Dear Amanda,

Dear Amanda,
Was that book and movie review blog post really from you? I don't believe it.
It's About Damn Time

Dear Time,
Yes it was really me! I know it's been forever but hopefully you can forgive me. Work has been incredibly stressful and busy and I just needed to step away for a bit. This blog stopped being important. If I'm being completely honest, I thought about walking away. I felt like it didn't have a purpose or a coherent meaning or direction. Also I didn't have Internet in my apartment. But I do now! And I feel better about coming back to writing a little something every once in a while. So here I am.

Dear Amanda,
I thought I saw something about you getting a new TV.  Does this mean you're going to have a grownup apartment now?
Get It Together

Dear GIT,
That's true too! For my birthday earlier this month, my parents chipped in some money for me to put towards a TV even though my dad thinks it should go towards new tires. Yeah right dad. So yes I am on the quest for a new TV! All suggestions on brands, sizes, and best places to buy are welcomed and encouraged.

And yes, the TV is going to be a first step towards what I hope will be a new and improved apartment. I'm in makeover mode and I've been able to find some cheap, hopefully easy do-it-yourself projects that can help spruce things up a bit.

Dear Amanda,
Have you been looking at cooking websites too? I'm loving this new you!
Work It Girl

Well thanks Work It! Yes I'm going to be trying to learn how to cook too. I'm recently obsessed with the crock pot/slow cooker and not gonna lie, I may ask for a newer one for Christmas. I've found some great websites with some really easy recipes that I feel like I can't even screw up. This is part of the whole makeover thing I'm going for. It's time people.

Dear Amanda,
So which direction is the blog going to be taking? Does this mean no more celeb gossip updates or rants about the bikers in Davis?

Honestly Confused, I don't really know. I don't know how frequently I'll write or if there will be any kind of cohesive direction. I might give it a theme, I might keep doing what I'm doing. Maybe in a week or a month or six months from now I'm just over it. I honestly don't know. But I think that's what makes this blog my own. It'll be there for me to go back to when I need to and if it's time to move on, I'm sure it will understand. There's probably some big metaphor here for how the blog doesn't have a direction and neither do I in life or something. Well if that's the case, I'm doing just fine and so I bet this blog will do fine too.

Reviews, Glorious Reviews

Let's ease back into things with some book and movie reviews shall we?

I read Loving Frank by Nancy Horan back in August and I loved it.  The story is about the architect Frank Lloyd Wright - married with children - who takes on a job for the Cheney family, only to fall in love with Mamah Cheney - also married with children - and the two run off together. Despite the incredible scandal and headlines this created, the two remain together. The ending nearly brought me to tears.

There were two things I loved about this book (from what I remember). First, how the time period (the early 20th century) was all about thought, philosophy, art, painting... all of these beautiful intellectual things that I wish still existed today. And second is the independence Mamah showed throughout the entire book.  She was on a path to find herself - sometimes that was with Frank, sometimes that wasn't. But she needed to travel, to write, to study, to do whatever it is she felt in her heart would help her discover who she really was. I truly admired her passion for life and for the world around her and found myself wondering if I could be like that someday.

I highly recommend this book which is based loosely on Frank and Mamah's real life affair and ensuing relationship.

Otherwise, I've filled my time with other books that haven't required much thinking, namely by the author Nora Roberts. She is a pretty standard romance novelist and her books Blue Dahlia, Black Rose, and Red Lily did the trick. A little romance, a little mystery, a ghost - they're not anything I'd recommend (and frankly I'm slightly embarrassed to admit I spent like three hours one Saturday completely engrossed in one of them) but, like I said, fit the "I really need something mindless that isn't TV right now" bill.

Nora Roberts also writes a series of mysteries under the pen name J.D. Robb and I read the first one of these and it was pretty good. My best friend has read pretty much all of them and swears by them so I'll keep going to see what keeps happening to Lieutenant Eve Dallas.  The books are set in the future, but you can't really tell that right off the bat. This was the only gripe I had. I wish there had been more of a description of what had happened and how this futuristic world functioned, but instead it was just fragmented pieces here and there. Apparently though you get more of an idea of what happened (there was some kind of human uprising) and why as well as background of Dallas as the books continue.

Right now I'm starting The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and this book is fantastic so far. It's a young adult book which kind of surprises me because the premise is that each year the Capitol randomly selects teenagers between the ages of 12 and 18 to compete literally to the death in a live televised match. But I'm really hooked in to this one and will most likely finish it tonight.

I have internet again in my apartment - hooray! - so I've been streaming on Netflix a lot more and am working my way through 30 Rock which is hysterical. I've also been working through Gossip Girl and that show is pretty good too. I've had the DVD of The King's Speech for close to two months, but need to just return it. I can't bring myself to watch it on my terrible TV.  Good thing my parents are kicking in some cash so I can go out and buy a new one! More on that later.

I swear I've been doing more than just reading and watching movies. But we'll hear all about that in my next post...