Sunday, August 26, 2012

And this is exactly what I'm talking about...

Wow, time flies.  Yupp, this is exactly how every website/blog/whatever that I've created/worked on/whatever became neglected.  It's been nearly 3 weeks: shame on me.  School started Wednesday the 15th, so between that, swimming, homework, Tumblr, Psych, and other things I have neglected something very important.

Onward ho!

Last night I finally finished one of the books I highlighted three weeks ago, Alicia: My Story.  Can we all just take a moment to appreciate people like Alicia Appleman-Jurman?  If you read the post, you might recall that Alicia is a Polish Jew.  The book is about 433 pages long and covers 8 years.  The whole story is so heartbreaking; she goes through so much.  Living through the pain that both Alicia and her mother live through is terrible.  At one point her mother, knowing she is going to die anyway, throws herself in front of the bullet meant to kill Alicia.  This was maybe the saddest part of the book for me.  Sitting in Algebra 2, I had to take a deep breath and quickly close the book before my tears started to fall.  After the war is completely over and Alicia is allowed to return to Buczacz, her hometown, she still does so much more for so many people.  Remember, Ala is only 14 or 15 when the war ends.  She goes on to run an orphanage consisting of roughly 24 children who survived the concentration camps, work for the Brecha, learn 2 more languages, find at least 3 surviving extended family members, and travel to Eretz Israel (Palestine) only to be captured by the British and be imprisoned for 8 months.  You could really say the war doesn't end for Ala until 1947.  But this is a wonderful book, and I recommend it to anyone and everyone.  It's really capturing.

Lately, I've really gotten into (okay, maybe really is an understatement) a show called Psych on USA Network.  Now, I'm not one for modern TV shows or movies or TV in general.  But this is one awesome show.  It's full of culture and I guess that's one of the reasons I respect it.  It's packed full of references mostly to movies from the 1980's.  While not my favorite decade, I still like watching movies from then.  Besides that, you do get the very, very occasional CH reference (Ginger Rogers, Phantom of the Opera 1940's, etc.), and some modern references to awesome book series (Harry Potter, Percy Jackson).  Plus, the random breaking out into song sometimes seen in the show (but mostly in the bloopers.)  While I love the whole cast (have you ever seen a modern-day couple as cute as Maggie Lawson and James Roday?!), I really respect and envy Corbin Bernsen.  That name probably doesn't ring a bell: why do I like him so much?  Well it's really the fact that he was in the movie Radioland Murders, something I really want to see.  Sure, the movie looks pretty good.  But my dear Rosie (Rosemary Clooney) is in the movie, according to her Wikipedia filmography list.  Now, whether she really was in it or her voice/a clip of her was used from the CH days I'm not sure.  But the fact that he was in a movie that I associate with Rosemary Clooney just makes me all happy and warm inside.  If I ever meet or write to him, my first question will be about Radioland Murders.

Schpeal over; have a picture!

...Or two.  :D
Top: Rosie, who seems fakely surprised with her book
Bottom: Jaggie, or James Roday and Maggie Lawson


