Tag Archives: Amanda Pustz

Happy Birthday Amanda!!

Today marks a very special holiday because it is Amanda’s birthday!!! ¬†I am celebrating the day she was born because without her, Daily Duranie would not exist, I would not be writing as quickly as possible to finish what has essentially become a brand new manuscript, I would not have ever gone to the UK to see Duran Duran the first time…much less the second…and chances are I wouldn’t be planning to see them again this summer (and definitely not so many times!)

Dear Amanda, I’m not saying you completely corrupted me but…

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You *are* the one holding the whole bottle…

Amanda does so many things for this blog that go unnoticed – she works incredibly hard to keep us on track and to make sure that SOMETHING is posted every single day, even if it’s the poll – just because she feels very strongly about this site and what we’ve built. She is an incredible partner, and gives so much of herself, I just had to take some time to say thank you.

I know that even today, as I take time to celebrate with my own birthday girl here in this house (my youngest shares Amanda’s birthday!), that Amanda will say she’s still going to write because she wants to keep the schedule. I admire her work ethic, and I also really wish she would take time for herself because I know she deserves the opportunity to sit back and recognize just how much she really does, and not for herself (I really don’t know anyone as selfless as Amanda), but for the world in general. The world is a better place because she was born, which is something we should all celebrate. ūüôā

Amanda, I hope you have a fantastic birthday, my friend. I’m sorry we can’t celebrate together – even with a Vodka Friday today, but we will chat tomorrow, and the real celebration will come in July. ¬†ūüôā

I do hope the band is prepared.

Happy Birthday!!!

-R

Miss me yet?

Did you notice I was gone last week? ¬†While I feel badly about not blogging at all, there’s a certain part of me that is glad I didn’t. Many of you probably know that my oldest moved to her college dorms and last Thursday was move-in day. My week was spent doing about 50,000 loads of laundry, packing bins and boxes, and admittedly – fighting back a lot of tears. My feelings are very mixed right now. I’m proud and happy, but also a tiny bit sad and even a little bit lonely. Heather is my oldest, my first baby – the one I had to “learn” on, and she’s been my buddy since the day she was born. As she got older, we grew closer, despite those nasty teenage years (I was lucky with this one, but I suspect her younger sister will be a force to reckon with) Now she’s at my alma mater, having what I believe will be the time of her life. I’m here at home, watching Bachelor in Paradise and Cutthroat Kitchen by myself. ¬†It isn’t just an adjustment for me, but one for the entire family. My youngest has decided that throwing a tantrum or two (she’s a very young seven who is used to being doted on by her older sister) is the way to go. So it’s been delightful as I calmly but firmly redirect. (sometimes, not so calmly…) We’ll all adjust eventually…I hope.

The good news here is that most people might not have even noticed I was gone, despite the lack of a daily post. ¬†Each day, readers should have seen a new picture poll posted, and probably even some discussion up on our Facebook page about the new album. Friday, Saturday and even Sunday there were blogs just as normal…and all of it due to Amanda.

Over the past five (yes FIVE!) years we’ve written and operated Daily Duranie, it has become increasingly apparent many have absolutely no idea that there are two of us here doing the work. Amanda will be on Twitter chatting with people on our @dailyduranie account, and they’ll automatically assume she’s me, even though she always “signs” her tweets with “-A”. ¬†The same happens with email, or even when people have something they want to share…they address emails, messages, etc. solely to me. While I love talking with anyone and everyone about this band, I have to wonder why no one seems to recognize or acknowledge that Amanda is easily the hardest working one out of the two of us…and she really and truly IS. So, maybe readers can share some of your perceptions with us.

With that in mind, I think it’s time for a little Daily Duranie “Primer”:

I am not the sole owner of Daily Duranie, and Amanda is absolutely not second-in-command. We are equal partners in every single way. ¬†When we first began the blog, she and I agreed that I would be responsible for writing blogs Monday through Thursday, and she would write Friday through Sunday. Over time, we began adding things like the daily questions, polls, and chatting with everyone on social media. Amanda does most of that, to be honest.¬†We both keep the calendar updated, I handle the website maintenance and upkeep (I hate that part), we both answer comments, and thank GOODNESS we’re in this together. I could never do it all alone and I wouldn’t have ever even tried if it hadn’t been for her.

