Thursday, November 02, 2017

AMA Answers #2: Elanor, Maddy, and Claire

Time for the second set of AMA answers!  Once again, there's a short vlog at the end of this post in which I answer one question from each of these participants.

And again, if you haven't had a chance to ask me questions on my AMA post, I'm accepting questions until the end of the week.


What is something that is considered a luxury, but you don’t think you could live without?

A camera.  I mean, obviously I could live without it, but I would be really miserable without a camera to record the big and little and medium-sized moments of life.  I haven't been without a working camera of my own since I was 8 years old.

What is something you do the "old-fashioned" way?

I do a lot of things the old-fashioned way, I think.  I like to bake things from scratch when I have the time.  I crochet and knit.  I sometimes sew.  I write thank-you notes.  I give birth with the assistance of midwives and no pain-relieving drugs.  My bicycle has only one speed.  Do any of those count?

What fictional place would you want to live in?

I'd love to live in Mitford, the fictional town created by Jan Karon.  It's based on a real town: Blowing Rock, North Carolina.  Which happens to be where I spent my honeymoon.

Do you have any hobbies you enjoy? If so, what are they?

I'm definitely a hobbyist.  I crochet, I knit, I sew, I bake, I dabble in photography.  I collect things.  I blog.  I garden.  I learn songs with complicated lyrics and try to sing them really fast.

What is you favorite old (like b&w old) movie?

I can't decide if I'm going to take this to mean the oldest movie I call a favorite, or my favorite black-and-white movie.  Because they've been making color movies since the 1930s.  I'll answer this in the vlog at the end of this post.

Just because I'm curious: Did you like Fantastic Beasts better than Harry Potter? Why/why not?

I am not sure, to be honest.  I love so many of the characters and the world-building in Harry Potter.  I doubt I will ever love a character in Fantastic Beasts like I love Sirius Black.  But I like the more mature story-telling that she's got going on in Beasts.  I'm excited to see where the next movie goes.


If you could have written any novel, which one would it have been and why?

Intriguing question!  Um, well, hmmm.  I... am not really sure!  I don't think I've ever read a novel and thought, "Wow, I wish I'd written that."  I mean, maybe I have, and I just don't remember doing that.  I know there are books that I've read and thought, "Well, I could have done a better job writing that."  Not a lot, but a few.

Okay, here's one, but it's not a novel.  I wish I'd written John Gielgud Directs Richard Burton in "Hamlet" instead of Richard L. Sterne because that would mean that I had gotten to experience being in the theater every day while they rehearsed, getting to bask in the presence of two actors I very much admire as they delved deeply into my favorite play.  That would have been amazing.

What are some of your favorite classic era films?

I'll answer this in the vlog at the bottom of the post :-)

Which is your personal favorite post that you have written here over the years?

I kind of answered this question yesterday, so today I'll say my post about the "realization and revelation" that helped me understand what makes me like and dislike stories.


You are at Elizabeth Chambers' Bird Bakery. What do you order? (And more importantly, which Armie Hammer movie do you watch afterwards? ;-)) I grew up right by Bird Bakery and have been missing it dearly lately, hence the question. :-)

I... I... I have no idea!  Bird Bakery is on my bucket list of places I want to visit one day.  I would order something chocolatey.  Unless, you know, Armie Hammer was there.  Then I'd just cower in the corner and try to keep breathing.

And then after, I'd either watch The Lone Ranger (2013) or The Man from UNCLE (2015), or possibly both.  Because I adore both of them.

What classic novel have you been putting off reading?

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.  Cowboy read it in college, but I haven't.  Yet.

What movie has taken you by surprise and become an unexpected favorite?

Slow West (2015).  I mean, I knew it was a western, and that it had Michael Fassbender in it, but I was unprepared for the way it would creep into my brain and heart.

What is your favorite Rufus Sewell film/role?

Film would be A Knight's Tale (2001), which I have loved since I saw it in the theaters.  I had a poster of Heath Ledger from it on my dorm room wall for the rest of college.  But my favorite role of his is Autolycus in Hercules (2014).  Man, he just kills it in that film.

