Saturday, June 20, 2015

AMA Answers #1

Here's my first set of answers to the questions from my AMA invitation :-)  Thanks for the questions, everyone!  If anyone still wants to ask some, I'm not done answering yet, so the microphone is still open, so to speak.

Tom asked: When you were growing up did your parents let you watch television?  If so, what were some of your favorite programs? 

I grew up in the '80s, and we were allowed to watch a few select shows on PBS.  I loved Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, Square One, Reading Rainbow, and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, though different ones in different stages of my childhood.  Every Saturday night, my brother and I would watch reruns of The Lawrence Welk Show to keep us out of Dad's earshot while he memorized his sermon.  And we watched every episode of Five Mile Creek over and over and over and over as a family.

Later on, when I was a teen, we watched a little more TV.  We started watching Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman in its third or fourth season.  We were allowed to watch all kinds of classic TV shows, though, especially The Andy Griffith Show and Star Trek and Combat! and I Love Lucy and Little House on the Prairie, and just about any western we could find.  This was the '90s, before DVDs, and we didn't have cable, so most of our watching was limited to things we recorded on VHS at my grandparents' house in the summer (they had cable!), whatever we could rent from the video store or library, and eventually the things show on a little start-up broadcast station, which is where we discovered Combat! when I was 14.

We couldn't watch TV any old time, though.  We watched things together as a family on Friday nights, and we watched DQMW on Saturday night with Mom.  Otherwise, the only TV or movie-watching we got to do was if we were too sick to do schoolwork.

Also what is the first movie you ever remember seeing? 

I have definite, early memories of watching The Sound of Music (1965), The Adventures of the Wilderness Family (1975), and Rocky II (1979).  I'm not at all sure which of those I saw first.  Those were all on video -- I know I saw a couple of movies in the theater earlier than that, but I don't have actual memories of watching them, I just know that I did.

Sarah asked: What is your favorite movie that you think most people underrate?

The Lone Ranger (2013).

(This is how I feel when people denigrate it.)

And least favorite that most people overrate?

The remake version of 3:10 to Yuma (2007).  The 1957 original is magnificent -- so tense and dramatic.  The remake is splashy and over-violent, and the ending didn't work for me at all.  (However!  Russell Crowe was thoroughly enjoyable, even if what his character did in the ending was nonsensical.)

(This is how I feel when people talk about how awesome the remake is,
especially when they say, "Oh, was there an old version too?")

Naomi Bennet asked: What's your current desktop background? 

What a fun question!  On our desktop computer it's a picture of my three kids on Easter Sunday :-)  On my laptop, which I use for the majority of my fiction writing, it's this:

What's the last movie you watched?

Robin Hood (2010).  The last anything at all that I watched, though, was the 2-part season finale of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which we finally watched last night.

What made you decide to blog in the first place?

The hubris of a recent college graduate who thought she had things to say that were worth sharing with the world :-)

More answers coming later!


  1. When I was little, we didn't watch that much movies - although I remember re-and-re-watching Little House episodes and the Jane Seymour version of 'Heidi'. :-)

    Oh my word, I love your desktop background a lot. :-)

    Thanks for answering my questions! :-)

    ~ Naomi

    1. Yeah, we didn't start watching lots of movies until I was 12, which was when we got our own VCR. Before that, we had to rent one from the video store, so that only happened on Friday nights. Even then, we just watched episodes of Five Mile Creek most of the time. Occasionally a movie -- I can remember seeing a handful of John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart movies, and some Disney things like Robin Hood and Winnie the Pooh. And the '50s Lone Ranger movie :-D

      My desktop background should probably say, "You should be writing instead of drooling over Luke Evans."

      Thanks for asking questions!

  2. Ooooohhh . . . Lawrence Welk! I LOVE that show!! Do you have any particular favorite singers/songs from the Welk show? I love Gail and Dick's version of "Tiny Bubbles" and I also really like "Jamaica Farewell" and, of course, Ken Delo's version of "The Surrey With the Fringe on Top." I'm sure I have other favorites but I can't remember them right now . . .

    1. Oh boy, do I ever have favorites! Bobby Burgess, Mary Lou Metzger, Sandi and Sally, Dick Dale, the Lennon Sisters, Lynn Anderson (I prefer her version of "These Boots are Made for Walkin'" over Nancy Sinatra's), Anacani, Jo-Ann Castle, Larry Hooper (especially that song about the auctioneer), and oh, that Steve Smith who was never any good at lip-synching, but oh so cute anyway. I always imagined that Nancy Drew's boyfriend Ned looked exactly like Steve Smith.

      My grandma grew up in North Dakota, not far from where Lawrence Welk grew up, and she used to tell us about going to local dances where he and his little band were the musicians!

    2. I love anything Larry Hooper does . . . especially "The Railroad Runs Through the Middle of the House." :)

    3. I remember that one too! I was always agog at how low he could sing. Didn't he do "Sixteen Tons" too?

    4. Yes! I actually don't remember him doing it, but I looked it up on YouTube and it's there, all right. Here's the link:

    5. I thought he did! Wow, what a voice. Thanks for the link :-)

  3. Good afternoon, Hamlette -
    Have you ever participated in English Country Dancing, attended a masquerade ball, or danced The Laendler? If so, might you paint a word picture of your experience?

    (I've been enjoying your blog immensely, by the way!)

    1. Thanks, Zoe! I'll add those questions to the list :-) Glad you've been enjoying my blog!

  4. Alright, I'm with you about 3:10 to Yuma. I haven't seen the original though, but I still wondered why the remake got such high praise. Just because of how serious it was and the ending, and how modern audiences don't expect that kind of thing? I guess if I'd seen the old one I'd know better. :P

    I'm probably one of those people who underrated The Lone Ranger though. I didn't hate it or anything, but I didn't particularly like anything about it either besides the Lone Ranger's character.

    That computer background is epic. Very motivational. :D

    1. Yeah, I have been frustrated by how many people were agog over the new 3:10. I find the sudden change of heart that Ben Wade has at the end to be highly unrealistic and out of character -- it would've worked for the character in the original, actually, but this Ben Wade is cold and detached and no way at all gonna do what he did. Didn't ring true for me at all, so that really bugs me.

      I 100% recommend the original. It's like western film noir. Much more of a psychological drama than a bang-bang-shoot-'em-up western. Fabulous character study, really.

      I know a lot of people didn't like The Lone Ranger, and I'm okay with that. What I'm not okay with is all the people who denigrate it as stupid or nonsensical or too silly or whatever.

      Isn't that the coolest photo! No idea where or what it's from -- probably some retro photo shoot or something (Luke Evans does a lot of photo shoots, it seems). But it's perfect for a computer background :-D

  5. DQMW was also staple watching at our house in my teenage years. Although I think my father sought the solitude of the kitchen with the newspaper when us girls watched it!

    And renting from the video store, we also did that often. Those were the days!

    1. My dad studied his sermon on Saturdays, so he never watched it with us either, hee.

      I miss video stores. I miss strolling through them, trying to settle on just one movie. I miss going there on Friday with my friends and getting 5 movies for $5 for the weekend when I was in college. I greatly enjoyed video stores, and always wished I could work in one.

  6. I know this comment is about 8 months late (!) but I stumbled upon this post when searching for something else and couldn't resist telling you how much I love the picture with the caption

    "This is how I feel when people talk about how awesome the remake is, especially when they say, "Oh, was there an old version too?"

    It sums up how I feel just about perfectly. :)

    1. Annie, yes! I don't know why they remade 3:10 to Yuma in the first place, I don't know why they messed with it when they did remake it, and I don't know why people are so fond of it. Sigh.


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