actually falls on a Saturday, as it does this year.  So, if you are planning to visit Chicago next year for St. Patrick's Day, the dyeing of the river and parade will occur on Saturday March 16, 2019. 

Arrive Early If You Want a Prime Viewing Spot

The dyeing of the Chicago River starts at 9:00am.  If you're short like me and want an unobstructed view of the local plumbers union turning the river a vivid shade of shamrock green, you must arrive early.  Prime viewing spots are on both sides of the river between the Columbus Drive bridge and the Michigan Avenue bridge as well as a few blocks west of the Michigan Avenue bridge along the Chicago Riverwalk.

The same thing goes for viewing the parade, which starts at noon at the corner of Columbus Drive and Balbo Avenue and proceeds northward to Monroe Avenue.

Don't Expect a Parade Like Macy's 

The Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade is large parade by parade standards, but it mainly consists of marching bands, notable local and state dignitaries, Irish dance troupes, and various civic organizations riding on floats.  If you are expecting a parade the size and scope of Macy's, you will be disappointed.

Do Expect Crowds

St. Patrick's Day is a big deal in Chicago.  It draws hundreds of thousands of locals as well as out of town visitors.  Expect crowds along the river as people line up to watch the river dyed green, along the parade route, and pretty much everywhere in between in the downtown area including sidewalks, restaurants, bars, and on public transportation. 

Don't Forget About the Smaller Festivities

One of the most memorable things I did in Chicago to celebrate St. Patrick's Day was  go to the St. Patrick's Day Festival at the Irish American Heritage Center. For a mere $12, I escaped the hordes downtown and  celebrated "all things Irish" under one roof.  The family-friendly celebration features various types of Irish music performances, Irish dancing exhibitions, and the opportunity to taste various Irish foods and adult beverages.  The festival had a very cool local vibe.

The Irish American Heritage Center - Source
Corned beef and cabbage
Bangers and chips

Expect Any Kind of Weather

In the months leading up to my St. Patrick's Day visit, I prepared for typical March weather in Chicago - cold.  I had all the necessary clothing I thought I would need to endure a frigid day outside in the Windy City.  

Well, as luck would have it, Chicago set a new record high that year - 81F.  So, at the last minute, I had to adjust my wardrobe choices.  Instead of a heavy parka, thick pants, gloves, and scarf, I found myself wearing a green Chicago Cubs t-shirt and shorts.

Bottom line, even though the average temperature usually falls between 30 and 50 degrees, it could easily go below freezing or well into the 60s and 70s.

There are numerous things to do in Chicago to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, so there is something to suit everyone's tastes.  Whichever activity you chose, St. Patrick's Day in the Windy City can be a lot of fun!

Have you ever visited Chicago for St. Patrick's Day?  Do you have any tips to share?

Linking up with:

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Tuesday Topics (Not on Tuesday) - Ten (Most Unusual) Song Titles I Can Think Of

"Captain Crash and the Beauty Queen From Mars" by Bon Jovi
- This unreleased song paints a very interesting and colorful portrait of two young lovers. 

"MMMBop" by Hanson
- What in world?  I mean, really...

"Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba
- As if the mysterious one word title isn't usual enough, check out the band's name, too.

"Sussudio" by Phil Collins
- When I was a kid, I thought Sussudio had to be a girl's name.  But, as I got older and never heard of or met any girls named Sussudio, I realized I was mistaken.  Unusual indeed.

"Karma Chameleon" by Culture Club
- This is one that I initially overlooked because it's a such a commonly known song, I didn't think it could be considered unusual because so many people know it.  After I adjusted my thinking, I realized that, commonly known or not, it's still an unusual title.

"Our Lawyer Made Us Change the Name of This Song so We Wouldn't Get Sued" by Fall Out Boy
- I can't help but wonder what the original title of the song was...  LOL!

"Flightless Bird American Mouth" by Iron & Wine
- Popularized by the movie Twilight, this is one of the most unusual song titles I've ever heard.

"Come Join the Murder" by The White Buffalo & The Forest Rangers 
- Unless you watched the tv show, Sons of Anarchy, you're probably unfamiliar with this song.  Although the title is quite shocking to some degree, it was well fitting for an event that was happening on the show at the time.

"25 or 6 to 4" by Chicago
- This song title has always perplexed me.  When I was a kid, I asked all the grown ups I knew what the title meant and everyone responded with, "I don't know."  I was certain that when I reached high school and learned trigonometry and calculus that it's meaning would be revealed to me.  Nope.  Turns out, it's meaning has nothing to do with math or even drugs as some have speculated. Apparently, it has something to do with time.  Weird.

What's one of the most unusual song titles you've ever heard of?  Feel free to share!  I love audience participation!

Linking up with Jenn:

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