Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Goldbergs--Season 3 with SPOILERS

I couldn't wait and ended up binge watching (if two episodes a night counts) season three with my sons. My husband even started watching some of the episodes with us and was laughing too. (If I can't get him hooked on Hamilton, at least I have a chance with The Goldbergs.) Starting with season four, we'll only get to watch one episode a week, depending on how often new ones are aired. How will we survive?!?

Before I share my favorite episodes of season three, see my thoughts on the first two seasons.
Season 1
Season 2

I noticed that AJ Michalka, who plays Lainey, is now listed in the opening credits after the theme song. I thought that was an interesting development since they just listed the actors who played the family members in the past.


#2 A Chorus Lie: Beverly asks Miss Cinoman to let Adam -- who is going through puberty -- lip sync in the school musical; Murray inspires Erica to go to the homecoming dance with Geoff Schwartz.
I happened to watch this episode the same day as the Melania Trump Milli Vanilli situation, which made it that much funnier. I also love A Chorus Line, so there's that.

#3 Jimmy Five is Alive:
Murray builds a robot with Adam but creative differences drive them apart; Barry accidentally tapes over Beverly's treasured video of his fifth birthday party.
What's even funnier than Murray's bad pronunciation of "robot" is Barry's shenanigans with the video recorder.

#6 Couples Costume: Adam chooses to spend Halloween night with Dana rather than Beverly, who decides to teach her son a lesson about the dangers of the holiday. And later, Adam regrets taking Barry and Erica's advice to visit a haunted house when he's expected to go back inside to find Dana's lost promise ring.
The best parts are with Beverly doing everything she warned Adam against and not realizing it until Murray calls her out on it. Adam's reaction to the haunted house is also really funny though.

#7 Lucky:
Barry's dream of having a dog comes true, but he's disappointed when the pup takes an immediate liking to Murray; at the same time, Beverly is upset not to be included when Erica and Lainey plan a girls-only sleepover.
Three words: Troop Beverly Hills. This movie is a cult classic. Also, I got teary-eyed at the end of the episode. And Lucky was really cute!

#10 A Christmas Story: Disappointed with her unenthusiastic family during the holidays, Beverly creates "Super Hanukkah" to get them into the spirit, but it's too similar to Christmas. Meanwhile, Adam is annoyed that Barry is more interested in hanging with Lainey than him, so he triple-dog dares his brother with results neither one see coming.
It was nice to see the Goldbergs doing something Jewish, even if they were celebrating Hanukkah the Christmas way. So many funny lines and parts though. "Tchotchke pockets!" Aquaman parting the red sea. The triple dog dare. I introduced my kids to Hanukkah Harry from SNL after watching this episode.

#12 Baio and Switch: As Beverly promises to bring Scott Baio to Jenkintown for Hands Across America, Adam ends up with two dates to the same dance.
It was funny how Adam handled having two dates and Murray kept telling him not to be a moron. I also loved who Beverly thought was more famous than Scott Baio. (It is rather funny to see anything about Scott Baio after the reason he's been in the news these days.)

#13 Double Dare: A TV game show is hosting tryouts at Emmy and Adam's school. Will they make it on to the show?
One of the best of the season! Hilarious!!! I would have loved a chance to audition for Double Dare when I was a kid. (My sister and I used to make obstacle courses in our basement, if that tells you anything.) I think the best part was Pops auditioning. It was also funny how Bill was teaching Beverly about football using terms she'd understand.

#15 Weird Al: Adam makes a big change while Barry and Erica try to help Murray.
Two reasons...Weird Al actually being on the episode and my friend's picture at the end. Oh, and Adam's parody of "Everybody Have Fun Tonight."

Remember this one?

#17 The Dirty Dancing Dance: Beverly helps Erica plan a school dance with a "Dirty Dancing" theme, but turns on her daughter once she realizes it may be inappropriate. Meanwhile, Murray and Adam try to become better dancers, without much luck.
I love Dirty Dancing. And yes, I got teary-eyed when Erica finally was able to do the lift. The first attempt was hilarious though! And Barry's "Footloose" dance! I also love Adam and Murray practicing the lift in the pool.