Perhaps, Amanda and I complement each other so well that no one realizes we’re two people! I’m far more casual in my writing. I wear my feelings on my fingers, so to speak. My blogs read similarly¬†to how I might write an email or talk to a friend. I figure we’re all friends here, anyway. Amanda is definitely the more intellectual one. She is a thinking-person’s sort of writer, and she knows her Duran Duran history better than anyone I have ever met. ¬†In contrast, I still struggle with the band’s birthdates, regularly forget names of songs, etc. (I also call my children by every OTHER name than their own, so there’s that). Amanda seems to know every date in Duran history, while I can’t seem to remember when Rio was released. I do my best, and fall woefully short much of the time. I handle the backend of this website (which sounds far dirtier than it is), and I don’t think Amanda has ever dared tread around back there…yet she’s definitely the more detail-oriented one out of the two of us. I’m more of a “big-idea-with-no-plan-for-implementation” person. I’ll come up with dumb-ass ideas like “Let’s ask Dom Brown for an interview!” and not have any clue how to reach him other than, for example, throwing a note up on stage at a show. ¬†(This didn’t actually happen…but it makes a good story, doesn’t it?!! I actually sent him an email, with my hands shaking the entire time. Thank GAWD he didn’t request¬†a phone interview because I’m pretty sure I would have turned blue and passed out from a lack of oxygen.) On the other hand, Amanda has a calendar at home that she keeps updated with what we have¬†planned out for the two of us to do. If it weren’t for Amanda, nothing would get done here much of the time.

What is particularly frustrating¬†and very¬†discouraging for her is that she’s not acknowledged for the amount and quality of her work. It is apparent that many automatically assume this is completely my deal, or that Amanda is my supporting player. That couldn’t really be further from the truth, and is not the image we care to present. Selfishly, the last thing I need is for the world to assume that I am somehow the only face behind Daily Duranie! Over the years, we’ve been contacted by a variety of people for a plethora of reasons; whether it’s fellow fans asking a question, authors wanting ¬†a book reviewed, or even people inviting us to things – and usually they typically only ask for me. I am left wondering why. I would love to read your perceptions, dear readers. This question really isn’t about why you might like my writing or Amanda’s writing.. (in fact I would very much appreciate those opinions¬†being left to oneself). I am asking why it may seem, or IF it seems that Daily Duranie is only one person. ¬†Bonus points for examples!

As always, I look forward to reading your well-thought out insights.

-R

Happy Birthday Amanda!!!

It is a busy day!! Not only do I take great joy in celebrating the birthday of my partner-in-crime; but I also have the great pleasure of celebrating the birth of my youngest on this fine day!

I will never forget sitting down in the recliner for my non-stress test at my doctor’s office on Tuesday, April 29th, 2008, only to be told that I was going to be headed to the hospital to have the baby later that afternoon. ¬†So I did what any normal woman would do – I grabbed my phone and called my best friend first. No, not my husband. He was the second. You see, in my head I knew it was Amanda’s birthday and that if I didn’t call her right then, I’d miss the chance to send my good wishes – AND to tell her that my youngest¬†was going to be born that very day. And now each year, I get to celebrate the birthdays of the two of them on the same day. I consider it a gift, and I’m lucky that my daughter was born on April 29th. STRONG women are born on that day, despite what my dear friend Amanda may think.

