Shirley Temple Dies at 85

Shirley Temple Black, Screen Darling, Dies at 85 –

The link not only talks about Shirley Temple’s death, but gives an encapsulated biography that includes not only her film and political successes, but also several anecdotes and more nuanced experiences of her life. For example:

“After winning an honorary Academy Award at the age of 6 and earning $3 million before puberty, Shirley Temple grew up to be a level-headed adult. When her cancerous left breast was removed in 1972, at a time when operations for cancer were shrouded in secrecy, she held a news conference in her hospital room to speak out about her mastectomy and to urge women discovering breast lumps not to “sit home and be afraid.” She is widely credited with helping to make it acceptable to talk about breast cancer.”

Hats off to you, Shirley. Thank you for showing everyone that even the most iconic little girl could grow up into a tough and intelligent diplomat more than capable of holding her own as an adult:

“When she was appointed ambassador to Ghana in 1974, some career diplomats were outraged, but State Department officials later conceded that her performance was outstanding…Mrs. Black succeeded beyond almost everyone’s expectations, winning praise during her three years in Prague from, among others, Henry Kissinger, who called her “very intelligent, very tough-minded, very disciplined.” Although she may always be best remembered as America’s sweetheart, the woman who left the screen at 22 saying she had “had enough of pretend” ended up leaving a considerable mark on the real world.”

Top Ten Literary Character Names

Top 10 Tuesday, a weekly book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, this week asks for your Top Ten Literary Character Names.  Thus, I present to you, in no particular order, NAMES:


1.  Inigo Montoya of  “The Princess Bride”

-Just saying this name sends one off down sharp and questy roads, with an accent and a singularly determined scrappiness.


2. Her Serene and Royal Highness the Princess Amethyst Alexandra Augusta Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne, but everyone called her Amy.  And what could be more ordinary than that? of “An Ordinary Princess”

ordinary princess

-There is no way the point of this book could have been carried out better through names, which are brought up multiple times in relevance to character development.  Plus,  just take a breath and say all that at once.  It’s fun!


3. Wilfred Ivanhoe of “Ivanhoe”

-This is really one of the most fitting ones.  I mean, Wilfred is everything loyal and straight-laced and rather soppy, while Ivanhoe is everything intriguing, bold, and romantic adventurer.  And the character really encompasses both of these, with disguises, just like I feel that only hearing one of his names is disguising a full half of his character.   Although just saying ‘Ivanhoe’ is thrilling.


4.  Lynette of “King Arthur and his Knights”

-I don’t know why, really, I’m just drawn to L names for girls and I think it all started with this one.   Ls, and Red Lawns, and Ladies who lead….


5. Mordred of “Le Morte D’Arthur”

-Mordred is the most villainous name I know that still has room for lots of nuance in terms of romance, despair, and just pure witchery.  I love it.


6.  Katsa of “Graceling”

-I cannot say this name without an ! after it, not like yelling it, but it’s just got that much life, just like her.


7. Gwinna of “Gwinna”


-This heroine of Barbara Helen Berger’s gorgeous work is the daughter of the Owl Mother, making Gwinna appropriate, but also just embodies gentleness, hope, and taking off, which is what saying her name feels like in my mouth.


8. Tiffany Aching of “Wee Free Men”

-This combination of self-confident, assertive girl and hard-working peasants is the perfect setup for this land-based, audacious girl.


9.  Bilbo Baggins “The Hobbit”

-It’s just fun to say, for one.  It perfectly fits within a cozy hole in the ground, for two.  It references luggage and traveling, for three.  And it’s alliterative, for four.  I could go on.


10. Merriman Lyon of “The Dark is Rising”

-I love this name simply because does indeed seem like a proper version of the name “Merlin.”  It was a great comfort to me while reading this series until his identity was fully established.


Whereas, the total opposite of those, the worst name of all time: Albus Severus Potter


And now, to make it up to you, bonus my Top 10 names of real celebrities (in no particular order):

1. Benedict Cumberbatch

2. Maurice Sendak

3. Lawrence Olivier

4. Basil Rathbone

5.  Rafael Sabatini

6. Faz Fazakas

7. Vivian Vande Velde

8. Wolfgang Puck

9. Kristi Yamaguchi

10. Alexandre Dumas


Feel free to join in!


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This poem about Billy Boyd (Pippin) by Dominic Monaghan (Merry) is the fulfillment of everything I think of them in my dreams, all the loveliness that can be put in a simple poem, the bromance of the century, and it’s a genuine statement about the human condition.  Dom, my hat is off to you!  *sigh of contentment*

In honor of this, I revisit an old Dom/Billy fanfic:


He watches him, and keeps his face devoid of expression because he’s just figured out something. Something about him. It had been years since he’d first caught sight of his fascination, his intrigue. And now, sitting in a coffeeshop laughing over drinks and distorted dreams, he’s finally beginning to understand. He’s always known there was something different about the man, something special, but he’d never been able to discern just what about him it was. He’s come close before, but tonight is the first time he actually gets it. He’s found the clue. The clue is simply this: Dom coaxes people into laughing. He doesn’t trick, or surprise anyone into it with witty dialogue like Ian. He doesn’t beguile it with eagerness like Orlando, or summon mirth like Viggo’s bouts of insanity. The others cause laughter naturally, through their clumsiness, their absurdities, their shrewdness. Dom’s levity is earned. To most of them, laughter is an echo of their own perceptions, an affirmation of their own personalities. But to Dom it means more. To Dom, it’s all about the company. If you were laughing with Dom, it meant that he was thinking about you. That was the great secret. He understands people by what makes them laugh. When he was with Dom, he was always laughing.

His thoughts collide with the eye contact, and Billy becomes suddenly and acutely aware that he has no idea what words have just been spoken. But even without knowing, he recognizes the look on Dom’s face. It’s the look of expectation he wears when Billy’s about to laugh so hard he can’t stop until his noggin’s been badly damaged by coming in contact with something hard. But now Billy sees more then the threat, he sees the concentration. The unconscious and unwavering focus, on him. Billy throws his head back, and laughs.

Dom watches from across the table, and listens. He doesn’t know why Billy didn’t hear him. He doesn’t know what prompted the visual examination. But he does know the sound of euphoria when he hears it. And when he hears it from Billy, he falls in love all over again. Someday, he’ll have the courage to do something about it.

The table falls silent, and the two men finish their drinks.

Christopher Lee 90th Birthday: 90 Reasons He is Awesome

Christopher Lee 90th Birthday: 90 Reasons The Horror Icon is Awesome.


Wow, yet another marvelous man of the film industry to celebrate!  I held Christopher Lee in deep respect already, now it shall have to be awe.  Awe can be difficult to carouse with, but I shall try my best.  Go forth and do the same.




Ode to Sir Ian McKellan!

Today’s the birthday of a most esteemed gentleman!  Link to pictures:

Sir Ian McKellan’s Birthday Shall Not Pass!



without raising a glass

to Sir Ian the Gray.

It’s Gandalf’s birthday!


Balrogs and hijnks shall go down-

Find a hobbit to buy the next round!

This knight errant we can’t overrate.

Let everyone go in awe and celebrate!


Today will be good-I can tell

If Ian grins it’s even Friday in Hell.

So think of the man and know good cheer,

for Sir Ian’s a marvel.  McKellan! Hear, hear!


(And if the party should go overnight

we’ll just call it for Ian the White!)


Incidentally, today is also International Geek Day.  Apparently it was chosen for the first premiere of Star Wars, but I hereby declare that it is today to coincide with this famous wizard’s birthday (and I mean that in both the Tolkeinesque and McKellan-is-an-acting-wizard ways).