Samara O'Shea

Archive for the ‘Video Letters’ Category

The Recession-Proof Artist

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

I wish I could embed this, but I’ll have to link to it instead. I’ve never been so inspired and encouraged by a 22-year-old. Watch it if you have a chance!

A Friendly Facebook Reminder

Monday, May 18th, 2009

This blog is not more commentary on Facebook. I’ve been spouting a lot of that lately, and I’m glad to give us all a break. Rather, my heading refers to the fact that I received an e-mail through Facebook last week about a podcast I did a while back. At the end of the interview, Kimberly Wilson asked me if I could recommend any blogs that I follow. That’s the type of question that, when asked, the answers scatter out of your brain immediately. I fumbled through my answer and remembered this awesome blog where the bloggette (is that what we’re called?) posts her To-Do lists. (I’m not making it sound as interesting as it really is). I just couldn’t remember the exact URL of the blog while I was on air—it had something to do with writing a novel and buying eggs. And here it is: I said on the podcast that I’d post the URL on my blog—which I forgot to do. Then I got my friendly Facebook reminder from someone who had listened to the podcast recently and searched my blog (in vain) for the link.

Speaking of To-Do lists: I’ve been meaning to wax poetic about Sasha Cagen and her book To Do Lists: From Buying Milk to Finding a Soul Mate, What Our Lists Reveal About Us (book trailer below). I think lists—both practical and fanciful—are so important to keep, and this book is a hilarious celebration of that. I’ve come across several to-do lists that I’ve written and howled at the strange ways I’ve prioritized my tasks or simply the way I’ve worded my tasks. I lived with a girl a few years back and caught a glimpse of one of her lists. It went something like . . .

– Return movies
– Send Resume
– Budweiser Frogs

What? I, of course, couldn’t ask about that last one because then she’d know I read her list (which was in plain view anyway). So I say list away! Write the tasks you’d like to get done today and the big dreams you’d like to accomplish in your lifetime. Few things feel better than crossing items off your to-do list. Lately, I’ve taken to writing down topics of conversation. When I know I’m going to see someone—a cousin, an old friend—I write down some of the things I want to tell them, because I always seem to forget when I get there. These lists are funny because you’re not going to write down the whole conversation—you’ll pick a word or two that’ll remind you of what you have to say. Here’s a conversation list I made recently (I offer no explanation, only the list):

To Discuss

– Bachelor June 13th
– 7:39 Train
– Pulling it Off: I dared myself to pose nude, but I had more to shed than my clothes

Grey Gardens: Brought to you by Letters and Journals

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Earlier this month, Jezebel posted a fun clip about the HBO movie Grey Gardens and how Little Edie’s letters and journals played a big role in the research for the film.

15th-Century E-mail

Monday, April 20th, 2009

A lovely woman named Jen came to my reading two weeks ago and found me on Facebook afterwards. She sent me this gem of a YouTube clip:

My First (Failed) Vlog

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

So I tried vlogging (that’s video blogging). I’m so behind the times—I know. People have been vlogging for years. Anyway, I thought I’d give it a go, and it didn’t really work out. The picture is fuzzy. The sound and the picture don’t match up the whole time. There are no fancy graphics. The one thing I do like, however, is the message. It’s a simple yet important holiday message, and that’s why I’m daring to post this. I hope you enjoy. Here’s to better vlogging in 2009!

P.S. Audry Hepburn is in this video for no other reason than I love her dearly.

Joss Stone’s Ode to the Break-up Letter

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Watching one YouTube video always leads to another, leads to another, and leads to another. I don’t remember what I went to YouTube for initially, but the unintended video I came across today was Joss Stone’s You Had Me. I love the song and have seen the video before but don’t remember a break-up letter playing such a prominent roll. This time I noticed and thought I’d share.

Many people think lowly of break-up letters. The rule of thumb is that everyone deserves a face to face break-up. Not to knock the face to face thing—it is admirable and bold. Let’s be honest though, not everyone has the audacity to do it. I’ve had guys end things with me by not ending things at all. They just disappear with no explanation. In that case then, yes, I think the break-up letter is gallant. In the Joss video case, I think she just needs to get out and get away from this guy as soon as she can and decides a letter is her ticket.

Once Upon a First Amendment

Monday, June 30th, 2008

I’ll take an independent film over a blockbuster any day, and this past weekend I saw a good one. It’s called Trumbo—the story of screenwriter and novelist Dalton Trumbo. If you don’t know him by name, you know his work.

In 1947, Trumbo, along with nine other writers and directors, was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee to testify on the presence of Communist influence in Hollywood. Trumbo refused to cooperate. He was blacklisted, and eventually, spent 11 months in prison in the federal penitentiary in Ashland, Kentucky. Once released from prison in the early 1950s, Trumbo continued to write scripts—such as Roman Holiday and The Brave One both of which went on to win Academy Awards—under different names. In 1960, after ten years of writing under a pseudonym, staring actor Kirk Douglas decided to make public Trumbo’s credit for writing Spartacus. This was the beginning of the end of the blacklist.

It’ll come as no surprise that my favorite aspect of the documentary is that the story is powerfully told through the words of Dalton Trumbo’s letters as read by Joan Allen, Paul Giamatti, Nathan Lane, Josh Lucas, Liam Neeson, David Strathairn, Donald Sutherland, Michael Douglas, and Brian Dennehy.