Kiss Me Like a Stranger Book Review

He was the music maker…the dreamer of dreams.  He brought some of our favorite characters to life, including Dr. Frankenstein, Willy Wonka, Leo Bloom, Sigerson Holmes, and Skip Donahue.  From his humble beginnings as a Shakespearean actor to his amazing collection of movies he made with Mel Brooks and Richard Pryor, Gene Wilder challenged the comic genre.  He pushed himself, pushed his directors.  He poured himself into each project, owning and enveloping each of his characters with all the energy he could muster.  He may have been a simple Midwestern boy at heart, but Gene Wilder was nothing if not a believer in the extraordinary.

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In his very intimate and personal autobiography, Kiss Me Like a Stranger, Wilder opens up and exposes his deepest secrets, talking about how his sick mother influenced his career path and his very real and emotional experiences with psychoanalysis.  He opens about his love affairs and marriages, including his sometimes tumultuous relationship with fellow comedian, Gilda Radner, and his difficult relationship with his adopted daughter, Katie.

While he does talk briefly about his projects and films, Kiss Me Like a Stranger is not a tell-all about a chocolate factory or a secret laboratory.  At its core, this book is about an actor’s search for truth, love, and acceptance.  It’s about mistakes and choices.  With eloquence and grace, it turns this larger-than-life comedian into a real person, a humble person.  A man who falls in and out of love, who struggles with raising a daughter not his own, and who – just like the rest of us – is just looking for love and fulfillment both personally and professionally.

Written about 10 years before his death, Kiss Me Like a Stranger is a frank, yet charming memoir that shows Wilder for what he truly was…a shy, gentle man who loved to make people laugh.  He was a dear friend, a doting husband, and a beloved actor who, like so many of his profession, had a series of serendipitous moments that propelled him, maybe unwillingly, into stardom.

 

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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20 Fun Facts About the Moon

It was 48 years ago today that the entire world watched The Eagle land on the moon for the very first time.  Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin had spent nearly 80 hours traveling in space by the time their lunar module landed on July 20, 1969.  Six hours later, Armstrong became the first man to step foot on the moon, uttering the now famous words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Before their brave adventure into space, very little was known about the Earth’s moon.  Since the Apollo landing, we’ve obviously learned a lot about our little brother…so here are a few fun facts about Earth’s little buddy up in the sky!

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20 Fun Facts About the Moon

The moon is about 238,900 miles away from Earth.  To put it into perspective, the ENTIRE SOLAR SYSTEM could fit between the Earth and the moon – with room to spare.

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Because the moon rotates around on its own axis in exactly the same time it takes to orbit the Earth, the same side of the moon is always facing us.  The side facing away from Earth has only been seen by the human eye from spacecraft.

Though the Earth is about 80 times the volume of the moon, both are about the same age.  Some scientists believe that the moon was once part of Earth and broke off due to a collision.

There are two bulges in the Earth due to the gravitational pull of the moon.  The bulges move around the oceans as the Earth rotates, causing high and low tides around the globe.

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Due to its smaller mass, you would weigh about one sixth of your weight on the moon.

Despite the moon’s deep fantastical connections to the female sex, no woman has ever stepped foot on the moon…EVER.

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As a matter of fact, there have only been 12 people to walk on the moon – all were white American males.

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The moon has no atmosphere, so it’s unprotected from cosmic rays, meteorites, and solar winds.  No sound can be heard on the moon and the sky always appears black.

The large craters on the moon are from intense pummeling by space rocks between 4.1 and 3.8 billion years ago.

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The moon orbits the Earth every 27.3 days.

Mons Huygens is the tallest mountain on the moon, standing at 4,700 meters tall – just over half the height of Mt. Everest.

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The average surface temperature of the moon is about 224 degrees F during the day and -243 degrees F at night.

Neil Armstrong’s famous footprint on the moon is most likely still there.  The lack of wind on the moon means any disturbance to the surface of the moon is most likely there (unless the downdraft from the Command Module destroyed the print – but it’s unlikely).

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The multi-layer space suits worn by the astronauts to the moon weighed 180 pounds on Earth, but only 30 pounds on the moon.

Apollo 11 had only 20 seconds of fuel left when they landed on the moon.  Talk about running on fumes!

About 49 moons would fit inside the Earth.

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The ashes of Dr. Eugene Shoemaker, a man who was declined to be an astronaut due to medical conditions, were flown into a crater on the moon on July 31, 1999 as his dying wish.

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The moon is not round, but actually more egg shaped.

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It took Apollo 11 about three days to get to the moon.  If a commercial airplane could make the same journey, it would take about 26 days.

If all goes according to plan, NASA hopes to return to the moon in 2019 so astronauts can set up a permanent space station there.

 

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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Entire ETSY Store 50% Off!

Hi all!  I have a bonus post for you today!

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Starting today (July 20th) and going through the end of the month, my entire ETSY store will be 50% off!  I’m going to be moving at the beginning of August and need to clear my stash…so whether you’re looking to start your holiday shopping early or just want to treat yo self, check in and stock up on your favorite nerdy booky merch!

card   coasters

crossstitch   got

harry potter house bearsjurassic park   mugtote bag

I’ll start promoting this later tomorrow, but wanted to give my loyal followers the first head’s up by giving you all day to look around before spreading the word!  Happy shopping!

 

 

 

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Perler Bead Birds

Want to make a great thing better?  Put a bird on it!

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These cute little perler bead birds are a fun way to dress up windows, gifts, or even Christmas trees!  Use the included bird pattern to make birds in every color of the rainbow.