Monday, August 6, 2012

Vacation Books

Even though I have been home from vacation for nearly a week now, I figured I'd still share with ya'll my book schedule over the course of our 13-day trip.  We went from Ohio to Washington, D.C., to Pennsylvania and back home to our boring state.  We stopped at my grandparents on the way out and, my Papa being really in to History (gee, I wonder where my dad and I get it?) and having lived through all my favorite decades, I always enjoy looking through the books they have available at their home.  I grabbed a book that looked interesting (and familiar) mainly because I couldn't find the two books I swear I'd grabbed before leaving.  While in D.C., I bought four more books.  I'm set for a few more weeks yet.
Before vacation, the last book I'd finished was Shirley Temple's autobiography and I was having a hard time finding something that matched the awesome of this book.  So I grabbed a book that's been on my shelf for quite some time now and...what I've read is okay.  So far.  (I'm not very far in.)  Here are the books I brought along on vacation:
  • Around the World in Eighty Days
  • Nancy Drew and the Mystery of the 99 Steps
  • The Great Escape
  • Wreck this Journal
  • Rutka's Notebook
  • Edith's Story
  • Alicia: My Story
The first is that book that's been on my shelf for ages (or so it seems).  I'm really only about 10 or 20 pages in.  To be honest, I'm reading it just because I know there's a movie out there, and I really prefer to read the books first.
The second: don't laugh.  I like my Nancy Drew and I borrowed a handful from my grandma a few years ago and I've only ever read a few.  I wanted a good mystery, especially since I'd been accustomed to seeing a few episodes of Psych every day.  I've yet to start this one...
The Great Escape is the book I picked up from my granny and papa's.  Yes, I grabbed it because I recognized the title.  On top of that, it's a book about WWII and Lord knows I read so little on the actual war portion.  Again, I'm only a few pages in; I'm not big on war/fighting books.  Of course, this (for those who have not seen the Steve McQueen movie, like me) is more about a bunch of men and their any attempted escapes from Nazi POW camps.  The whole concept sounds cool.  I just have to get myself into it.
Wreck this Journal is a fun book I bought from the International Spy Museum in D.C..  If you haven't already, head on over there.  Talk about the coolest museum EVER.  I bought it because my friend, Ari, has the same book but in German.  (She was one of our foreign exchange students last year.)  Seeing her destroy a book looked really fun and a great way to relieve stress.  So there goes ten bucks.
These last three are the fact that I have no control over myself when I see books about the Holocaust.  I spent at least $30 and that was with lowered prices, thank GOD.
I learned about Rutka Laskier around May last year when I was fixing up my English 1 final project.  I was on a mini-quest to find her book, Rutka's Notebook, for a couple of weeks.  It donned on me that the Holocaust Museum in D.C. had to have it.  And that just happened to be the number one thing I wanted to see in D.C..  It took me three different locations in the museum to find this book.  I have to say: I was a bit disappointed in how the book turned out.  Rutka is coined "The Polish Anne Frank."  I don't know about the rest of you, but when I think of that I think of the style of writing; Anne Frank was a very mature writer.  Rutka?  Not so much.  Currently I'm at a loss as to why she is even called that, unless they are talking about the fact that she was most wrongfully murdered at such a young age.  The whole book is set up somewhat strangely as well.  Her diary (kept when she was in a Polish ghetto) is only about 60 pages long, so the other 50 pages are filled with background information on ghettos, Rutka's half-sister's finding of Rutka and her quest to find more about her, and some other information.  In the back there is a bibliography of Holocaust recounts.  A couple sound really good.
I read Edith's Story next.  (Yes, I'm reading these three by size.)  This one was much better.  Unlike Rutka, Edith (spoiler!) survives the war.  She and her brother, Jules, decide to go into hiding in order to avoid being transported.  Her other brother, Guus, had been sent off to live in America earlier in the book.  Before Guus was sent off to America, Edith lived with her brothers Guus and Jules, her father, her mother, and her maternal grandmother, Oma.  Only Edith and Guus survived the war.  It's really such a great, touching story. You truly suffer and feel for Edith.
Lastly, my favorite of the three: Alicia: My Story.  This story is so...fabulous.  Alicia is Polish, like Rutka.  However, what Alicia and her family go through is horrible.  While Rutka's family was all kept together in their first ghetto, Alicia's was not.  The opening paragraph to the book tells you everyone's fate right off the bat:
First they killed my brother Moshe...
Then they killed my father...
Then they killed my brother Bunio...
Then they killed my brother Zachary...
Then they killed my last brother, Herzl.
Only my mother and I were left.
The book is so engrossing.  I'm halfway through.  In 1944, everyone finally believes that Poland has been liberated and the war is over for them.  The exiled Jews had slowly started to trickle back in and BAM.  The Germans come back.  Freedom was so close, not only for Alicia, but also for the reader.  To have that freedom ripped away, no matter if you lived it or are reading it, was horrible.  Alicia is but thirteen and she'd already escaped death so many times and helped so many people.  This is, by far, one of the best Holocaust books I have read.  Personally, I would refer to Alicia as the Polish Anne Frank, not Rutka.

So with school starting in just nine days, I've got a book or two to keep me busy (if my hectic schedule doesn't take care of that.)  Hopefully I won't burst into tears while I'm reading instead of paying attention in Chemistry...

Leibster Blog Award. Well This is New!

