Tag Archives: pushing daisies

Amy’s Favorite Things, Vol. 2

9 Dec

Since Oprah dropped the ball on her favorite things this year, it looks like I’m going to have to take up the slack (incidentally, I’ll also be taking over for Oprah when the daytime talk show queen turns in her microphone).  I’m sorry I won’t be able to send Backseat Writers a crap load of cool stuff to celebrate “Amy’s Favorite Things” (AFT) but you do have a chance to win an AFT Prize Pack, which includes an Oh Deer Super Dooper Pocket Pooper Keychain, a stuffed cow I got for free at Chick-Fil-A, an unopened package of Ice Breakers Ice Cube Gum I found on my desk, a beautiful star ornament created with my very own hands, and a personalized Christmas card with a holiday picture of my dogs inside (actually, anyone can get one of those, just e-mail me your mailing address).  Who needs fancy schmancy items like digital cameras and expensive make-up when you get can win stuff like this?

Without further ado, I present you with my favorite things of 2009.

AMAZON’S 50 ALBUMS FOR $5 (OR LESS)

Every month the world’s largest online retailer picks 50 albums that cost only $5 to download (but they picked 100 for December).  And every-so-often they slash prices even more—to a mere $2.99.  Over the year, I’ve been able to snag the latest from Sherwood, Owl City, Mat Kearny, and others.  Right now (12/09), you can get Green River Ordinance’s Out of My Hands (read interview), Switchfoot’s Hello Hurricane,  Relient K’s Let it Snow Baby…Let It Reindeer, The Almost’s Monster Monster, Beach Boys’ Pet SoundsThe Turtles’ Greatest Hits and The Elf Soundtrack –all for only $5.

TWITTER

Yes, people, I’ve joined the Twitter revolution!  It’s oh-so-fun to exchange silly banter—all in 140 characters or less. (Incidentally, that gushing statement about Twitter is only 119 characters!)

KRISTIN CHENOWETH

OK, while Kristin Chenoweth isn’t a thing; she’s a person and I’ve written about her before (“Snooked on Pushing Daisies“), but there’s more Cheno love to share.  Last spring, Kristin released her authobiography, A Little Bit Wicked, this fall she starred on one of my favorite shows, “Glee” (also performing a rousing duet of “Alone” with Matthew Morrison aka “Mr. Shue”) and she just made a Lifetime movie, The Twelve Men of Christmas.  Plus,  she’s the voice of Rosetta the fairy in the Tinkerbell movies.  There there’s Maddie’s Corner, an organization started by Kristin to help people and animals.  Yes, Kristin has a dog named Maddie and I have a dog named Maddy (Madalyne)!  Who knew? Suffice to say, Kristin Chenoweth is still smokin’ hot and undoubtedly one of my favorite things, er, people.

HOLIDAY ANIMAL CANDY POOPERS

I’ve known about these things for a while, but they never fail to crack me up.  Maybe I’m just immature, but a reindeer with a cranky face pooping brown candies out of his butt is really funny to me.  Plus, the candy-filled key chains and toys have all sorts of hilarious names like Poo-lar Bear (The Sub-Zero Poopin’ Hero), Baa Humbug Sheep (The Grumpy Party Pooper), and Oh Deer! (The Super Duper Reindeer Pooper). Because I love these things so much, I’m offering one of these little guys in my Prize Pack.  It’s a keychain version of Oh Deer for Pooper lovers on the go.

“GLEE”

Is this show great or what?  Singing, dancing, high school drama, a hot Spanish teacher—it’s all the stuff that I wish I had in high school (minus the drama—no one wants that!)  Plus, the cast on “Glee” can really sing.  I’m especially impressed with Lea Michele who plays young starlet Rachel Berry (my fave character) and Matthew Morrison’s vocals have really grown on me (especially during his “Alone” duet with Kristin Chenoweth as well as his mash-up of “Young Girl” and “Don’t Stand So Close to Me”).  Jane Lynch is also notable as the gym teacher everyone loves to hate—Sue Slyvester.  And that’s how Amy sees it.  Hmm, sounds better when Sue says it.

