Administrative Professionals’ Day: Our Favorites from the Big and Small Screen

This Wednesday, April 26, is Administrative Professionals’ Day. Dating all the way back to the 1950s, the last week of April is a time to acknowledge the significant contributions of executive assistants, secretaries and other administrative roles. Anyone who has worked in an office, school or large organization knows that someone has to be the glue that holds all the moving parts together! So here are some of our favorite administrative professionals:

The Fearless Trailblazers

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Doralee Rhodes (9 to 5)—In this classic comedy from 1980, Doralee isn’t afraid to stand up to her “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” boss. Attagirl, Doralee!

JoanHolloway_Half Price BooksJoan Holloway (Mad Men)—Don’t mess with Joan. She runs a tight ship, managing her team of secretaries while advancing her career in a climate that’s less than conducive to women in power.
TessMcGill_Half Price BooksTess McGill (Working Girl)—Tess proves that, sometimes in life, you have to visualize what you want and then take it. She’s never afraid to step up and make the most of an opportunity. Continue reading

Buffy the Vampire Slayer 20th Anniversary

Editor’s Note: This blog entry is guest authored by Helen W. from the HPB wholesale division, Texas Bookman.  Enjoy!

Buffy Summers saved the world, a lot.  She did it with style and strength, but also with the genuine vulnerability of a teenage girl in an overwhelming situation. 20 years ago this month, Buffy aired its first episode and I was immediately hooked. I was older than the intended audience to be sure, but she spoke to me anyway.  With Joss Whedon at the reins, Buffy the Vampire Slayer has given us some of the best quotes of the 90s. Below are some of my favorites.

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“OK, I’m cookie dough. I’m not done baking. I’m not finished becoming whatever the hell it is I’m gonna turn out to be. I make it through this, and the next thing, and the next thing, and… maybe one day I turn around and realize I’m ready. I’m cookies. And then, you know, if I want someone to eat— or enjoy warm, delicious cookie me, then, that’s fine. That’ll be then. When I’m done.” – Buffy

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“When I say ‘I love you,’ it’s not because I want you or because I can’t have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I’ve seen your kindness and your strength. I’ve seen the best and worst of you. And I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You’re a hell of a woman. You’re the one, Buffy.” – Spike Continue reading

50 Facts About How The Grinch Stole Christmas and The People Who Made It

It can’t be denied that the mid-1960s was the golden age of the animated TV Christmas special. You could deny it, but you’d be wrong. The stop-motion Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer premiered in 1964, and A Charlie Brown Christmas debuted twelve months later. The next year, in 1966, How the Grinch Stole Christmas aired for the first time.

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To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the animated Grinch, here are 50 facts about the classic TV special and the people who made it.

1. The Dr. Seuss book on which the special is based was published by Random House in 1957. It also appeared in an issue of Redbook magazine at the same time.

2. Dr. Seuss was the pen name of Theodor Geisel. His dozens of children’s books have spawned 11 TV specials, four feature films, four TV series and a stage musical. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1984.

3. While attending Dartmouth College, Geisel got caught drinking gin with friends in his dorm room. As punishment, he was forced to stop all extracurricular activities, including writing for the school’s humor magazine. To surreptitiously keep writing for it, he began using the pen name Seuss. (Dartmouth gave him an honorary doctorate in 1956.)

4. His first book, And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street, was rejected by anywhere from 20 to 43 publishers, depending on which time he told the story.

5. An early version of the Grinch character appeared in 1955 in a Seuss story called “The Hoobub and the Grinch.” Continue reading

Celebrating 65 Years of “I Love Lucy” with 10 Iconic On-Screen Lucy Moments

65 years ago today “I Love Lucy” aired it’s first episode.

If you’ve never seen an episode of “I Love Lucy” …then you’ve got some ‘splaying to do! But here are the basics – Starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance and William Frawley, the show followed the antics of a mischievous, red-headed housewife who wanted so desperately to be in show business like her husband, Cuban musician Ricky Ricardo.

What you may not know is that “I Love Lucy” was actually based on a radio program from 1948 called “My Favorite Husband” which starred Lucille Ball with actor Dick Denning playing the role of her husband. But when CBS bought the rights to the show, Lucille insisted on recasting her real-life husband Desi in the TV show.

“I Love Lucy” was a pioneer of television sitcoms for many reasons. Lucille Ball paved the way for strong-female leads, producers and comedians for decades that followed her – stars like Mary Tyler Moore, Carol Burnett, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and many more. In it’s day, “I Love Lucy” was also a ground-breaking on social norms, portraying an on-screen interracial marriage, and later an on-screen pregnancy. In fact, the network prohibited the use of the word “pregnant” so the show’s writers used the French word “enceinte.” Continue reading

Our 10 Favorite Lines from Sherlock the TV Series

Sherlock.  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle brought him to life in print, but of all actors that have brought him to life on screen; none have done so quite like Benedict Cumberbatch.  Sherlock makes a seamless transition to the 21st century with Cumberbatch at the helm, and it’s a character that you immediately identify and possibly empathize with; or, you are simply intrigued by his “high-functioning sociopath” behavior.

