Friday, February 13, 2015

Email Can Take You Down

At one time, if we wanted to gossip about people, we gathered our friends together and had a good-ole gabfest.

Today when we gossip, there's often a paper trail. Or at least an electronic trail.

We think if we text or email or instant message our secrets to our closest friends, they'll never tell anyone. What we don't realize is they don't have to tell anyone. As we learned from the recent Sony hackings, the things you send go through servers that could, at any point, be infiltrated.

(Not to mention the fact that your friend's phone could easily end up in someone else's hands...)

Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal had a bad, bad December when emails she'd written about top celebrities were leaked by hackers. She called Angelina Jolie a "minimally-talented spoiled brat" and made racist comments about the President of the United States. All comments sent through email to a colleague. Now the world knows every word she wrote.

I'm sure we've all sent emails, texts, or instant messages to someone about someone. I'm sure we assumed they'd never be read. But even if a group of hackers doesn't infiltrate a bunch of servers and leak them, how sure are you that the information you put in writing will never be seen by the person you're writing about?

Remember, Amy Pascal was pretty sure...and now she's no longer with Sony Pictures.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Hey, That's Not the Dawson's Creek Theme!

Services like Netflix and Hulu have given us the ability to binge watch shows dating back as far as 60 years ago. There's something comforting about re-watching a show you haven't seen since you were in middle school...high

There's just one problem with watching these shows when you were around to see them the first time. You realize after a few episodes that there's something really, really off about the music.

"I don't remember the music on Melrose Place being this bad." (Actual words I thought to myself just last week.)

A little research tells you there's a reason these shows have horrid music. When these shows aired the first time, the networks paid big bucks for the rights to some of the hottest songs on the radio at the time. Fast forward to the day they're putting together the DVD and, guess what? Nobody wants to pony up a million bucks or whatever for the rights to the original Dawson's Creek theme song.

Yes, you read that right. The Paula Cole song that everyone who was alive in 1998 still firmly associates with that show has now been switched from the above song to this:

When the show was streaming on Netflix (it's gone now), that opening theme bugged the mess out of me with every single episode. It was just all kinds of wrong. Interestingly, though, when the opening credits were shot, the producers planned to use Alanis Morissette's Hand in My Pocket, but apparently the rights were a little too pricey. Just a bit of trivia for you! Run Like Mad was recorded to replace it but at the last minute, they switched it with the Paula Cole song. The decades-long theme song drama is detailed in this 2012 article.

Fans were also apparently outraged that Dawson's Creek also replaced another landmark song. Does anyone remember the scene where Kiss the Rain was played? The music has been replaced on the DVD, but the original scene was on YouTube.

One of the worst cases of music replacement I've seen is on MTV's The Real World, which streams on Hulu Plus. I rewatched the first few seasons for nostalgia sake You don't even know what the original music was. You just know it couldn't possibly have been as bad as what you're hearing!

Although can anything be worse than watching the scene where Brenda breaks up with Dylan on Beverly Hills 90210 without hearing this song? Yes, they replaced R.E.M.'s Losing My Religion. This scene (song included) was the summer of 1991 for anyone who was reasonably young at that time!

Do you ever binge watch TV shows from your childhood? Have you ever noticed the music was different?

Monday, February 09, 2015

This World Bites Blog Tour

Today I'm participating in Loni Townsend's This World Bites blog tour. She joins us with a helpful guest blog titled "Am I Funny?"

Am I funny?

by Loni Townsend

Thank you for having me on your blog, Stephanie! 

The thing I love best about Stephanie's blog is that she always delivers pertinent topics with a dose of humor. So many times, I visit her blog and crack up laughing. She'll find music videos that are over the top or memes that express sentiments with wonderful class. 

It seems like she's funny without effort.

While writing This World Bites, I constantly asked myself, "Am I funny?" I know I've read things by other people that are intended to be funny, but when I read it, I didn't laugh. Did I just not get it? Or was it a bad delivery? The written word has no inflection to help interpretation. 

Humor is subjective, and not everyone appreciates my twisted take on it. 

I debated over marking This World Bites as humor. What if people didn't think it was funny? Would it ruin my ratings if I marked it as humor and no one laughed?

I decided to trust my critique partners and beta readers. They laughed. So that must mean I'm funny, right?

Do you write humor? Do you ever fear that you're not funny? Have you come across any humor pieces that aren't as funny as they should've been?


It's her first day on a new world and Cera's already found trouble. Michael, her guardian, has been bitten by a zombie and will soon join the undead ranks.

Everyone tells her there's no cure, but Cera isn't one to be deterred. She's willing to face off with zombie hordes, demon slavers, and black market informants if it means she'll find a cure for Michael. But she's not the only one hunting for something.

Something is hunting her.


Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

By day, she writes code. By predawn darkness, she writes fantasies. All other times, she writes in her head.

People call her peculiar with a twisted sense of fashion, but don't let those understatements fool you. Her behavior is perfectly normal for a squirrel disguised as a human. That's part of being a ninja--blending in.

She makes her home in Idaho with her sadistically clever yet often thwarted husband, two frighteningly brilliant children, and three sneaky little shibas.

Find her on her blog or social media.

Contact info:

Blog | Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Congratulations to the winners of my giveaway. They are:

a Rafflecopter giveaway