Continuing with the August blogging challenge. I’m doing Sunday’s topic today since I’ll have a different regularly scheduled blog post that day. Today’s scheduled topic was supposed to be a regret, but I honestly don’t have any big regrets and my small regrets aren’t all that interesting (except maybe one I’ll mention below, which ties in to one of my earliest memories).
I was born in 1972 and my earliest memories date from 1976, when I was four. I have some vague recollections of celebrations of the Bicentennial but I can’t remember anything concrete of that. I do however remember seeing the 1976 “King Kong” re-make. The funny thing is that my one clear memory from it was that I was excited to go to the movies because I could get the Reese’s peanut butter cups candy that had THREE of the cups instead of the regular two. But I do remember liking the movie. (I’m at least a second generation monster movie fan – see previous blog post on guilty pleasures and cheesy Sci-Fi movies – although I have a suspicion that my mom got it from her father, so I’m probably the third generation.) Because of that movie, I wanted to visit New York to see the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, which Kong climbed in that version. I also wanted to visit New York at that age because that’s where Sesame Street is, but that’s another story. And that’s where my regret mentioned above comes in – I didn’t managed to visit New York until 2006, after it was too late to see the Towers. At least I did get to visit the famous landmark that other on-screen versions of Kong have climbed, the Empire State Building.
My other memory that I think dates from 1976 as well was visiting my grandmother’s classroom for her retirement party. I mostly remember that because her students spoiled me rotten with attention (and I vaguely remember cake being involved) and it being decorated with a bunch of red, white, and blue things.
So, they aren’t the most exciting early memories, but they are happy ones.
Next in the blog challenge – a favorite quote. I actually have lots of quotes that I like for various reasons (and to use in various situations), but this has always been a favorite of mine and many others who are fans of earth and space exploration:
“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
There are MANY science quotes that I love – pretty much anything written by Carl Sagan is quotable, for example. But another I would add is actually a song lyric:
“I am made from the dust of the stars
and the oceans flow in my veins.”
It comes from the song “Presto” on the album of the same name by the band Rush. I became a fan in college (thanks to my college boyfriend, who was an uberfan) and I have always loved this particular line.
I wish I could sing really well. I was in choir in elementary school and I was decent enough at holding a note that the music teacher would put the new people next to me, but I didn’t continue with it in junior high and beyond, opting for band instead (I played clarinet for those who are curious). So now my singing is limited to the shower and car where only I can hear it.
This one was hard for me because I’m lucky to have a lot of treasured memories (in part because I have a sponge for a brain, so I just flat out have A LOT of memories). But I decided to choose one… well, a set of memories more precisely… that is related to the topic of the blog – my first trip to the UK (England and Wales only on that trip, Scotland came 2 years later). Since it was my first trip I crammed in as much as I could and tried to visit as many of the places that I *had* to see in case I never got back (since I didn’t know at the time that I would visit the UK two more times over the next five years). I don’t think I could single out just one memory from that trip because it was all so special for me. Really the same could be said for *all* my various trips outside of Texas – and some in Texas – but that first one to the UK is particularly treasured.
For today’s post for Natalie’s August blog challenge, I’m following her suggestion and posting 5 things about me that most people don’t know. And this is aimed at people who know me through Tudor history stuff… people who know me through other areas often don’t know about my Tudor history side.
* My degree is in astronomy and I still work in the field doing education and public outreach. (I think a lot of people probably do know this since I do mention it from time to time, but I thought I would include it for new folks who stumble on the site during the blog challenge.)
* I’m a native Texan and still a current resident – south Texas to Houston to Austin (since 1980), to be precise. I included this because I’m still getting emails and tweets from people who assume I’m in the UK. (I wish! August in Texas is one of my least favorite things.)
* I collect Pez dispensers. And I would LOVE to see them make a collector’s set of Henry VIII and the Wives. Although the heads flipping up on two of them might be a little too close to historical accuracy…
* My all-time favorite genre of music is movie and television scores. It started with “Star Wars” in 1977 when I was 5 years old and I’ve never looked back.
* I’m a pretty big sports fan, with my favorites being baseball, tennis, college football, and pretty much anything in the Olympics. I’m one of those people who will watch the wall-to-wall Olympic coverage when it’s on, regardless of what sport is on or the nationality of the athletes!
Natalie at On the Tudor Trail issued a challenge on her personal blog to write a post every day in August and I’ve decided to take up that challenge! I’m going to do a mix of her suggested schedule and my own posts (in part because I already do a regular Wednesday and mostly-regular Sunday post) and because I want to use this as an opportunity to write about a few other things that I’ve been meaning to post for a while. I’m hoping this challenge will give me the kick it the rear-end that I need!
Leanda de Lisle’s latest work on the Tudors is out at the end of August in the UK and will be out in early October in the US. It’s titled Tudor: The Family Story in the UK and Tudor: Passion. Manipulation. Murder. The Story of England’s Most Notorious Royal Family in the US.
Linda Porter has a new book out this month as well, this time about Mary Queen of Scots. The release date is August 15 in the UK and I have (so far) been unable to find info on a US release date.
* Shakespeare and London, an exhibition by the London Metropolitan Archives, opened in May and will run through September 26, 2013. One of the highlights of the exhibition is a 1613 deed signed by Shakespeare and is one of only six known examples of his signature. If you want to be sure to see that item, please check the website since it is only on display for some of the dates the exhibition runs.
We seem to be into the slow news part of the summer, but a few things of interest did show up last week.
I also want to mention that I’ve been moving some files around and (hopefully) updating all the internal links to reflect the new locations, but if you find a broken link please let me know. And I’ve been making some changes to the front page – I’ve removed a few things and moved a few other things around. It’s still a work in progress as I’m trying to consolidate some of the sections as part of a cunning plan (yes, I’ve been re-watching Blackadder recently, why do you ask?)
And now, on to the news!
* Suzannah Lipscomb did a short film for the Chalke Valley History Hub on Why the Tudors Matter:
And speaking of Leanda de Lisle, her husband Peter has updated and re-launched his European Heraldry site. As an example of the great graphics on the site, the arms of Henry VII are included below (click for a larger view).
As the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden approaches in September, a new book is being released on July 4th in the UK and in late August in the US. I have an advanced copy of Fatal Rivalry but unfortunately, like with so many books, I haven’t had a chance to read it yet! I might be able to get to it before the actual anniversary of the battle though.
And Elizabeth Norton has another Tudor book coming out – this time about the Boleyn Women. It is listed for the 28th of July in the UK and just July for the US (with a one to three month delivery, it might just be the UK copy sent over if you order from the US Amazon store.)
Shakespeare and London, an exhibition by the London Metropolitan Archives, opened in May and will run through September 26, 2013. One of the highlights of the exhibition is a 1613 deed signed by Shakespeare and is one of only six known examples of his signature. If you want to be sure to see that item, please check the website since it is only on display for some of the dates the exhibition runs.
Secrets of Henry VIII’s Palace is airing on the US PBS network in some markets tonight, but check your listings for your area if it isn’t showing on Sunday. Apologies if the preview below is only viewable in the US: