Amanda Gates
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A Musings - June 2012

Hi! Sorry! I've been absent, I would say, for two reasons. One, I've been in a book funk and haven't had any good books to share with you. Has that ever happened to you? It drives me nuts, but I'm reading something good now! Two, we got the major sick in our house last week. So, unless you wanted a post that said, "Friday, I'm in Love with DayQuil," I had nothing good to say.

But, enough of that!

RIP Nora Ephron: I don't know how many times I've seen Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail and When Harry Met Sally. A whole bunch. So, when my husband told me the other night Nora Ephron passed away, I literally lost my breath. So sad. (BTW, I hate cancer.) I soaked up all the tributes out there, including one from Minnesota Monthly. Plus, I re-read Ephron's hilarious article on boobs (which has since been taken down by request of her estate). What a lady.

Sorkinisms - Supercut: Anyone who knows me knows that I love pretty much anything Sorkin. Sports Night, West Wing, Studio 60 (I still miss you). I loathe that The Newsroom is on HBO, which I don't have. But, 'you bet your ass' I can also appreciate this HILARIOUS video of the favorite phrases that he uses over and over (and apparently in commencement addresses). As a writer I understand how we all have our turns of phrase that we use, our own little tics. So, it's funny to see them all mashed together. But I still love every bit of it.

Stop the Snark: Because of a series of circumstances, I've found I've become a bit snarky. Sometimes my snark can bring some big laughs, but I'm starting to think I should tone it down. So, this article hit home a bit and provides some good ammunition for stopping the snark.

Total Recall trailer: I never saw the original movie, but my husband has so I watched this new trailer with him in mind. And I was surprised when I actually thought it looked like a good movie. Who knew? (It's no Batman. 22 DAYS.)

What are you loving this week? I need some more things to love!

Posted: Fri, 06/29/2012 - 09:04 |

Food Network Star: My husband and I got hooked on this show last summer. It's just the right amount of reality ridiculouness and TV smarts. I like hearing from the network's marketing and production VIPs about what they're looking for in a star. It also makes you really appreciate the hard work it takes to film a segment of say, Diners, Drive-ins & Dives. This year they changed it up by having Bobby, Giada and Alton mentor teams instead of judging. And I really like this concept. While I liked Alton Brown before, I just love him now. He's so witty, a snappy dresser and oh so smart.

The other thing we learned in last week's episode was that both Alton and Giada were not the popular kids in school. Giada was an immigrant "who talked funny and brought weird food for lunch," while Alton was overweight. They were bullied. And look where they are now! The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth indeed.

Green Day trailer: How many years has it been since 21 Guns? Three. So, it's exciting to get a taste of what's to come with the band's new trilogy of albums, Uno, Dos & Tre.

Goodbye CSI Miami: I had to giggle at this spoof of Candle in the Wind, which takes a moment to mourn the cancellation of CSI Miami. I think we could've seen a few more clips of Horatio and his sunglasses (was he a scientist? was he a cop? NYPD Blue in a lab coat?), but the lyrics are pretty hilarious. I can't believe that show was on for 10 years.

Smashing Pumpkins: And just for my husband, I'm going to mention the Pumpkins' latest, Oceania. It comes out Tuesday, but was streaming on iTunes earlier this week. It's been getting rave reviews, and it's definitely what my husband is loving this week. (He wouldn't call it "the best," but it's up there, he says.)

Your turn!

Posted: Fri, 06/15/2012 - 08:42 | Comments: 2

Only a couple entries today. Not that I don't love things, but it was a busy week and I didn't discover as much. Also, I'm in a reading funk, so I've been choosing to play games on my phone over reading lately. I hope to find a good book soon. Any suggestions?

We Only Think We Know the Truth About Salt: I liked this article and I'm not sure why. Maybe just because I like when people discover that Things We Know Are True in fact may actually not be true.

Honest Toddler: My friend Erin introduced me to Honest Toddler and it's hilarious. Tweets like: "Toddler Tip: It's never too early for a tantrum. Rage against the machine (mommy)" and "If she's not smelling my head, she's scratching/inspecting it, pulling knots apart or picking out lint. Contemplating a restraining order." And there's a blog! I could die, some of these posts are so funny and true. The latest one on Potty Training Mommy left me in tears (of laughter and shame, I suppose).

10 Rules for Writing Fiction: This is an older article, but I only just discovered it from a tweet the other day. A bunch of authors give their tips for writing fiction. I love this kind of stuff. There are the rules that everyone says: Read your work out loud; Never use adverbs; Schedule time to write; Ask a friend to read it; Don't use a computer with Internet! (I like how some of the authors are old-school, still using pens and paper. Internet? Why is that even a factor?) Some rules contradcit each other like, Read All the Time vs. Never Read Fiction Ever. Here are some helpful and funny rules I loved:

"Writing is work. It's also gambling. You don't get a pension plan. Other people can help you a bit, but ­essentially you're on your own. ­Nobody is making you do this: you chose it, so don't whine." Margaret Atwood

"Do keep a thesaurus, but in the shed at the back of the garden or behind the fridge, somewhere that demands travel or effort. Chances are the words that come into your head will do fine, eg "horse", "ran", "said"." Roddy Doyle

"Remember you love writing. It wouldn't be worth it if you didn't. If the love fades, do what you need to and get it back. Remember writing doesn't love you. It doesn't care. Nevertheless, it can behave with remarkable generosity. Speak well of it, encourage others, pass it on." Al Kennedy

"Write a book you'd like to read. If you wouldn't read it, why would anybody else? Don't write for a perceived audience or market. It may well have vanished by the time your book's ready." Hilary Mantel

"Keep a light, hopeful heart. But ­expect the worst." Joyce Carol Oates

"The writing life is essentially one of solitary confinement – if you can't deal with this you needn't apply." Will Self

Your turn!


Posted: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 09:57 | Comments: 2

7 Little Words: This is one of my favorite games on my phone. It's the perfect bus game, especially when I'm not inspired to read. I'm getting fairly good at it, surprising myself when I can get through three or four levels on my 15-minute commute home. (And I never cheat, I swear.)

Summit Pilsener: My husband loves Summit. Actually "love" isn't a strong enough word. However, he gets EPA or the new Saga and those are just too strong for me. I'd accepted the fact that I wouldn't be able to share this love with him. Until he brought home the Pilsener. It's my new favorite beer. Sorry Stella.

Live Lip-Dub Proposal: It's been out there for about a week, so you've probably already seen it. But, go ahead and watch it again. What planning. What commitment. What fun. I love this kind of stuff -- renews my faith in humanity and love for one another. ::sniff::

If Magazine Covers Told the Truth: It's racy, but I loved this post beacause 1) its fake headlines depict all the reasons I hate women's magazines, and 2) cover-design stuff like "Hey look, A Circle" and business stuff like "285 pages of ads" hits just close enough to home it's pretty darn hilarious.

Your turn!

Posted: Fri, 06/01/2012 - 08:58 | Comments: 2