What is your favorite Christmastime recipe?

Answer is in the vlog below!

What's on the top of your "dream vacation" list?

Alaska.  Also New Zealand and all the LOTR film stuff there -- that's a close second.

You have just been put in charge of creating a new adaptation of Persuasion. Who do you cast?

Ioan Gruffudd as Captain Frederick Wentworth and Louise Brealy as Anne Elliot.  I really want this to happen, so if anybody knows any Hollywood producers, put a bug in their ear about it, okay?  Thanks!

What is your favorite television show episode of all time?

"The Walking Wounded" from Combat!, which I blogged about here.

What's the best movie you've seen so far this year?

I would say Logan (2017).  It's not necessarily my favorite movie of the ones I've seen this year, but it is probably just the all-around best.


That's all for now!  More answers in a day or two :-)


  1. Yes, that's kind of what I was trying to say, just couldn't seem to put it into words. I know there were color movies as early as the '30s like Gone with the Wind and Wizard of Oz and such, but by 'b&w' I was trying so say like the age when it was more common than color. You got it, obviously. I have never seen The Sheik, but I do tend to like melodramatic movies, so maybe I'll try it sometime:)

    The Best Years of Our Lives definitely sounds like a good one! Adding that to my To-Watch list. I'm almost done reading Ben-Hur for the first time, and then I feel like I probably need to see the award-winning classic movie...

    Ugh! Sirius Black!!! I totally did not expect to like him when I first saw the movies, but I ended up loving him so much! One of the best characters in the whole series by far, yes.

    Oh my goodness. Please, someone turn that Persuasion cast into a movie! I can't tell you how perfect that cast is. (Obviously, you already know.)

    Once again, I very much enjoyed this!:)

    1. Elanor, oh good! I'm glad I kind of figured out what you meant, hee. The Sheik is kind of an odd movie, but I really love it, kind of for its oddness in some ways?

      But YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS. See The Best Years of Our Lives. See it.

      Mmmmmmmmmmmm, Sirius Black. He has such an interesting character arc. I have shed many a tear over him.

      And yeah, we need that version of Persuasion. Really do.

      Glad you enjoyed it :-D

  2. I was nearly off to bed and then saw that you had posted this! So, sleep can be delayed a bit. :-)

    Oh, you must read War and Peace someday! Such a great book, even if it is incredibly long. Anna Karenina is one of my favorites, too. The 2015 BBC adaptation of War and Peace is an excellent adaptation, so if you never get around to reading it, the miniseries is a good substitute. :-)

    I have got to put Slow West and Hercules on my to-watch list! I love Michael Fassbender so much (he's why Magneto is my favorite X-Men character...I just have a deep need to hug Erik Lehnsherr and tell him to stop siding with the wrong people). In keeping with the X-Men theme, I'll have to watch Logan soon.

    And Hercules is going on my to-watch list too, it seems! Oh, Rufus Sewell. Such an fascinating actor! I feel like you can just TELL how deeply he wants to convey his characters' motivations and actions, whether he's playing a villain, or hero, or someone you can't quite classify as either (like in The Man in the High Castle).

    My jaw actually DROPPED at that Persuasion casting. Ioan Gruffudd as Wentworth!!! I would die to see that. And I love Louise Brealey, too.

    Oh, those cookies sound amazing! What a cool Christmas recipe.

    Last bit, I promise - I adore your Pooh Bear & Piglet t-shirt! Pooh is my favorite Disney character, (tied with Belle). The whole 100-Acre-Wood gang is very dear to my heart. <3

    1. Claire, I do intend to read both War and Peace and Anna Karenina some day! Just... not right now. I do want to see a couple different adaptations of W&P too.

      So, Slow West is... odd. Quite odd. Just so you know. Really amazing and cool, but odd. Um, and violent. Might want to read my review of it if you're concerned about content in movies.

      Um, ditto for Logan. Fabulous movie, but very dark and violent, and has a LOT of bad language.

