Commentary #83: “Sunny Days on ‘Sesame Street'”

Sesame Street

Image Credit: The Wrap

My dad sent this hot link to me in an email recently, with the exclamation of “Big Bird!”


A little background on Big Bird first. Big Bird has been one of my favorite characters for as long as I can remember. I had such love for “Sesame Street” as a child, and I still do as an adult.

Seeing Big Bird in the video with Jane Pauley made my heart soar and brought a huge smile to my face. And, if we’re being completely honest, it made me tear up a bit, too. Big Bird has brought such joy to my life. And he’s been a part of a wonderful show that is celebrating it’s 50th season in 2019!

Big Bird said that Sesame Street “is the kindest place, where everyone’s welcome.”

I had three stuffed versions of Big Bird as a kid – A small one, a medium one, and a big one with a pull string where he talked. There are many photos that feature a version of him from my childhood. He was definitely a “lovey” for me.

I recently shared this throwback photo on Facebook. This is framed in my parents’ house. We went on two cruises as a family with my dad’s parents. This was on “The Big Red Boat” in the mid-1990s, when we went to Cozumel and Cancun. You can see my dad holding my big Big Bird at the bottom.

I also wrote a comparison-contract research paper on the educational effectiveness of Sesame Street versus Barney & Friends in my first college English class in the fall of 2007. One of my friends who was in that class, Adam, mentioned it recently when we reconnected via Facebook. It was so cool! I need to see it I still have it in my files. I know I used the book Sesame Street Unpaved: Scripts, Stories, Secrets and Songs (1998) as a reference source.

Sesame Street Characters

Image Credit: Celebrity Access

Started by TV producer Joan Ganz Cooney and Carnegie Corporation executive Lloyd Morrisett, Sesame Street is truly a cultural revolution. It’s now broadcast in 150 countries around the world.

CEO of Sesame Street, Jeff Dunn, said, “Our co-founders had the wonderful idea, ‘Could you use the power of television to help teach less advantaged kids and get them ready for school?’ And what they knew was that kids who arrived to kindergarten knowing their ABCs and their 123s, were ahead of kids that didn’t. So, if we could figure out a way to help kids arrive at school ready to learn, that would be a big contribution.”

Don't Eat the Pictures: Sesame Street at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1983)

Don’t Eat the Pictures (1983) was one of my favorite Sesame Street videos growing up. Image Credit: IMDb

Image result for there's a monster at the end of this book

The cover of The Monster at the End of this Book: Starring Lovable, Furry Old Grover (1971). This is one of my favorite Sesame Street books! Image Credit: Wikipedia

They partnered with Jim Henson and his Muppets. It’s true – Kids are captivated by Muppets. I know I was, and I still am. If you see my Facebook page, I regularly share things related to Kermit The Frog, Miss Piggy, Beaker, Cookie Monster, and Big Bird, of course.

Image result for muppet videos lip sync

Image Credit: Muppets Wiki

Sesame Street Poster

Image Credit: IMDb

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Sesame Street is producing a new TV special and embarking on a 10-city tour. Also, a Manhattan street will be named after it.

Now four years into its five-year-deal with HBO, Sesame Street has had quite a history. It’s home for decades was PBS, which I watched exclusively during my childhood (See Commentary #44: My Life as a PBS Kid from October 2016). In addition, Sesame Workshop signed a deal with Apple last year – The financial terms were not disclosed, by the way – to have “multiple live-action and animated series as well as a new puppet show for its planned video service.” Also, PBS still airs new episodes, but the deal with HBO stipulates new episodes are aired nine months after their original release on HBO and their HBO Now on-demand library.

There have been more than 4,500 episodes! It’s YouTube channel boasts more than five million subscribers. That’s incredible! Roughly 80 percent of parents watch Sesame Street with their children. I know my parents did.


Resources


Do you have a favorite Sesame Street character?

Do you have a favorite Muppet?

Did you watch Sesame Street growing up?

Let me know in the comments!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #158: February Goals

BeautyBeyondBones

Image Credit: BeautyBeyondBones

Welcome to February! It’s Valentine’s month!