Hello dear two followers and any possible readers!  (Maybe I should start going out and promoting this or something...Things to consider.)
I've heard the Leibster Blog Award is going around.  I've only ever heard of it once or twice but never knew what it was or the point of it.  Ha.  But Natalie over at In the Mood decided to tag me, so it's game time!  The rules (because, according to Natalie, they've changed since this last time around):
  1. The tag-ee must tell eleven things about themself
  2. The tag-ee must then answer the eleven questions given to them from by tagger
  3. The tag-ee tags eleven more blogs (we'll see how this turns out for me...)
  4. And then the tag-ee assigns their eleven blogs eleven new questions
Oh boy what fun!  Moving on.

11 Things About the Fan Girl Behind the Blog

  • I'm going through a Psych craze.  Hiatus sucks.
  • Repeat songs included, I have 160 Rosemary Clooney songs from 6 CDs, plus a yet-to-be-listened-to Rosie record with Harry James.
  • My main reason for being on Tumblr is all the pictures.  I have over 3000 photos in my Classic Stars picture folder on my computer.
  • I was a toe-head as a child.
  • I will be entering my Sophomore year in high school in 11 days.  (How fitting...)
  • Not including my second grade class's production of E-I-E-I Oops, I have acted in 11 productions, starting with Alice in Wonderland, Jr. in 6th grade as the Caterpillar.
  • I really geek out on the Holocaust.  I've read numerous books, fiction and non, and really enjoy learning about it.
  • I don't have a favorite animal.  If I really had to choose, though, I'd pick dolphins.
  • Yes, Wikipedia is reliable, and yes, I use it to look up everything I want to know.
  • I really dislike the color pink.  Purple has been my favorite since 1st grade.
  • I tend to pick at my lip when concentrating.  Because I like having the dry skin to pick at, I'm not very good at having chapstick handy, much less using it.
11 Questions (from Nat)

1. In film do you prefer black&white or color?
Black and white.  Color can be a nice change, but there's really nothing that says Classic Hollywood like black and white.

2. In photographs do you prefer black&white or color?
Toughie.  Black and white photos are nice because you can color them in Photoshop.  Color photographs are always nice, especially for stars who you are accustomed to seeing in black and white films.  I'll have to pick color, though, because right now my desktop background is a snazzy colored picture of Myrna Loy.

3. Your favorite era in music?
1950s baby!  Rosemary Clooney all the way!

4. Do you have a tumblr?
Yes.  Yes I do.  Tumblr  Please don't be alarmed by the Psych spam.

5. Your second favorite actress?
Uh...Who on EARTH am I suppose to choose for that?  Um...well, seeing as I've seen the most Ginger Rogers movies (behind Minnie, of course) let's go with her.

6. Your favorite movie starring your second favorite actress?
I think picking Ginger was a mistake...Yeah, I'm going to go with 1940's Primrose Path.

7. Your second favorite actor?
Jimmy Stewart, yo!

8. Your favorite movie starring your second favorite actor?
Ooh...This is the part where I wonder if I should choose It's a Wonderful Life, The Stratton Story, or Rear Window...In honor of Yin, let's go with Rear Window.  Pure suspense perfection.  Mmm!

9. Favorite foreign film?
This is the part where I have to go back through all my films and find a foreign one...This is a real problem here!  Found one!  That Hamilton Woman.  It's the first foreign film I came upon...

10. Ice cream or french fries?

11. If you could see your favorite actress in any movie role (real or imagined) what would it be?
Ooh.  You know, I'm still feelin' like The Proposal should be remade to star Minnie and Bill Powell, so let's go with that!

Tag.  You're it.
  • Film-Classics
  • The Shades of Black and White
  • The New Andrews Sisters
  • and anyone else who would like to play along!  I'm still new to the blog world here.
Question time!

  1. What was your first classic?
  2. Favorite classic TV show?
  3. If you could spend a day with any one classic star, who would it be?
  4. Least favorite classic actor?
  5. Least favorite classic actress?
  6. Musical remakes from the '50s: yes or no?
  7. Hayes Code: yes or no?  Why?
  8. Silent or Talkies?
  9. What do you think of movies like The Artist?
  10. What role did your favorite actor deserve an Oscar for?
  11. What role did your favorite actress deserve an Oscar for?

Thanks for taggin' me, Nat, and have at it everyone else!