      Hercules, though -- such a fun romp. PG-13 to the core, lots of swaggery violence with nothing gory. Some language. Super fun movie, the sort where you can tell everyone involved was just having a blast making it. And it's a really interesting, original retelling of the Hercules myths too!

      The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was my brother's favorite movie for years and years. I still really enjoy it too <3

  3. Your vlogs are fun. It's so exciting hearing your own voice!

    All those movies! Yes to most of them, some I haven't seen, although I disagree about Rio Bravo. :P Not my kinda movie. But YES about White Christmas, The Magnificent Seven and Ben-Hur, especially!

    1. Thanks, Abby!

      My best friend has only see Rio Bravo once, and she disliked it, even though she loves westerns and John Wayne and Dean Martin. So it's definitely not for everyone :-)

  4. Loved seeing your ten classic era film picks. You (and your son)have excellent film taste! I knew there would be an Alan Ladd film in there somewhere ;-) I have never actually seen Branded, so that is another added to my ever growing to watch list.

    Best Years Of Our Lives is heartbreaking and so well acted. If you like that film, I'd like to recommend a similar film, it's called Till The End Of Time (1946)and stars Robert Mitchum.

    Nice to see some more love for Rudolph Valentino (swoon) in this day and age. Maddy

    1. Thanks, Maddy! I hope you can see Branded, because it's just such a cool, different movie.

      I haven't seen Till the End of Time, but I'd like to. I'd also like to see Since You Went Away, which I think also has a similar theme?

      Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, I do love Rudolph Valentino. You're right, more people should be aware of him! Nice to know you're also a fan :-)

  5. "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." is a great film.

    I SUPPORT YOUR PERSUASION CASTING 110%. This movie needs to happen. It would be so, so, so brilliant.

    I don't think I've seen any of the classic films you listed in your vlog. I miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight be interested in "The Best Years of Our Lives," though--for the historical value, if nothing else. We'll see.

    Your pajamas are cute :-) And WOW, those cookies sound delicious!

    1. Jessica, MFU is a super fun film and I am building up a need to watch it again. This happens every few months.

      I think you would really like The Best Years of Our Lives because it's very meaty and you would trust most of the characters. And you would want to hug and adopt Homer Parrish.

      Thanks! I think so too :-) And they are yummy! I should post the recipe on my recipe blog.

    2. Okay. Then I think I will try watching it ;-)

  6. Hamlette, I really enjoyed seeing your vlog. You presented yourself so well. I'm sure everyone enjoys seeing who you really are! LOVE that you talked about the Krakling!!! :-)

  7. I'm going to have to ponder on my version of your "realization and revelation" concept. I'm not sure I'm that precise in my reasons.

    I've the vlogs at the end. And as always I love hearing other peoples favorites so I can have new things to try!

    1. Livia, the whole "realization" really helped me understand why some stories draw me and others don't. It's not random, not at all, which I find cool. And also helpful for understanding why I can recognize a movie/book is *good* and still not love it.

      Glad you're enjoying the vlogs :-) Hope you can try out some of the movies I mentioned and find some you like!

  8. The oldest movie I love is The Cameraman with Buster Keaton. And YES to White Christmas!! Annual viewing at my house for forever. My mom watched it every year since she was little too :)

    1. Phyl, I feel like I have probably seen The Cameraman. In college, one of my friends bought a bunch of silent comedies, and that title sounds reeeeeally familiar.

      That's cool that your Mom has always watched White Christmas too! Good family tradition there.

  9. Fun that you mention the recipe for the Dutch cookies! I eat 'krakelingen' quite often, they are not traditionally associated with Christmas here in The Netherlands, they are 'just' general cookies ;)

    1. Birdie, ooooooh! So they're still made in the Netherlands! Very cool!

      Now that I think about it more, it might just be my mom and my brother and I who associate them with Christmas, not our larger family. We always made them for Christmas when I was a kid. So to me, they're "Dutch Christmas cookies" :-)

    2. Yes!
      If only I could send you a package as easy as I can send you this comment ;)


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