Here are my goals for the month of February:

  1. Order my new glasses.
  2. Donate blood.
  3. Finally finish the first draft of my 2012 WIP!
  4. Make journaling a daily habit / practice.
  5. Create my own media kit.
  6. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Al.
  7. Take unused / unwanted clothes to Clothes Mentor.
  8. Write more Commentary posts.
  9. Celebrate Drew’s 30th birthday!
  10. Take unwanted / duplicate American Girl items to Once Upon A Child.

Here’s the breakdown:

Order my new glasses.

  • I’m excited to get my first pair from Warby Parker!

Donate blood.

  • The next blood drive is Saturday, February 2nd.
  • If you are able, please donate when you can. The horrible winter weather in the U.S. has cancelled so many blood drives!

Finally finish the first draft of my 2012 WIP!

  • I’ve been jotting down a few ideas since the beginning of the year, and I feel confident that I will finish the story this month!

Make journaling a daily habit / practice.

  • I’ve journaled on and off for years, and I really want to get back into it. I just bought a beautiful notebook at Target, and I can’t wait to fill it up!
  • This goal was partially inspired by author Kristen Martin talking about her journaling practice on her podcast, “That Smart Hustle.”

Create my own media kit.

  • Inspired by Brianna Marie Lifestyle’s recent post, I want to make this happen!

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Al.

  • We haven’t even talked about Valentine’s Day yet!

Take unused / unwanted clothes to Clothes Mentor.

  • I have a huge pile of clothes that don’t meet Darby’s current consignment guidelines. There’s a Clothes Mentor location near my house, so I want to see if they will take them.

Write more Commentary posts.

  • I have several ideas for Commentary posts. I just need to write and schedule them.

Celebrate Drew’s 30th birthday!

  • Drew is one of my good friends from college. We’ve been invited to his 30th birthday bash this month. We can’t wait to celebrate! It’s been more than two years since we’ve seen him.

Take unwanted / duplicate American Girl items to Once Upon A Child.

  • In the same vein as Clothes Mentor, I want to take the big box of American Girl items to the new Once Upon A Child location and see if they will take them. Consignment is fun!

Do you have any goals for the month of February?

If so, I’d love to hear about them!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #157: January Goals Recap

beautybeyondbones 29

Image Credit: BeautyBeyondBones

January was a very busy month! I can’t believe we’re a full month into 2019!

Here’s the link to my January Goals post:

Ready?

Here we go!


  1. Help Al maintain our new and improved budget spreadsheet. — Accomplished!
  2. Check out savings and investing apps. — Accomplished!
  3. Clear the clutter in my Lady Lounge. — Semi-Achieved.
  4. Donate, donate, donate. — Accomplished!
  5. Continue work on my 2013 WIP. — Semi-Achieved.
  6. Reset our cleaning schedule. — Accomplished!
  7. Get back on track with The ABC Book Challenge posts. — Accomplished!

Here’s the breakdown:

Help Al maintain our new and improved budget spreadsheet. — Accomplished!

  • Al created a Google Doc, and we take turns editing it!

Check out savings and investing apps. — Accomplished!

  • I downloaded ibotta!
  • I’m still researching Robin Hood, but I like what I see.

Clear the clutter in my Lady Lounge. — Semi-Achieved.

  • I’m getting there, piece by piece. I’ve worked on it as much as I could this month, and I’ve been better about separating things to recycle, trash, and shred.

Donate, donate, donate. — Accomplished!

  • I made a couple of trips! I think I cleared out six boxes full of stuff!
  • I also sent a box of clothes to Darby for consignment.
  • Up next: Taking clothes to Clothes Mentor!

Continue work on my 2013 WIP. — Semi-Achieved.

  • I only wrote about 200 new words, but I also decided to change the overall POV.

Reset our cleaning schedule. — Accomplished!

  • The calendar is back on track now. And I’m less stressed!

Get back on track with The ABC Book Challenge posts. — Accomplished!