TINYPIC.COM

What a storage site!  Not only can TinyPic be integrated into your social networks like Twitter and Facebook, but it also offers dandy photo editing tools to touch up digital photographs in a hurry.  No need to use Photoshop for minor edits and TinyPic offers a ton of storage, as well as printing options (which I have yet to use).

HOODED SCARVES WITH POCKETS

Hooded scarves with pockets (HSwP) are a fashion must (guys, feel free to tune out).  It’s a hat!  It’s a scarf!  And it’s got pockets for storage!  I’ve only seen two of these out in the great wide yonder—there was a beautiful cream-colored HSwP at Target for around $17, but the knitting was shabby and coming undone—pass!  I found another HSwP online at Bath & Body Works of all places—a pink, gray, and white patterned beauty that cost $20 on clearance; it has since disappeared.  Sadly, the HSwP pictured on the left is $200, and even though it has faux fur and button—that is still way too pricey.  Even this amazing brown Fair Isle knit is $50, but I can’t figure out how it looks when worn.  If any of you know of any hot deals on HSwP (buttons preferred), let me know!

Well, that wraps up another year of Amy’s Favorite Things !  Now I suppose you want to know how to win AFT Prize Pack.  It is *so* easy.  All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me (and the world) about one of your favorite things!  If you Tweet or write a Facebook status note about the contest, you get an extra entry (one for Twitter, and one for Facebook for a grand total of three entries!)  Hint: if you follow @amysondova or @backseatwriter on Twitter, you can RT (reTweet) what I say.  I only wish I was eligible to win this contest.  The contest ends on 12/16 at 12 PM EST. Oh, and don’t forget to re-visit all my favorite things from last year!

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Free Song Download:: “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful” – Seabird

13 Nov

Seabird is back with a new single entitled “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful” which hit all digital outlets November 3. The track is pulled off of their sophomore album, Rocks Into Rivers, which releases on December 15. And now you have the chance to download “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful” here!

A follow up to Seabird’s 2008 critically acclaimed label debut, ‘Til We See The Shore, Rocks Into Rivers features top-notch production by Paul Moak (Mat Kearney, Sixpence None The Richer) and Matt Hales from Aqualung. The band split its time between Ocean Studios in Los Angeles and The Smoakstack in Nashville, honing what brothers Aaron and Ryan Morgan are calling their most exciting project to date.

Cincinnati-based Seabird comprises brothers Aaron (vocals/keys) and Ryan (guitar) Morgan as well as Preston Lane (drums). The band signed with Credential Recordings in late 2007 and released its debut label project,‘Til We See The Shore, June 24, 2008. A collaborative effort with producers Jacquire King (Modest Mouse, Kings Of Leon, Tom Waits, Switchfoot) and Allen Salmon (Mute Math), the album received phenomenal national publicity, featured on episodes of “Numb3rs,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and promos for ABC’s 12-time Emmy-nominated series, “Pushing Daisies.” The band was also recognized by its hometown as “Artist of the Year” at the 2008 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards and toured with artists including Barcelona, Meese, and Jars of Clay throughout the spring and summer of 2009. (Read Backseat Writer’s interview with Seabird’s Aaron Morgan, “Seabird Sees The Shore“!)

LISTEN TO AND/OR DOWNLOAD “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful” BY SEABIRD HERE! (This will take you to an external link.)

Wicked on YouTube

27 Mar

Like me, you may be a big fan of Broadway musicals. Unfortunately, the prices of seeing a show on 42nd street have skyrocketed, so the possibility of seeing WICKED or MAMA MIA (fortunately they’re making it into a movie) are not in my future. But some kind person has offered recordings of some of WICKED on YouTube with original cast members Idina Menzel (who is currently in Enchanted) and the lovely, talented, and amazing Kristin Chenoweth, who I absolutely adore (read how much–“Snooked on Pushing Daisies”). If you read this Wikipedia recap of WICKED, and watch the videos, it’s like a ghetto (very ghetto) version of Wicked…almost like you’re there…with Chenoweth/Menzel as the stars. I really wish I could see it with them, but alas, this will do for now. Chenoweth is just a phenomenal, humorous actress, perfect in this role.

