About Amanda

I’m a disgruntled Metro-North commuter by morning, real estate journalist by day, insomniac by night, and cancer butt-kicker for life.

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101 in 1,001 – The Results

For the past 1,000 days, I participated in Day Zero’s 101 Day Project, a unique challenge that inspires you to set and achieve your personal goals in life. My friend Caitlin had started one, and I was intrigued. At that point, I had been in five years’ remission from cancer and was basically a lump when it came to goal setting. The diagnosis had resulted in my having a hard time looking in the future, as I got in the mindset of “Well, anything can change quickly.” I thought that starting the list would be better than a so-called bucket list in inspiring me to look forward again. (And I’d just beaten cancer… why would I want to think about kicking the bucket?)

The challenge runs 1,001 days—I started September 12, 2010 and ended today, June 9, 2013. To count, tasks must be specific with a defined result that represents some amount of work on my part. Here’s a summary of my first list and what happened. Bolded items are ones that were completed. Not bad for my first try, with 54 of 101 goals achieved. I start Part II tomorrow, and will aim for 75 next.

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The Cheapest Concert I’ve Been To?

Today, I bought my best Groupon to date—$15 tickets to see Heart in concert at Jones Beach Amphitheater on July 27.

Besides shows I’ve seen for free (like Gregg Rolie and Steve Augeri), I don’t ever think I’ve purchased concert tickets this cheaply for a well-known act!

In my opinion, it’s what concert tickets should cost. I’ve been to many concerts since 1998 (when I started going to shows with my friends), and tickets are astronomical to the point where half of the concert venue is empty. It’s sort of depressing to see the upper tier of Jones Beach empty when there’s such a great show.

In 2001, when I attended my first Journey show (whom I’ve seen 17 more times since), tickets were $40—and I got third-row tickets at Jones Beach to boot. As Journey surged in popularity again, tickets for those type of seats have swelled to VIP packages costing hundreds to get the same experience.

That’s not what music is about, and it’s discouraging that artists don’t speak up more about this. The high cost of tickets and merchandise—with service fees and sometimes even parking thrown in—have made me think twice about going to other shows.

But $15 is amazing. I’ve never seen Heart live and it’s a band I’ve always wanted to see. I have no clue where my seats are yet—and I presume they’ll be nosebleed, which are normally selling for $25—but this price is a start. I hope more artists jump on this cheap-ticket bandwagon and fill venues once more.

Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner

A Writer’s Book of Days (01/07) – Once, When No One Was Looking…

104.3, advertisement. 97.5, talk show. 103.1, The Beatles., 94.3, alternative rock. 106.7, a bumper previewing the upcoming ’80s segment. I keep that station on.

I was driving down Sunrise Highway, on the service road. I don’t remember where I was going – perhaps South Shore Mall or Home Depot, two of the few reasons I’d drive the service road. It was a breezy summer day, so I kept the windows opened a crack instead of using the air conditioner.

Then I heard the haunting piano intro. She’s like the wind, through my trees… Patrick Swayze had recently died. The station was playing the song in his memory. How could I not sing along?

I was alone, which was good. I generally don’t like singing in front of people, especially cheesy ’80s music. No cars were around me either, so I started to belt it out, particularly the female duet. I was getting really into it.

No cars had been around me at the beginning of the song, but I had pulled up to a red light, oblivious that there were now cars all around me. Just a fool to believe I have anything she needs… The man to my right honked and waved. I snapped back to reality, slightly embarrassed.

But I realized he’d never see me again. He was making a right and the light was about to turn green. You bet your bippy I finished. Just a fool (just a fool) to believe (just a fool to believe) she’s like the wind…

The 10th Day of Christmas – Best Holiday Songs

A few days ago, I remarked on Twitter that I haven’t heard Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” on the radio at all this holiday season. The Daily Snip, however, has heard it about 30 times since I tweeted that. It made me start thinking about my favorite holiday songs ever. And no, it’s not “Do They Know It’s Christmas.”

First, an interesting graph, courtesy of xkcd.com:

Only two of my songs fall into that category. Here they are in no particular order:

1) “Night of Silence/Silent Night – Daniel Kantor. We sang this in elementary school one Christmas and it’s been my favorite ever since.

2) “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” – the Judy Garland version. It’s sentimental, yet sad. No one matches Judy’s version from Meet Me in St. Louis.

3) “O Holy Night

4) “All I Want for Christmas is You– Mariah Carey. NOT the one with Justin Bieber.

5) “Oh Come All Ye Faithful/Adeste Fidelis

6) “The 12 Days of Christmas– John Denver and The Muppets. This was always my favorite from the album, particularly Miss Piggy and Beaker.

7) “Keep Christmas With Youby Sesame Street. My favorite is the version from Christmas Eve on Sesame Street.

8 ) “The Christmas Song” – Nat King Cole

9) “Where Are You Christmas? – Faith Hill

10) “Baby It’s Cold Outside – Dinah Shore and Buddy Clark

The 8th Day of Christmas – Christmas in NYC

When I was younger, I went to St. Mary’s School in East Islip. Every December 8, we’d have the day off for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, so we took the opportunity to go into Manhattan and spend the day doing fun holiday things. Even though I’m not off on that day anymore, I love spending at least one full day in the city doing holiday things. My favorites, in no particular order: Continue reading