Words Behind the Pictures Challenge- Fast Times at Ridgemont High

When Michael posted about this challenge I knew I had to try it.  I love reading and I love movies, so the challenge was a good fit.  This month we had to read the screenplay and watch the movie and the chosen subject was Fast Times at Ridgemont High.  I was not excited.  I was just a few years too young to have seen this movie when it came out and have really only seen enough scenes here and there to know it was not something I’d like.  Anyway, on to the challenge…

The Screenplay

Michael provided the screenplay on his blog and I read it on one sitting last Friday at my computer.  This was my first screenplay and my first experience reading anything that long on my computer and I liked the first, but didn’t necessarily enjoy reading it on my computer screen.  It was relatively short, so it wasn’t too bad.

This screenplay was really the bare bones of the movie making process and I enjoyed reading it in that initial stage.  The description was so minimal that the sky’s the limit as far as your imagination goes.  I can’t really say I loved the story.  It had the stoner, the experienced girl, the use sex as a weapon girl, the shy boy, the solid older brother, but none of them were that recognizable to me.  Which leads me to

 The Movie

I totally loved watching the script come to life.  The great cast and setting and additions to the script all made the movie fun.  And truly, Sean Penn as Spicoli was the best thing about the movie.

They did change some things from the script.  Instead of using Carls Jr. and McDonalds’s they changed the fast food places to generic names.  Why do they do that?  And the abortion clinic scene was a bit different, in the movie they chose not to show that she was scared.  And when the girls were discussing sex by the pool I actually thought the script was more funny.

I liked the movie way more than I thought I would and if not for this challenge I don’t know if I ever would have sat down to watch it.  And I loved seeing the progression from script to movie.  This was a good challenge.  Why not join us next month by visiting A Few Minutes with Michael?

Death Takes the Cake, by Melinda Wells

Death Takes the Cake by Melinda Wells: Book CoverFinished 9-29-09, rating 4/5, mystery, pub.2009

Book 2 in the Della Cooks Mystery series.

“With what I’ve got planned, you’re going to be the Miss America of Cake!”

I felt a sharp intake of breath.  “No.  Absolutely not.  I won’t wear a bathing suit on television!”

He eyed me speculatively.  “What’s the problem?  You still look good.”


“If I hadn’t read your TV bio, I wouldn’t have guessed you’re in your forties,” Addison said.  “Maybe late thirties- but you should think about doing a little glamorizing.”

Chapter 1

Della is a 47-year-old widower with a cable tv cooking show, her own cooking school, and a new venture to sell her fudge to the masses.  Her life is already busy, but when her boss tells her she’ll be baking in a reality show with a $25,000 prize she knows it could help her pay off some of her debts.  Until she learns it is being sponsored by Reggi-Mixx, the most awful cake mixes on the market and owned by her old college nemesis, Regina Davis.

The competition begins and as soon as Della shows up to her test kitchen she discovers Reggie, face down in a bowl of batter, dead.  She is a suspect, but only until the police find a more likely one, the husband of her best friend, Liddy. 

Della’s standard poodle, Tuffy and rescue kitty, Emma are there to provide support, as is her boyfriend NDM, who has now been elevated to being called his given name, Nicholas.  All of her friends are back and this is a perfect continuation of the series.  Della is still awesome and the mystery is a good one with real consequences for her and Liddy.

I actually enjoyed the cooking in this one a little more and there are recipes in the back.  You can see how to make those holiday fruitcakes edible and learn how to make an awful cake mix taste good with Della’s Orange Dreamsicle Cake.  One of the other reality show contestants is a Mary Kay consultant and I should note that we are not all quite so…pink.

I want to thank Melinda for sending me a copy of her book.  I loved it!

My review of book 1 here.

Teaser Tuesday – Death Takes the Cake

teasertuesdays31Teaser Tuesdaysis a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: Grab your current read. Open to a random page. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!). Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

When I met Car, I was surprised to discover that while he would never be described as movie star handsome, he was not bad looking.  In person he was more moody than ‘mad.’ reminding me somewhat of Jane Eyre‘s Mr. Rochester with a grease gun.

Death Takes the Cake by Melinda Wells, Chapter 14

Death Takes the Cake by Melinda Wells: Book Cover

Visit MizB for more teasers.  So what are you reading this week?

Monday Movie Meme- It’s all about the schooling

Feature Presentation…

This week’s movie topic is all about School…”Share on your blog movies touching upon the world of education.”

The Breakfast Club – The ultimate high school movie I reviewed here.