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I’m a proud member of the fandom that began in 2010, and one of the many that are anxiously awaiting the series’ return in 2017.  The previous seasons are a streaming repeat on my television at home, and tablet when I travel.  While we all patiently (or not so patiently) wait, I’d like to share some of my favorite quotes from the series.

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It’s Time to Raise the Curtain…40 Years of the Muppet Show

If you’re like me, hearing the words “It’s time to play the music; it’s time to dim the lights” transports you to your childhood, when the week wasn’t complete without your weekly dose of the Muppets.  It’s hard to imagine that The Muppet Show turned 40 years old this year and harder to image that Jim Henson himself would have turned 80 this month.  So, to help celebrate these events, here are some interesting facts about the Muppets and their creator.

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  • Jim Henson had a passion for puppetry even when he was a child and TV Puppeteer Burr Tillstrom, from the show Kukla, Fran and Ollie was a major influence in his childhood.

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These Are a Few of the Voyages…: Celebrating 50 Years of Star Trek

Half Price Books would like to take a moment to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Star Trek and look back at its long history of stories that inspired generations of fans. And for some reason, they tapped the guy with a U.S.S. Enterprise model on his desk to write it.

I’ve decided to share some of my favorite Trek episodes with you. Please keep in mind: this is not intended as a definitive top-ten list, but it is a list of all the things that make Trek great – adventure, humor, allegory and the belief that tomorrow will be better than today.

So without further ado, here are some of the voyages of the U.S.S. Enterprise and its spin-offs.

The Original Series (1966 – 1969)

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1. Balance of Terror (1966)
“Balance of Terror” is an homage to World War II submarine thrillers like Run Silent, Run Deep. The Enterprise hunts down a cloaked Romulan ship that’s committed surprise attacks against the Federation. What follows is a tense thriller as Captain Kirk and the captain of the Romulan ship attempt to outthink and outmaneuver each other. In the process of doing so, they each realize that the other is a man of duty and honor.

It’s a notion that Trek would come back to again and again: that we are all, to some degree, creatures of circumstance. And that our enemies are often our enemies because of the walls we create. Continue reading

Happy Birthday, Bugs Bunny…Sort of.

I know what you’re going to say: “Wait a minute!  I thought Bugs Bunny’s birthday was in July!” To which I will respond, “It is…well, sort of.”

Yes, Bugs Bunny’s first starring role was in the short “A Wild Hare,” which debuted on July 27, 1940.  However, Bugs was first in a Porky Pig cartoon called “Porky’s Hare Hunt,” and this cartoon premiered on April 30, 1938.  So what happened between April 1938 and July 1940?  Where did our rascally rabbit go?  How did he get his big break? And what launched him into superstardom?

Here are ten facts about Bugs Bunny that shed light on these questions and so much more.

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Source: Deviantart.com

1. On April 17, 1937, Warner Bros. released a cartoon entitled “Porky’s Duck Hunt,” which introduced the world to Daffy Duck. The cartoon was a success, so the next year when the studio was pushing for another cartoon, director Bob Clampett decided to recycle some of the jokes that hadn’t made it into “Porky’s Duck Hunt” with the suggestion that they “dress the duck in a rabbit suit,” “Porky’s Hare Hunt” was born, and so was Bugs Bunny. Continue reading

Ending on a High Note: Celebrating 15 Seasons of American Idol

1000px-American_Idol_logo.svg.pngIn the summer of 2002, I was in high school, rocking spiky hair and a puka shell necklace while playing Snake on my lightning bolt face-plated Nokia 5110. Little did I know, FOX was about to change the face of American television, pop culture and the music industry. As a small-town girl from Burleson, Texas took the stage in front of the entire nation, a star was born, along with a franchise. This…was American Idol. And I was hooked.

On Thursday night, the confetti will rain down for the final time at the Dolby (formerly Kodak) Theatre. One talented singer will live on in history as the “bookend to Kelly Clarkson.” As a loyal fan throughout all 15 seasons, I must say that Idol’s departure leaves me with mixed emotions. Whether you’re an Idol super fan like me (I might have attended the Season 5 American Idols LIVE! tour) or you tuned out years ago, it’s hard to deny the impact this show has made. So, let’s take a look back at Idol’s legacy. Kieran, dim the lights, here we go… Continue reading

So Human: Remembering Leonard Nimoy

Most people who get to know me – and all of my nerdy obsessions – are surprised to hear that I’ve never been to a sci-fi convention. One of the reasons why is because I’ve never had an interest in meeting the people who gave life to my childhood heroes. I avoid following celebrities on social media or reading behind-the-scenes gossip for the same reason: to keep art separate from the artist, to avoid knowing that these people are just as flawed and human as the rest of us.

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I regret, though, never meeting Leonard Nimoy, despite having several opportunities to see him in person. If I had met him, I would’ve only taken a few seconds of his time. No autographs, no pictures, no questions – just an opportunity to say “Thanks for everything” and be on my way.

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