Amanda and I have been through a lot together in the ten years we’ve been friends. Sure, there have been a lot of shows. Plenty of plotting, cursing…maybe even some whining. Incredible amounts of laughing, even in the middle of shows during the most serious of songs. We’ve done things I never thought we’d EVER do. (See yesterdays’ blog, A Dream that Strings the Road, for a good example of that.) We’ve gotten brazen enough to give wristbands to band members, telling them we have a list of tasks for them…and have even insisted that they wear the wristband for photo ops. We even finished a massive manuscript, and someday we might even finish sending out proposals for literary agents for it! (it’s very difficult to do that in our “spare time”) We’ve planned a convention, meet-ups, and we’re still friends!¬†I can’t even imagine how many minutes we’ve spent on the phone together in total. I don’t know why we didn’t think of Skype a lot sooner, actually! ¬†I’m sure there’s been thousands, if not tens of thousands of emails. There’s even been blood, and I honestly think we both have battle wound scars!!¬†“Ho-Bag down, Ho-Bag down” (In New Orleans. Those damn curbs…) “Amanda, I think I split my head open…” (In Minneapolis. I was assaulted by a soap dish in the shower. Don’t ask…) We’ve sweat our way through gigs together, like the time we thought we were geniuses for only spending $25.00 on tickets to see this ridiculous band at the Voodoo Festival in New Orleans and stood in the hot sun for eleventh-million hours, braving crowd surfing, moshing, seeing someone get their teeth knocked out in front of us, and having the sweat of people we don’t even know smooshed onto our bodies. There have even been a few tears at times, mainly because this stupid band just does not get it. Or maybe they DO get it… ¬†I’m really not sure anymore….and life in general sometimes really sucks. We’ve made it through not just one but two trips to the UK, getting lost in strange cities, walking for miles… She was there for me when my dad passed away and for about nine months I didn’t even know whether I was coming or going. I was there for her when Scott Walker turned her entire professional life upside down and she needed to vent. We’ve been there for¬†each other¬†throughout the process of this blog.¬†¬†But we’ve been through it all together. There’s even been arguing between the two of us, but it is blessedly rare. (and really kind of remarkable given that although we may write halfway decently – the two of us are terrible at communicating with one another!) We have the sort of friendship that lasts through the good, bad and even the ugly.

The funniest thing about our friendship is that as much as I wanted to write this little note in tribute to Amanda and have it just be about ¬†HER and our friendship, I can’t unweave the band out of it. If you look at nearly everything I’ve written, the band is honestly part of the thread that is our friendship. They are the reason we met, they’re much of the reason we talk on a weekly basis and email nearly daily. Yet, if the band ceased to exist, I can honestly say that Amanda and I would: 1. Need MASSIVE amounts of therapy. ¬† 2. We’d still be friends. I don’t know what in the hell we’d talk about all the time, but we’d find something. ūüôā ¬†That said, the band does not have our permission to quit.

The truth is, Amanda has taught me a lot about friendship. I don’t know if she realizes that, but it’s true. ¬†There have been times when I just wanted to shut the world out, and she’s waited patiently. ¬†When I am quick to react with anger, she is much more likely to be level-headed. When I’m sitting at home thinking that maybe we just can’t find common ground, Amanda is the one calling¬†me¬†to try and work things out. Mostly she has taught me that good friends don’t give up. They don’t just worry about themselves, and they don’t expect the world to revolve solely around their own needs. ¬†Amanda is one of the least selfish people I know on this planet. She puts herself aside constantly so that she is better able to help others, and I really admire that about her.

Amanda knows things about me that no one else on this planet knows. She is my secret-keeper, my confidant, and in a lot of ways, even my protector. She tells me when I am completely out of my gourd, she calls me out when necessary, and she even encourages me in areas where I (still) have absolutely zero courage. I am blessed because if the world caved in around me, I know exactly whom I would call, and I have no doubt that she’d answer. Not many people can say that. There was once a time where I wouldn’t have dared traveled or bothered hanging out at strange sidewalk cafes (!!), or tried getting involved in a fan community – but I feel (mostly) completely comfortable (Ok, I’m totally lying – I’m still neurotic) because most of the time, Amanda is right with me. I won’t say I don’t need other friends, but I guess I would say that I’m lucky I already have one that I completely trust. Had we never met up with a single other Duranie (or Duran-member) in Los Angeles that night after the show at the Ace Theatre, I am 100% positive that we would have been fine. We’d have gone up to that rooftop bar, and laughed our way through the evening anyway. I never have to wonder what Amanda is saying about me behind my back or whether or not she’s going to ditch me so that she can find the band, or whether or not I’m going to be included when she plans events or wins tickets to things, or I-can’t-even-imagine-what-else. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even want to bother going to shows without her, and aside from the time where she literally hung out at a bar sandwiched between Roger Taylor on one side of her and Dom Brown on the other….while I was¬†at home with my family in California (seriously, what is the irony there and why do these¬†things happen when I’m not there!?!)….I think she feels the same. The distance is always a problem. sigh

I’m very, very glad you were born, Amanda!! ¬†Hug your parents for me! I look forward to all the adventures that are yet to come, and I’m excited about coming to see you this summer, too. ¬†I can’t wait to cheat on Duran Duran with Brandon Flowers (that sounded so much better in my head…)…and maybe we can even squeeze in a trip to Chicago. Let’s try really hard to figure out a way to go to the UK or Europe….because life is WAY too short and we need to LIVE. I hope you have a fantastic birthday with many more ahead!