Perler Bead Birds

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Materials:

  • Perler Bead Bird Pattern (I included birds of all colors here, so pic your fave!)
  • Perler Beads
  • Perler Bead Grid
  • Parchment Paper
  • Iron

Instructions:

  1. Using the bird pattern, plot out your bird on the grid.
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  2. Cover beads with parchment paper.
  3. Run hot iron over parchment paper.  Once beads have melted, place under heavy book so piece can cool flat.
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  4. Once cooled, hang in your window and enjoy!

 

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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Country Roads

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“Country roads take me home to the place I belong.”
–John Denver

 

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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Chopped Greek Salad Recipe

It almost hit 100 degrees F in Chicago last week.  100 DEGREES.  My car was 99 degrees at the end of the day…When I got home, my apartment was 85 degrees.  My face was melting.  I was hangry and hot and not even about to turn the oven on to make dinner.

I could have just bitten the bullet and gone to Chipotle on the way home like I actually wanted to, but I decided to be good and make a salad instead.

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This chopped Greek salad was actually really refreshing and tasty, and if you’re from the Chicagoland area, is a pretty close copycat recipe of the Portillo’s Greek Salad.

I also added a slice of olive focaccia bread, which was a delicious addition to this light dinner.

Another little tip…I also season my tomatoes before adding them to basically anything.  Just a little salt and pepper makes them even better on a sandwich or in a salad.  You’re welcome. 🙂

Chopped Greek Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 chicken tenders, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 2-3 handfuls Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 2-3 handfuls orange or red cherry tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • Feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions:

Once your chicken is cooked (I seasoned mine with salt and pepper), set it aside to cool completely, then cut it into bite-sized pieces.

Then just toss together the rest of the ingredients and top the salad with additional feta cheese and cooked chicken!  I served mine with a store-bought Greek dressing, but you can use whatever vinaigrette or lemon-based dressing you like!

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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10 Books Every Game of Thrones Fan Needs

All men must read.

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Whether you’re a die-hard GOT book lover or you’ve only committed to the TV show, this collection of gift books are a must for any wanna-be Lannister, Stark, or Tyrell.  From fun coloring books to scientific explorations of what happens when a brother and sister really do procreate, this collection of 10 Books Every Game of Thrones Fan Needs is one to bookmark for any upcoming birthdays or holidays.

10 Books Every Game of Thrones Fan Needs

The Official A Game of Thrones Coloring Book

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Make commercial breaks fly by with this nerdy Game of Thrones coloring book.  With dozens of stunning black and white illustrations from several artists, this coloring book will certainly help pass the time after these first 6 episodes are over.

Game of Scones: All Men Must Dine

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Game up for Sunday’s premier with an assortment of baked goods from Game of Scones.  Featuring Red (Velvet) Wedding Cake, Joffrey’s Jaffas, Jaime and Cersei’s Family Mess (eww), and Oberyn’s Smashing Head Surprise, this book is a must for fans!

Game of Thrones Versus History: Written in Blood

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Aside from the many fantastical elements of Game of Thrones, much of the plot is actually based on real historic events.  Get a better idea of what inspired Joffrey’s death, how the War of the Roses influenced battles in the series, and how slavery, celibate societies, and other myths and legends factored into George R. R. Martin’s world.

Game of Thrones Psychology: The Mind is Dark and Full of Terrors

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How to love, hate, good, evil, greed, and narcissism drive good and bad behaviors in the characters of Game of Thrones?  This book tries to explore that answer, offering a close examination of the psychology behind the characters in the Song of Ice and Fire series.

Living Language Dothraki

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Written by David J. Peterson, the man behind the Dothraki language, this book will arm you with enough vocabulary and grammar to have a complete conversation in Dothraki.  This course includes a language guide as well as a CD featuring more than 200 words and phrases, grammar explanations, cultural notes, and exercises.

Brain of Thrones: A Game of Thrones Quiz Book

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How much to you REALLY know about Game of Thrones?  Test your knowledge of seasons 1 through 6 with this collection of quizzes.  A fun book for friends to do together, this collection of quizzes is the perfect way to prep before the final season begins.

Game of Thrones: An Unofficial Travel Guide

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Part of the beauty of Game of Thrones is that it’s filmed all over the world.  Have you ever wanted to walk around King’s Landing or explore Winterfell for yourself?  Well, now you can explore the real-life locations that created these magical worlds.  They are all places you can visit…and this book will tell you how.

The Science of Game of Thrones: From the Genetics of Royal Incest to the Chemistry of Death by Molten Gold – Sifting Fact from Fantasy in the Seven Kingdoms

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Is it possible to crush a person’s head with your bare hands?  What REALLY happens when royal families sleep together?  Does Cersei have a borderline personality disorder?  What curious medical disorder does Horor suffer from?  All these questions and more are answered in this scientific look into the world of Game of Thrones.

The Wit & Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister

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We all know that Tyrion is the best character in Game of Thrones, and this little gem of a book gathers up all his wisdom into one place.  Find his best quotes about dining, women, wine, and politics in this illustrated gift book that’s perfect for those who drink and know things.

A Feast of Ice & Fire: The Official Companion Cookbook

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With a forward by George R. R. Martin himself, A Feast of Ice & Fire is the official cookbook for Game of Thrones fans.  With recipes for lemon cakes, pork pies, honeyfingers, and more, this is the perfect guide for creating an epic feast suitable for a Game of Thrones premier party.

 

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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