Grease – I love to sing along with this classic.

Can’t Buy Me Love – Shows the lengths one will go to just to be cool.

The Karate Kid – Caught the fly way before President Obama did it.

Election! – Overachievers unite!

Visit the Bumbles and see other school favorites.


Presidential Censorship Quiz

Last week’s Patrick Swayze quiz answers here.

It’s Banned Book Week and I decided to challenge you on censorship AND US Presidents.  These 10 quotes on censorship are all attributed to a US President.  Leave me the quote # and the President you think said it.  No Googling!  That’s cheating and no fun.  Go ahead and get to guessing. 

To help you out I’ve included pics of the ones who are still left to be quoted…

George H. W. Bush-JTM-039571.jpgClick to show "Thomas Jefferson" result 1Click to show "Dwight Eisenhower" result 4Click to show "Harry S Truman" result 2

1. “We all know that books burn, yet we have the greater knowledge that books cannot be killed by fire.  People die, but books never die.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt‘Nise

2. “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” – Abraham LincolnEva

3. “When we got organized as a country and we wrote a fairly radical Constitution with a radical Bill of Rights, giving a radical freedom to Americans, it was assumed that the Americans who had that freedom would use it responsibly…[However, now] there’s a lot of irresponsibility.  And so a lot of people say there’s too much freedom.  When personal freedom’s being abused, you have to move to limit it.” – Bill Clinton

4. “Don’t join the book burners…Don’t be afraid to go in your library and read every book.” – Dwight Eisenhower

5. “We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values.  For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid that is afraid of its people.” – John F. KennedyEva

6. “Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of the opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.” Harry Truman

7. “Books and ideas are the most effective weapons against intolerance and ignorance.” – Lyndon B. Johnson Wendy

8. “Our liberty depends on freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.” – Thomas Jefferson

9. “The notion of political correctness declares certain topics, certain expressions, even certain gestures, off-limits.  What began as a crusade for civility has soured into a cause of conflict and even censorship.” – George H Bush

10. “The internet today is an open platform… You’ve got barriers to entry that are low and equal for all comers.  And it’s because the internet is a neutral platform that I can put on this podcast and trasmit it over the internet without having to go through some corporate media middleman.  I can say what I want without censorship.” – Barack ObamaDebbie

BONUS QUESTION (sorry, but I could not quotes the Presidents and not include this gem)

“One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures.” – George W. BushDebbie

Ohio State Game Day Saturday

OSU 30    Illinois 0

It’s wet here in Ohio and most of the first half of this game was a soggy mess.    It wasn’t exciting, but it was a good, solid shutout.  Great way to open the Big Ten season.

A little Ohio State trivia…Actors Patricia Heaton, JK Simmons, and Melinda Kanakaredes all attended OSU.

So, how did your team do today?  Give us an update 🙂

Here are a few bloggers who left some love for their team last week…

Bonnie and Em shared in my Ohio State winning afterglow.

Staci is always rooting for Michigan State (as am I since my hubby is an alum) although they fell to the Irish.

Kathy’s Virginia Tech pulled a fast one and beat Nebraska.

Thoughts of Joy was Michigan Blue all the way.

And Harvee showed some appreciation for the Toledo Rockets even in their loss.

Fave Film #23 – Ever After


Cast- Drew Barrymore, Dougray Scott, Angelica Huston

This is a  romantic retelling of the fairytale Cinderella as the great great great granddaughter of the real Cinderella wants to set the record straight.  Danielle was a tomboy who never knew her mother and loved her father, and was excited by the prospect of a new mother and sisters.  When her father dies she becomes a servant to her new family.  After a few chance encounters with the Prince of France Danielle begins to hope that there could be a future for her that did not include cooking breakfast for her evil stepmother.

Why I love it – I am a sucker for romance and this one touched me when I first saw it at the theater and again when I dragged my husband to see it too (we were newly married and I probably would not try that now 11 years later 🙂 )  I thought Drew Barrymore was wonderful as Cinderella.  She was sweet, sympathetic, fiery, and brave.  And Angelica Huston as the evil stepmother was fantastic!  The casting of these two was perfect as was the rest of the supporting cast.  Prince Henry was a cutie and he won my heart when he took Danielle to a library for a date.

The casting was great, but I equally liked the retelling of the fairytale, full of strong women and the magical Leonardo da Vinci.  Although Danielle was the servant, it was Henry who would have to make sacrifices to marry her and the only power she had was over own mind.  She was a tough and vulnerable Cinderella.