#20 Dungeons and Dragons, Anyone?: Adam rallies his nerd pals to fight back against Mellor's school yard pick system for gym. Mellor choices Adam as a Captain - and the power goes to Adam's head; he also picks the best athletes - even after Dave Kim chooses "Dungeons & Dragons" as the next team sport. Adam must train his doltish classmates to win at the game. Erica is surprised when Bev sparks to an out of state college tour; Murray turns the tables and forbids his daughter from leaving town; Erica then shares that she is not ready to leave the nest/town - at this time.
I think it made a good point about how not everyone is good at the same things and that we shouldn't make each other feel bad about it. I also love Barry wanting to be Lord Big of Tasty. And all the Back to School stuff with Pops was funny. Now I need to see that movie!

#23 Big Orange: Beverly and Lainey team up to destroy something they both despise: Barry's favorite shirt. But once It goes missing, Adam and Erica agree to help their brother investigate what exactly happened to it. Meanwhile, Murray decides to tear down the family tree house, which makes Adam upset.
I love "The Goldberg Gang." I think I enjoy anytime they show Erica before her transformation. Best line: "A super hot Balki Bartokomous."

#24 Have a Summer: Adam and his friends are concerned about Hell Week as new incoming freshmen are hazed by the seniors class. Adam gains respect after body slamming his brother during a school graduation ritual. Meanwhile, Evelyn Silver and her class try to figure out what to put in the schools time capsule.
I love how Adam body slams Barry. So hard not to laugh. The part with Erica and Geoff at the end is totally reminiscent of the season one finale of Friends. The slip-n-slide part looked fun!
What would you put in an 80s time capsule?

Bring on season four! We're ready and looking forward to more fun nostalgia. I think there needs to be an episode focused on Pee Wee's Playhouse (I did see Chairy in the basement, after all) or Pee Wee's Big Adventure. There also needs to be some focus on Michael Jackson and Madonna. If you're a Goldbergs fan like me, what would you like to see in season four?

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Book Giveaway: The Hamilton Affair

As you may already know by now, I am obsessed with Hamilton. I even started a fan group at Facebook. As a result, Skyhorse Publishing reached out to me to feature a historical fiction novel coming out next week....The Hamilton Affair by Elizabeth Cobbs. They even have THREE copies for some lucky readers in the US and/or Canada!

Of course, now I have lines from "The Reynolds Pamphlet" in my head!

Check out the book trailer. You can also watch it at Amazon for a chance to win a copy over there too. (US only. Ends 8/2.)


For fans of the Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit Broadway musical Hamilton, set against the dramatic backdrop of the American Revolution, and featuring a cast of iconic characters such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the Marquis de Lafayette, The Hamilton Affair tells the sweeping, tumultuous, true love story of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler, from tremulous beginning to bittersweet ending—his at a dueling ground on the shores of the Hudson River, hers more than half a century later after a brave, successful life.

Hamilton was a bastard son, raised on the Caribbean island of St. Croix. He went to America to pursue his education. Along the way he became one of the American Revolution’s most dashing—and unlikely—heroes. Adored by Washington, hated by Jefferson, Hamilton was a lightning rod: the most controversial leader of the American Revolution.

She was the well-to-do daughter of one of New York’s most exalted families—feisty, adventurous, and loyal to a fault. When she met Alexander, she fell head over heels. She pursued him despite his illegitimacy, and loved him despite his infidelity. In 1816 (two centuries ago), she shamed Congress into supporting his seven orphaned children. Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton started New York’s first orphanage. The only “founding mother” to truly embrace public service, she raised 160 children in addition to her own.

With its flawless writing, brilliantly drawn characters, and epic scope, The Hamilton Affair will take its place among the greatest novels of American history.