A quirky excerpt of “Popular” with Menzel/Chenoweth…

Here’s a lovely excerpt of “Defying Gravity” with Menzel/Chenoweth…

And “For Good”…

And if you can’t get enough Kristin Chenoweth (like me), check out her rendition of “Hopelessly Devoted to You” from “Pushing Daisies” which will return in the fall.

Interview for Jobs the Virtual Way

23 Feb

This is my character, Amelia Snook. I worked feverishly to try to make her shirt longer or the waistline of her flared pants higher, but sadly it never worked out.

I’ll admit that I found Second Life amusing…for a bit. But the virtual community’s slow, interface was annoying and the game itself was time-consuming. It was easy how to see how people that didn’t have real lives could reinvent themselves in Second Life.

My character was named “Amelia Snook. I know, that’s a real jump from “Amy. I believe that Second Life provided the last name. It reminds me of “Olive Snook”, my favorite character from “Pushing Daisies” played by the lovely and talented Kristin Chenoweth (read about my Kristin Chenoweth obsession here: “Snooked on Pushing Daisies”).

Amelia Snook was smokin’ hot–especially with purple hair and green skin. I think I enjoyed Second Life initially because it was like playing dress-up with a virtual doll. I mean, I don’t look anything like her in real life, I don’t have wings, and I can’t fly. But after a while, it’s pretty boring wandering around the virtual world talking to freakish looking avatars created by other users. Plus, except for my friend, Miguel, who flew around Second Life with me, the conversations I had with other users were lame. Although Miguel and I went to this “Christian” island and some guy witnessed to us over Second Life. It was very, very strange.

Imagine my surprise when I came across this New York Times article discussing how Second Life is moving the job interview process right along. According to Linden Lab, the outfit that owns Second Life, businesses are buying “islands” (land) and building their own little worlds where they interview candidates virtually (article here).

I’m half-amused and half-horrified by the whole thing. I mean, imagine my dear Amelia Snook flying across Second Life for an interview. She would probably have to change her whole persona just to get a job. I suppose if I were to interview for a job, I would have to make a person that looked like me and had my name–but what’s the fun of that? I don’t have crazy spiky purple hair or blue skin or wings in real life.

Amelia Snook isn’t really “me”. She’s an online version of what I would be if I could be anyone at all. But is that want companies want–to see who you are virtually when a bunch of strangers are looking on? Are we now being judged on the little figures we create in Second Life, which is a VIRTUAL reality–meaning not reality. Despite how we try to maneuver around it, there is no replacing a face-to-face meeting with real people.

I deleted the Second Life software off my computer months ago, and think fondly of dear Amelia Snook from time-to-time. I imagine her flying around Second Life trying to find a cool shirt that covers her tummy. As for me, I’m still trying to figure out how to get blue skin without freezing to death.

My Top Discoveries of 2007

30 Dec


Psych“–It’s an awesome T.V. show on USA Network starring James Roday as “psychic” detective Shawn Spencer, who isn’t really psychic, but pretends that he is. It’s great and the new season starts on Jan. 11.

Pushing Daisies“–I love this show so much that I blogged about one of its actresses, Kristin Chenoweth  (read “Snooked on Pushing Daisies” here).

LOTS OF MUSIC–I’ve been introduced to many a good musicians and bands in 2007 through my work with YMX, but here are some of my new favorites.


Brandon Heath–great singer/songwriter with a great heart for God and worship.

Grey Holiday–hilarious and deep; great combo.

David Klinkenberg–makes me wish I hadn’t given up so easily on violin lessons in 4th grade, yet I’d probably never be as good as this guy.  He’s amazing to see perform live.