Why did I watch this last night?  My husband and I watched the season premiere of House this week (yea, he’s back!) and his doctor was very familiar to me.  I didn’t know who she was but I kept waiting for her to turn evil.  About halfway through I yelled out, “That’s the evil stepsister!”  And it was, Megan Dodds.  As I watched the movie again I was amazed by how good she was at playing crazy.

My Top 100 movie list

The Last Ember, by Daniel Levin

The Last EmberFinished 9-24-09, rating 4.5/5, thriller, pub. 2009

“The Temple Mount was surrounded by fifty thousand Roman soldiers,” he said, turning to the professor, “and the priest escaped through here, along this aqueduct.”

His flashlight revealed a narrow stone aqueduct stretching into the darkness.  It appeared to float across the dark chasm that lay on either side.

“And he took with him the one artifact that brought down a Roman emperor.”

Chapter 7

Jonathan is an archeology scholar and Rome Prize winner turned New York City lawyer.  He is sent to Rome by his firm to help them in a stolen artifacts case and he is almost immediately confronted by his ex-girlfriend and a centuries old mystery involving the world’s  three main religions.  Jonathan past study of the traitor Josephus gives him special insight into the clue this stolen artifact provides, a clue that he thinks could lead him to the Tabernacle menorah that was stolen from Herod’s Temple in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago.  As he travels with his ex Emili to the Colosseum and other hot spots in Rome they follow a series of clues while the police are trying to find them.  Using Emili’s UN credentials the two race back to Jerusalem to stop the Waqf and their destruction of the what is beneath the Temple Mount.

This is a religious thriller that I compare to the da Vinci Code in only the post positive aspects.  The pace, story and setting were top notch and had a hard time putting it down.  Since our vacation to Italy last year I’ve loved reading stories that take place in Italy and this book made me want to go back and take a tour of all places Jonathan visited, but since many of them are under the city that is probably not going to happen.

It was also complicated and loaded with historical and religious facts.  The only thing that slowed down my reading at all was the multitude of knowledge that I tried to take in.  I do not normally read historical fiction, so most of this was new to me as were many of the names.   To make all of this history interesting, the plot is lightning quick and full of fantastic and seemingly far fetched occurences.  And that was okay because I loved it.

I highly recommend this if you love thrillers, historical fiction, The daVinci Code, Italy, Jerusalem, suspense, religious mysteries, or archeology.  That covers a lot of people.  Does it include you?

I attended a book signing with Daniel Levin and he will be featured in one of my 9 in ’09 interview soon.

Silk and Stone, by Deborah Smith

Cover ImageFinished 9-20-09, rating 4.5/5, romance, pub. 1994

The earliest Scotch, Irish, and Dutch immigrants had been drawn to the misty, ancient mountains of western North Carolina by rumors of rubies and other precious gems mined by the Cherokees.  The rumors were more than true.  The newcomers plucked fine stones from the riverbanks, from the hillsides, from the ruts in deeply churned wagon roads.  They riddled the mountains with mine shafts, looking for more.

Chapter 2

This is a sweeping love story that spans decades.  In Pandora, North Carolina, the Cherokee and mountain people are mainly overlooked by the outside world and that’s the way they like it.  The Ravenclaws, a Cherokee family with a special connection to the mountain, are able to find things, like gems and people.  The Vanderveers are the royalty of the mountain and treat everyone with respect.  Then Alexandra enters the picture and causes an irreparable rift between these two family and changes the town of Pandora forever.

Doesn’t sound like a love story?  Well, Jake Ravenclaw and Samantha, niece to Alexandra, have a connection that started when Sam was four.  Over the years they see each other occasionally, but in secret and love blossoms.  The two agreed to be married when Sam was about five and Jake ten and they both clung to that.  Of course, neither is ordinary and both felt like outsiders, so the connection to each other was great.

This is a grand sweeping love story that is not sticky sweet at all.  First, Alexandra is a character that was filled with so much hate, maybe the best ‘bad guy’ I’ve read in quite a while.  She keeps this story grounded in manipulation and lies.  Second, there are great secondary characters that carry some of the heavy lifting in the storytelling.  And the last thing keeping this love story from sugar overload?  The fact that the prologue is written when Sam is waiting for Jake to visit her for the first time after he is released from prison and they haven’t spoken in the ten years he’s been sent away.

I loved this story and recommend it to romance lovers who like the romance, more than the hot, steamy sex and for anyone interested in the mountain culture or Cherokee traditons.