Elizabeth Cobbs, Professor and Dwight E. Stanford Chair in American Foreign Relations at San Diego State University, has won literary prizes for both history and fiction: the Allan Nevins Prize, Stuart Bernath Book Prize, San Diego Book Award, and Director's Mention for the Langum Prize in American Historical Fiction. Her books include AMERICAN UMPIRE (2013), BROKEN PROMISES; A NOVEL OF THE CIVIL WAR (2011), ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE: THE PEACE CORPS AND THE 1960s (2000), and THE RICH NEIGHBOR POLICY (1992). She has served on the jury for the Pulitzer Prize in History and on the Historical Advisory Committee of the U.S. State Department. She has received awards and fellowships from the Fulbright Commission; Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace; Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Organization of American States; American Philosophical Society; Rockefeller Foundation, and other distinguished institutions. Her essays have been published in the New York Times, Jerusalem Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, China Daily News, National Public Radio, Washington Independent, San Diego Union, and Reuters. Her current project is a history of women soldiers in World War One. Visit Elizabeth at her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway.  If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on this blog, enter the giveaway here

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US/Canada only. Giveaway ends August 2nd at midnight EST.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Birthday Book Giveaway

Keeping it simple here...because today is my birthday, I want to give away some books. The gift of reading (and the amazing books I've had the opportunity to read) has been a treasure to me over the past 40 years (maybe less since I didn't start reading until I was three or four years old).

Unlike my book blog, I'm limiting this to US/Canada.

Good luck!

These are NOT the books I'm giving away. That part is a surprise!

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway.  If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on this blog, enter the giveaway here

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US/Canada only. Giveaway ends July 24th at midnight EST.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Hey, It's Okay Tuesday

One of my favorite blogs, Airing My Laundry, does a post every week that was inspired by a section of Glamour magazine. She invites her followers to do their own posts like this. I enjoy doing this a every so often, so I thought it's time for another list. Since I don't do this weekly, my list will be long.

It's okay...

*To have a wicked case of Hamilaria. If you have this too, join my fan group.

Along with this...
*That some of the Original Broadway Cast of Hamilton has left already or will be leaving soon. I know some people are devastated about this, but I'm used to seeing people other than OBC perform in shows and as long as they do an amazing job, that's what matters most. It's also cool to see how someone else interprets a role. And I can imagine that the original cast would feel burnt out after a while and need to "Take a Break."

*That today is the last day of my thirties.

*That I haven't written a post about my cruise yet (I still have it all in my head, so I will soon!!!)

*To see two musicals in one week (Rent and Evita)

*To not care about that Pokemon Go thing. (And I'm not being facetious. It just doesn't interest me. Not begrudging anyone else the fun and entertainment.)

*To have finished season 2 of The Goldbergs (and to be wondering when season 3 will be on DVD)

*To have finally shown my younger son Big and to notice all the inconsistencies even more this time around. Still so funny!

*To admit this:

*To be done with season four of Orange is the New Black and still freaking out about it. Also, to have known a major spoiler and not have told my husband because he hates them as much as I do, if not more. (I will write a post about this and a few other shows soon.)

*To be unmotivated. It's like I have birthday senioritis or something.

*To think that this is NOT okay in the slightest! (And by "this," I do NOT mean shutting down an online chat.)

Airing My Dirty Laundry

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Goldbergs-Season 2 with SPOILERS

If you read this post a while back, you would know how much I love watching The Goldbergs. I started season two around Pesach and got my in-laws into it, as well. I also got my sons into it and they binge watched season 1 and then when they caught up to me in season 2, we watched together. (I'm just glad the swears are bleeped out and that the adult jokes are over their head. They still find a lot of things very funny.)
I'll cut right to the chase with favorite episodes this time.

#1 Love is a Mix Tape: In the second-season opener, Adam takes the next step in his blossoming relationship with Dana by creating a mix tape for her, but the tape falls into Beverly's hands instead. Elsewhere, Barry gets caught with a fake ID.
Season 2 started out on a hilarious note with this episode. The best part was Beverly playing the tape in the car while Dana was right there and Adam having to come up with an excuse for what had happened. Also, David Spade as the fake id seller was great! (I love the SNL actor cameos on this series!)

#2 Mama Drama:
When Adam isn't cast as the lead in the school musical, Beverly helps him star in a competing show. Murray stubbornly tries to avoid traffic, opening a rift between him and Barry.
So many great things about this episode, from Adam being a total diva to Murray's impatience with traffic.

#3 The Facts of Bleeping Life: Adam and Barry form a garage rock band, and promptly invite Erica and Lainey to join with unforeseen consequences. The royal wedding inspires Bev to renew her vows with Murray.
"Did his vows end with 'sha la la la'?" So many funny moments!