Amanda & Rhonda Ace Rooftop

-R

 

 

 

 

1875 and counting…

1,875 posts. There is this nifty little tool here in WordPress where Amanda and I are able to properly track what is going on with this blog. We can see how many people subscribe by email, how many just read here online, what posts people tend to read most…and the list of stats goes on and on. ¬†What I can tell you today is that as of the post I just published prior to drafting this one, we’ve written 1,875 posts. That is definitely a little more than a post a day, but we didn’t really start doing that until this past year when we moved to WordPress, so I’d say we’ve been busy.

If you didn’t already hear, we celebrated the fourth “anniversary” of this blog on Saturday. We call it a birthday because honestly, who doesn’t love a party?!? We celebrated with a online viewing party, utilizing a Daily Duranie Youtube playlist that Amanda and I had put together. We had a lot of fun, laughing at the comments and seeing friends who had stopped by to say hi and watch some videos with us!

Additionally, we had three fun little giveaways planned. The first two (one each for Facebook and Twitter) were based on people sending us their very best “DoJo” picture. Amanda and I each chose a favorite, which was a lot of fun because we had quite a few to choose from! Winners get their choice of a Daily Duranie coffee mug or a shot glass! The winners of that contest were Irene Turner and Leslie Kincaid! The second one, thanks to our friend Karen Booth, was ¬†for a signed copy of her book,¬†Bring Me Back. For that contest, we picked out a few blog titles we’d written over the years and had a bit of a scavenger hunt – all we really wanted to know was what the the blog that went with each title was about. The winner for that contest was Debbie from Twitter, so a copy of Karen’s book will be on it’s way shortly!

Winning DoJo entries:

 

I’ve said it before, but I am pretty sure I didn’t think about how long this blog would continue on the fateful day that I announced to Amanda, “Hey, we should do a blog since we’re working on this book!! Want me to get one together?!?” I’m also pretty sure that Amanda didn’t have any idea what I was getting her into on that day, because she agreed to try it! For me personally, the blog goes beyond writing a manuscript or being a fan. This whole “Daily Duranie” thing has taken on a life of it’s own. Some days, I feel like I’m dragging it uphill behind me, and on other days, I feel like I had better hold on tight because this thing is taking off like a rocket for a very wild ride. It’s been a crazy trip so far with much more to come, I am certain. However, for this occasion, I came up with four things about this blog (specifically the blog, not the book, not the band…etc.) that I am thankful for. My four “positives”, so to speak….one for each of the four “anniversaries” or “birthdays” we’ve celebrated thus far:

1. I would say that most people don’t realize that this blog shares it’s “birthday” with another birthday – my dad’s. He passed away in 2008, and he would have turned 75 this year. Rather than being sad on September 13, I am joyful because I’ve passed another milestone year with this blog. My dad was my hero in many, many ways that someday I might write about, but not now. I just know I’m so incredibly thankful that life has worked out this way, so that I don’t spend that day thinking of the what I’ve lost, but rather what I’ve gained.

2. There was once a period of my life, in high school no less, where I was so shy I had trouble working up the nerve to order my own food at McDonalds. I am not kidding, and I know I’m weird that way because while I couldn’t order my own food – I was drum major of the marching band, calling out commands to a group of 175 of my peers. Nutty, right? Talk about forcing yourself out of a comfort zone!! Nowadays I push myself to ask celebrities and important people for interviews for this blog – something that does not come at all naturally. Just last week I interviewed someone over the phone, and my nerves were at an all-time high, but I got through it, and more importantly, I really enjoyed doing it.

3. I should probably talk about my own fandom here. I think that without the blog, it would probably be fairly easy for me to just put Duran Duran on the back burner. I’m a busy mom, my husband isn’t really a fan, and I don’t have a group of friends here in California that are fans either. The blog forces me to stay in tune with what’s going on even when it might be easier for me to just focus on whatever is going on here at home. Sometimes that is remarkably easy, and other times – the band is in the middle of recording an album and there’s not a lot to keep us all going. I’ve learned to appreciate some of the smallest things – a tweet here or there, a news byte, or even unearthing a video I’ve never seen. I don’t expect all fans to be like that, but Amanda and I made a commitment to BE HERE even when the band is not, and we take that (although not necessarily ourselves) very seriously.