  • I posted every Monday in January!
  • Look for another post on Monday!

Final Thoughts

  • I was able to put Accomplished next to five out of seven goals!
  • The two goals that were Semi-Achieved: These were directly related to time and effort.

What about you? Did you have any goals for the month of January?

Come back tomorrow to see my February Goals!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #155: “North Island, New Zealand” (Reblogged)

I think I’ve mentioned before how much I love lighthouses. I’ve had the opportunity to visit and climb several of them on the East Coast – Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia. One of my dreams is to visit every lighthouse in the United States, and climb as many as I can. That’s no small feat!

For Christmas 2017, my sister-in-law Savy bought me this incredible book, Lighthouses of America. I love it! I plan to review it here on the blog soon.

For now, though, I’ll be admiring this photo of North Island in New Zealand. And thinking about the next lighthouse in my vicinity that I can visit and climb.

Do you like lighthouses? Where do you dream of traveling and exploring?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Just Wunderlust

North Island, New Zealand

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Getting Personal #154: January Goals

Happy New Year!!


Here are my goals for the month of January:

  1. Help Al maintain our new and improved budget spreadsheet.
  2. Check out savings and investing apps.
  3. Clear the clutter in my Lady Lounge.
  4. Donate, donate, donate.
  5. Continue work on my 2013 WIP.
  6. Reset our cleaning schedule.
  7. Get back on track with The ABC Book Challenge posts.

Here’s the breakdown:

Help Al maintain our new and improved budget spreadsheet.

  • We decided to start a Google Doc that has all of our budget items for 2019. Hopefully, this will be much more manageable and less frustrating!

Check out savings and investing apps.

  • Since I listen to a lot of podcasts, there are always advertisements. I’ve heard about Robin Hood, an investing app. I don’t know if I’ll commit to it, but I want to check it out.
  • One app that our sister-in-law loves and swears by is ibotta.

Clear the clutter in my Lady Lounge.

  • I started recently – I spent nearly two hours in there last Saturday afternoon. I filled four donation boxes, finally organized my bookshelf, replaced the light bulbs in the ceiling fan fixture, filled a trash bag completely, and cut up at least 10 various-sized boxes for recycling.
  • Next weekend – I want to concentrate on the filing system.

Donate, donate, donate.

  • I’m long overdue to make a few trips to the thrift store and the library.

Continue work on my 2013 WIP.

  • Current word count: 14,247 words.
  • My rough goal is to reach at least 17,000 words before the end of January.

Reset our cleaning schedule.

  • I started using our wall calendar to mark what area of the house needed cleaning every weekend. This was a good system for us, since we typically divide and conquer the cleaning together. Just need to get back to it.

Get back on track with The ABC Book Challenge posts.

  • My original plan was to post these every Monday, but it’s fallen by the wayside recently. However, I’m committed to posting one every Monday in January!

Do you have any goals for the month of January?

If so, I’d love to hear about them!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #153: December Goals Recap

New Year Ahead

Image Credit: First Baptist Church

It’s the end of 2018! Wow!!

Here’s the link to my December Goals post:

Ready?

Here we go!


  1. Finally reach at least 50,000 words for my 2012 WIP. — Accomplished!
  2. Finally send my 2012 WIP to my best friend for the first round of editing. — Did not accomplish.
  3. Make an outline for the remainder of my 2013 WIP. — Did not accomplish.
  4. Start planning next steps for my 2014 and 2018 WIPs. — Accomplished!
  5. Decorate for Christmas. — Did not accomplish.
  6. Read at least three books. — Did not accomplish.
  7. Enjoy Al’s company holiday party. — Accomplished!
  8. Seriously send some snail mail! — Did not accomplish.
  9. Be a Secret Santa! — Accomplished!
  10. Take donations to the library and thrift store. — Did not accomplish.
  11. Make an “essentials only” spending list for 2019. — Accomplished!
  12. Enjoy Christmas and New Year’s! — Accomplished!

Here’s the breakdown:

Finally reach at least 50,000 words for my 2012 WIP. — Accomplished! 