#8 I Rode a Hoverboard:
Adam's exaggeration about how he broke his arm could jeopardize his friendship with Emmy Mirsky.
Adam's George Michael impression won me over, but his little lie had some funny consequences.

#10 DannyDonnieJoeyJonJordan
: Beverly is ordered to clean out the garage by Murray, who wants everything gone except for one trunk that he's particularly sentimental about. Meanwhile, Adam and Barry discover Erica's old collection of New Kids on the Block memorabilia.
Hands down, the best episode of the season! I could not stop laughing. Not only was the NKOTB homage beyond awesome, but the artwork stuff was hilarious too.
Murray: "I love Babby. Who's Babby?"
Beverly: "You're Babby!"

#14 Barry Goldberg's Day Off: Trying to copy one of his favorite movies, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Barry skips school.
I love the way this episode played out. The funniest was trying to get the host at the restaurant to act snooty (or snotty?) but he was all friendly. Also, Charlie Sheen's cameo was unexpected and awesome. Of course, I had to show my kids FBDO after we saw this.

#15 Happy Mom, Happy Life: Dana and Adam are given a doll to parent for a school project, but end up in jeopardy of failing because of Beverly's "grand-smothering." Meanwhile, Erica tries to get back at Barry for monopolizing her best friend's time by joining the JTP, however her plan doesn't go as expected.
I love that Nick Swardson plays a scam artist selling fake CPK dolls and how scary they look. Also, the Heart song playing every time someone has a moment with Erica. I did get teary-eyed over the nice thing Barry did for Erica toward the end. And Adam's teacher's reasoning for giving him a good grade.

#16 The Lost Boy: Adam attends a Phillies game with his dad and ends up lost in the stadium after Murray allows him to leave his seat on his own. Elsewhere, Beverly's guilt trip backfires when Erica and Barry drive off without her during an argument on their way home from the mall. Repeat after me: "It's not real. Don't feel." I love how that backfired and how Barry got all into bedazzling his clothes. And what is a "nubby" anyway? I always joke with the kids about giving them snuggies and nubbies now. Adam reminded me of my older son with not wanting to go to the bathroom by himself. I do agree that it is a bit much to send a kid to the bathroom by themselves at a big crowded place like that.

#17 The Adam Bomb: Adam and Barry get in a prank war, while Erica tries to become a pop star.
I love that Erica was a Tiffany fan. I was all into her music in the late 80s and played her tape over and over and over again. (It was my comfort music for a while.) The pranks were pretty funny...especially the photo one.

#21 As You Wish: Murray's joy over Adam wanting to play a sport is short-lived once he discovers that it's fencing, and worse yet, he was inspired by a scene from The Princess Bride. Meanwhile, things don't go exactly as planned when Beverly tries to make a love connection between Barry's wrestling coach and Erica's voice teacher.
Honestly, I was thinking this would play out like the "Ferris Bueller" episode and Pops would be reading the story to Adam while the other characters played the various parts. Beverly could be all "I'm not a witch. I'm your wife!" However, there were some great parts to this episode. I also love the matchmaking. It reminded me of Clueless in some ways. (Ironically, Wallace Shawn is in that movie too!)

#22 Dance Party USA: Adam, thinking Pop's good luck might rub off on him, takes a gamble and ends up losing his beloved toys. Meanwhile, Erica's dream of appearing on a popular TV dance show turns into a nightmare when Barry gives her pink eye.
Erica's situation reminded me of You Again (movie from 2010 starring Kristen Bell). All the betting with the principal was funny too.

#23 Bill/Murray: Murray bonds with Lainey's dad and learns what it means to be a true friend.
Clued me in to why adult male friendships are so complex! I also love how Adam was trying to mimic the "Take On Me" video, but it came out just a tad different...

#24: Goldbergs Feel Hard: Beverly insists on throwing Erica a going away party when she leaves for her summer arts school.
The description is just a small part to a great episode. I love Barry's little slip-up. It reminded me of Chandler on Friends. (Except Chandler got a much better response.) I did not expect Dana to say what she did though! And Erica and Murray's "love-off" was pretty funny.