4. Writing this blog has taught me a lot about friendship. To begin with, I have a group of friends that I may not have ever met had it not been for Daily Duranie. I have friends in different states, different countries and even different continents. I’ve also learned that my friends, the real ones, are there for me even if I don’t see them every day, every week or even every year. They are the people that make the effort. They show up. Who knew that writing a blog would do all of this? Certainly not me.

I only covered four things here, but as I continue to sit and reflect, I know these are just the tip of the iceberg, and these four positives aren’t necessarily even the largest positives I could choose. I didn’t even mention all of the traveling or the increased sense of self-purpose or just the personal acceptance I feel on a daily basis, and for someone like me, who spent the majority of her life as a “wallflower”, hoping to fade into the wallpaper and not be noticed, I would have never guessed that writing a simple blog would turn my life completely around.

I said it on Saturday but it bares repeating, I tip my glass (well, this morning it’s really my coffee cup) to my partner-in-crime, Amanda. I hope that this is really just the beginning and that we’ve got at least four more even crazier years ahead. It’s wild to me that we’ve already been writing this blog for four years. How did we ever come up with that much to say?!?

And again, thank YOU. We would probably write even if no one ever read the blog, but because people do, it makes the journey that much sweeter. We hope you find us funny, insightful, intelligent, and even exasperating at times, and we look forward to hearing from you when any or all of that happens!!

-R

Today in Duran History – Happy Birthday Amanda!!

On this day in (a year I won’t mention today)…Amanda Pustz of Daily Duranie was born. ¬†ūüėÄ ¬†Happy Birthday Amanda!!!

Let’s take a look at some special Amanda/Rhonda memories over the years, shall we? ¬†In September of this year, I will mark 10 years as having known Amanda. Prior to our meeting in person at a DD fan convention, I did run into her posts from time to time on the DDF message board – but it was only after we met that I think she became more involved on the message boards and online communities for Duran Duran. ¬†One might say that I was a bad influence. ¬†However, I present the following as evidence in the contrary:

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Quick question: which one of us is holding the vodka bottle?

I thought so.

 

 

But…rather than embarrass Amanda (primarily because she will get me back in spades…and who really wants that?!?), I decided to pick out a few of my better memories with a few stories that go along with them: ¬†(They aren’t in order. I’m not the organized one out of the two of us…)

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This is on Bourbon street in New Orleans. The date is right, so we were there for the Voodoo Festival Let’s see if anyone can guess what we’re yelling. (I’ll never tell…)

 

Below is from the same weekend. Club Ampersand Рwhere a fan get together had been planned by DDM.  It was a fascinating beginning to the weekend, I must say.

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We made it to the star in LA and took photos. This isn’t just about it being Duran Duran, this is a memory that (for me) showcases how long we’ve worked together on our manuscript, this blog…and bigger dreams.

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Naturally, I can’t ever forget the trips we made to the UK. Who ever thought we’d go?? Twice?? In a single year?? Thankfully, I have a fantastic traveling partner.

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Success!!! This is a photo of us in Brighton Centre – I won’t ever forget that night, and I’m sure Amanda won’t either.

 

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And then there’s the night we finally found ourselves in front row!!

 

 

 

And lastly (for now), there’s Durandemonium. There is no way I would have ever attempted such a thing without her – and I can really say that had she not been there pulling me along – it likely wouldn’t have ever happened. ¬†And now we’re planning another!

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We try to remind everyone that while the music is what brought us here, it really is the friendships that keep us coming back for more. Maybe I’m just a big sap, but as I was driving home in particularly nasty traffic last Friday afternoon, it occurred to me that if the band REALLY needs motivation to continue, or inspiration to write – they really need not look further than the real friendships that they, in an indirect sort of way, have helped to create.

Amanda, I hope you have a wonderful birthday – and next year, I hope we’re celebrating the release of some really fantastic music to add to the soundtrack of our friendship at the same time we’re celebrating your birthday!!!

-R