  • December 8th: 606 new words
  • December 9th: 217 new words
  • December 30th: 620 new words
  • December 31st: 2,372 new words
  • Current word count: 50,461 words
  • I’M SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!
  • I DID IT!!!!!

Finally send my 2012 WIP to my best friend for the first round of editing. — Did not accomplish.

  • I haven’t finished the story yet.

Make an outline for the remainder of my 2013 WIP. — Did not accomplish.

  • This was put on the back burner.

Start planning next steps for my 2014 and 2018 WIPs. — Accomplished!

  • I have a timeline established for these two. I want to use Camp NaNoWriMo in April to work on the 2014 WIP, and then the July session to focus on the 2018 WIP.

Decorate for Christmas. — Did not accomplish.

  • Since we didn’t celebrate at home this year, we decided that the tree wasn’t necessary.
  • I wanted to put up the wreath on our front door with battery-operated Christmas lights and Christmas ribbon, but that didn’t happen.

Read at least three books. — Did not accomplish.

Enjoy Al’s company holiday party. — Accomplished!

  • We had ourselves a good time!

Seriously send some snail mail! — Did not accomplish.

  • No effort at all.

Be a Secret Santa! — Accomplished!

  • See the photos below!

Take donations to the library and thrift store. — Did not accomplish.

  • The boxes are stacked and ready, but they didn’t make it to their destinations this month.

Make an “essentials only” spending list for 2019. — Accomplished!

  • Here’s my list: A new pair of glasses, a new pair of prescription sunglasses, my first pair of Rothy’s shoes, continuing Rodan and Fields skincare, and a new business suit.
  • A good chunk of the rest of my money will be squirreled away!

Enjoy Christmas and New Year’s! — Accomplished!

  • We had a wonderful time at Al’s parents for Christmas. We took almost a week off of work, and it was great. Al had nearly two weeks off altogether.
  • No New Year’s parties for us – Just a quiet night at home with our dogs, a delicious dinner, and watching movies until midnight, with Martinelli’s sparkling cider.

Final Thoughts

  • I was able to put Accomplished next to six out of 12 goals. I’ll take 50 percent. Not bad for the end of the year!
  • The six goals that I did not accomplish: A lot of these were due to time constraints, and lack of motivation and effort.

What about you? Did you have any goals for the month of December?

Come back tomorrow to see my January Goals!

Happy New Year!!


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂

Getting Personal #152: My Favorite Things of 2018

Favorite Things - Quote Master

Image Credit: Quote Master

I’ve seen several blog posts like this pop up in the last week or so. I wanted to do my own!

Also, I wanted to capture how many books I actually read in 2018. Several blog posts mentioned this, and I wanted to tally mine. One young lady read 110 books this year. That’s incredible!

So, before starting the lists of favorites, here’s my tally for books and Book Reviews for 2018:

Ratings Tally

  • 5 stars: 2
  • 4 1/2 stars: 8
  • 4 stars: 5
  • 3 1/2 stars: 1
  • 3 stars: 1
  • 2 1/2 stars: 0
  • 2 stars: 0
  • 1 1/2 stars: 0
  • 1 star: 0

ARC Reviews (First year ever!)

I really enjoyed reading these two books. I hope to read more ARCs in 2019!


Now, on to my favorites!

Favorite Books

Favorite Movies

  • Ant-Man and the Wasp
  • Aquaman
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Black Panther
  • Blockers
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Christopher Robin
  • First Man
  • Game Night
  • Incredibles 2
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
  • Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
  • Maze Runner: The Death Cure
  • Mission: Impossible – Fallout 
  • Ready Player One
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Favorite TV Shows

Favorite Podcasts

  • Assassinations (Parcast)
  • Conspiracy Theories (Parcast)
  • Female Criminals (Parcast)
  • Hostage (Parcast)
  • Kingpins (Parcast)
  • Small Town Dicks
  • The Adventure Zone – “Amnesty” (Maximum Fun)

Well, that wraps up my favorite things for 2018!

What about you? What were some of your favorite things of the year?


Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