Great season overall! I can't wait to watch season 3 and wouldn't mind it being on DVD right about now...

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Zork, part 2

Remember Zork?

Well, my older son apparently was very motivated to write (more than I have been lately), and decided to write a sequel. Here goes...

The galaxies once created a planet named Zorkanog far far away from anyone’s solar system. Zork finally got a job that his parents Zork and Zork liked. Zork worked at the mission control center preparing the spaceships for Zorkanog orbitings. He knew all the instructions so whenever someone shouted, “Pour the oil!” He would do it.
One day when Zork was working on the ship, the instructor shouted, “Squeeze the lemonade!”
It was almost as if Zork had a question mark on top of his head. “Squeeze the lemonade?” Suddenly, Zork’s eye spotted something. It was a lever that had the word LEMONADE on it. Zork had the urge to pull it and when he did, the rocket started rumbling. The label was upside down! The rocket ship was really called the EDANOMEL.
“I said to squeeze the lemonade! Not the lever!” The instructor shouted
“Uh oh!” Zork mumbled.
The rocket ship started to rumble.
“Whoah!” Zork shouted.
Zoom! The rocket ship flew into the galaxy of Altania. Boom! Zork landed on the ground of the EDANOMEL. The platform opened and Zork walked out onto a dusty planet. There was a sign that said:
Welcome to Languia
Zork thought to himself, Languia? I’ve never heard of Languia before. Zork walked along a dirt path until he came to a noisy carnival.
An alien went up to Zork and asked, “Lang lang lang lang-lang lang?”
Zork responded, “Zorky zork zorkety zork zork.”
The creature that spoke Languish had a confused look on his face. The problem was Zork spoke Zorkon while the creature from Languia spoke Languish. Zork saw a roller coaster. When he went on, he could feel the roller coaster taking up speed. Flip! Zork forgot to buckle up. He landed in the EDANOMEL.
BLAST OFF! a pixelated voice spoke.
When Zork was back in the comfort of his house he thought to himself, Maybe I should think of something better to do than squeezing lemonade.
Zork knew he could now do better.

To be continued?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Looking back on a decade....

It's been 10 years since this happened... (Side note: I loved the skirt I was wearing in the first picture and the dress I wore at my party.)

Now that I'm less than a month away from my 40th birthday, I want to reflect upon my thirties. I decided to make a list of thirty great things that happened during these past 10 years. Some are personal and some are from pop culture. And since I obviously can't cram 10 years into one list, so I'm sharing as much as I can think of from the top of my head (in no particular order).

1. My younger son being born
2. My daughter being born
3. Moving to Maryland
4. Two of my kids getting cochlear implants
5. Starting this blog
6. Starting my book blog and watching it grow
7. Book Expo America in 2014 and 2015
8. Seeing In the Heights and meeting some of the Original Broadway Cast afterwards
9. My "reunion" with "Will" after six years apart (separated by the length of our country)...the culmination of it being at Marie's Crisis Cafe
10. Visits from my BFF
11. My job (which I've been at for six-and-a-half years)
12. Making some great new friends (both online and in person...sometimes a mix of the two)
13. Going to Disney World for the first time in about 25 years
14. Going on a cruise (and yes, I still need to write about it)
15. My current obsession with Hamilton (if you are obsessed too, go here)
16. The Mindy Project
17. Orphan Black
18. Orange is the New Black
19. Parenthood
20. Being acknowledged in several books
21. Unique and Value Village (pretty much the same store though)
22. Reaching my 10 year wedding anniversary...and beyond
23. Vanilla Almond Special K cereal (a staple of this past decade for me)
24. My job in NJ (it was flexible, allowed me to get back into the working world after being out of a job for a while, and I got along well with my boss)
25. Seeing Newsies in DC
26. Jamie Cullum
27. The Goldbergs
28. Trying my hand at fiction writing again
29. My local book club
30. Speaking of books...the plethora of amazing books I've obtained and read either because of my blog or because of book club. (I can also attribute some to the library used book store.)

I'm excited for what my forties have in store and hope to make another list like this in 10 years, with room for 10 more items!