Nickel Creek–they’re good together and Chris Thile does a great job flying solo!

Leeland–Yeah, I didn’t listen to them before 2007, but I’m glad another year didn’t go by without their music.

Hairspray: One of the cult classics I had never indulged in until its remake.  I love Nikki Blonksky.


High School Musical 2:  I don’t know about this Zac Efron kid, but Lucas Grabeel is cute!

Fred Weasley is NOT DEAD! After the final Harry Potter book was released there was some confusion.  An apparent misprint in the book says that a wall fell on him.  That’s completely inaccurate.  Fred’s alive and well–I don’t care what you say.  If you don’t believe me, read this!

Marley & Me is a great book about a man and his dog.  Plus, the New York Times best-selling author and I live in the same zip code!!!


Potter Puppet Pals is a website that makes funny Harry Potter parody videos using puppets.

Facebook–why didn’t I sign up sooner?  If I’m not your buddy, I should be.


Macs may be better, but I still can’t afford one.

And, last but certainly not least, the wonders of Animal Planet and The Discovery Channel.  There’s a show on Animal Planet all about meercats and another about apes–how cool is that?

Snooked on “Pushing Daisies”

29 Nov

“Wouldn’t it rock and roll is liking someone meant that they had to like you back? Of course, that would be a different universe and something else would probably suck.”–Olive Snook, “Pushing Daisies” (portrayed by Kristin Chenoweth)

“Pushing Daisies” is undoubtedly one of the strangest shows on television these days. And I’ve got to admit; I love it! It’s quirky and funny and different than the normal crime dramas inundating the air waves. The premise of the show is this–Ned the Pie Maker has a special gift. He can bring the dead back to life. However, if he brings the dead back for more than a minute, they will continue to stay alive meaning someone else’s life will be extinguished.

Not only does Ned work with a investigator named Emerson Cod to solve murders (which is easy because Ned only has to bring the murder victim to life and ask who murdered him or her. Although sometimes it can be a bit more complicated), he also makes pies at his eatery called “The Pie Hole”. His single employee is a charming little blond named Olive Snook whose heart beats only for Ned, who is emotionally distant from women since the death of his mother at an early age.

Enter Charlotte Charles a.k.a Chuck, Ned’s childhood sweetheart, who Chuck brings back to life to find out who murdered her. Unable to touch her again to send her back to her grave, Chuck remains alive, but unable to touch Ned or she will die. Ned and Chuck have established themselves as boyfriend and girlfriend, but there relationship is complicated by the fact they can’t hold hands, kiss, or any of the other things that normal couples do. Olive Snook still holds out hope that one day Ned will see the folly of his relationship with Chuck, and fall hopelessly in love with her.

I’ve always had a fondness for quirky characters, especially those who are victims of unrequited love. Olive Snook (Kristin Chenoweth) is no exception. She is saucy, outrageous, and behind it all has a tender heart. While Olive often wears low-cut dresses and flirts with Ned incessantly, there’s something absolutely lovable about her. Even as she makes plans to ruin Ned and Chuck’s relationship, she can’t seem to bring herself to actually put her plans into action. She can only go so far because in her heart she believes in true love. Plus, Chuck is a fresh-faced, innocent, and refreshing female character, who stands in stark contrast to Olive, yet their relationship as frenemies works.

And Kristen Chenoweth, the actress who portrays Olive Snook, (Isn’t that a great name?) is a gem herself. Knowing for her portrayal as Glinda the Good Witch in the Broadway musical, Wicked, as well as for her role on “The West Wing”, cameos on many popular shows, as well as her Tony Award-winning performance in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. She may be short in stature, but Kristin can sure belt out a tune–she’s got a Master’s degree in opera.

Maybe Olive Snook will find love, but until then she can always hang out with Ned’s dog, Digby, to whom she has grown quite attached.

If you haven’t seen “Pushing Daisies” yet, head here to watch episodes online.

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