Nora, Tommy & the Hispano Bloggers Awards

We’re halfway through 2012, and the Fifty/Fifty challenge is looming LARGE, taunting me, as if it already knows I’m not going to make it.

For, I’m falling behind like nobody’s business.

But, cut me some slack, okay? You all know how busy I am. Frankly, I don’t know why I agreed to this aggressive challenge, anyway, but the fact of the matter is I did, and now I just have to deal.

So here’s what I did this month: I embraced my romantic side.

Yes, this jaded Latina from Queens, who still has the scars of divorce imprinted on her heart, still wants to believe in that happily ever after ending. Maybe it’s a dream. Maybe I’m in love with love, or, rather, love, as it appears in the movies. Too bad life doesn’t imitate art.

And no one portrays love in the cinema like Nora Ephron, the greatest, happy-go-lucky romantic of them all, who, sadly passed away this June. Nora looked on the bright side of life, and her movies resonate with her upbeat style and sensibility. Which is why I decided to have myself a Nora Ephron movie marathon, which I started in June and, time got the better of me, so my marathon sort of wiggled its way into early July (Happy Fourth, Nora!) and I haven’t quite finished (Mixed Nuts and Julie and Julia, you’re next!)

I watched Heartburn (the most empowering movie about divorce, ever!), Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail and When Harry Met Sally. I have to tell you, after watching these four films, I’ve come to the conclusion that Nora’s movies are not necessarily love stories centered on two people. Nope.

What these films really and truly represent, is an exquisitely gift-wrapped homage to what was undoubtedly Nora’s greatest love of all:  New York City. Manhattan, the city that never sleeps.

These movies celebrate all that is beautiful, dreamy and sublime about the city. The music sets the tone and the stories capture the jazzy mood of Manhattan, much like the films of Woody Allen.  Even, Sleepless in Seattle comes to a rousing, starry-eyed finale at the top of the Empire State Building, which is all lit up—thanks to technical wizardy—with a giant red heart. Ah, love! Ah, New York!

Ah, Nora! Ah, Tommy!

Singer/Songwriter, Tommy Torres

Tommy? Yes, Tommy.  For, when it comes to love, what better way to express the feelings it stirs than through music? As Shakespeare himself, wrote, “If music be the food of love, play on.”

Sure, Harry Connick, Jr. and Jimmy Durante have it down in Nora’s movies. Their love songs trip the light fantastic, building upon the idealistic feelings the films convey. But, any Latina knows, that when it comes to genuine, heartbreaking, passionate, die-for-love romance, Latin lovers have a way with words—and song.

And lately, here’s whom I’ve been listening to: Tommy Torres. He’s a big sensation in Latin countries, but that’s changing, so watch out. Tommy Torres is crossing over.

Now, I love coming across new talent. But, Tommy’s been around for over a decade, writing songs for the likes of Alicia Keyes and Ricky Martin. He’s got a voice and a way around a keyboard that reaches into the depths of your soul. His music and his voice, which reminds me of the style of Jamie Cullum and James Morrison, are very sexy, indeed.

I could listen to Tommy Torres all day long. And, if you ask me, there’s nothing like a love song enhanced by the sound of a piano, guaranteed to tug at my heartstrings.  Listen to his latest, titled “Querido Tommy” (Dear Tommy) and see what I mean. It is a love letter, an impassioned request for advice from a lovelorn fan:

What’s special about this song is its roots in social media. A fan named Paco, contacted Tommy through Twitter, asking for his advice. At first, Tommy didn’t respond, so Paco sent him another message. This time, Tommy replied by creating this song. Released through social media in late May, it became an instant hit, and to date has received more than 800,000 visits on YouTube.

Tommy has an album coming out in August (The album release date was actually moved up as a result of the song’s success). So, stay tuned. For, I am certain Tommy and his music are going places!

Hispano Bloggers In other news, Ashley (who you may recall, recently adopted a puppy) has nominated me for a 2012 Hispano Bloggers award! This is such an honor–and incredibly flattering. It is also unexpected (I did not put her up to this!), but, now that I’ve been nominated, I must do my part to help Ashley help me win!

So, here’s where you come in: Ashley and I would love it if you tweeted the news about my nomination. Here’s the info for the tweet, which you can copy and paste:

@AshleyR125 just nominated @monicastangled for the 2012 #HispanoBlogger Awards:! #2012HBAwards #Hispz #Latism.

The more it’s tweeted, the better my chances, so I’m counting on you!

Oh, and getting back to my Fifty/Fifty challenge, I actually read a book and saw a couple of other films in June, and you can find them on my Fifty/Fifty page.

So, tell me, what have you been up to, vis-à-vis, movies, music and/or mayhem? And, while you’re at it, any books to recommend?

38 thoughts on “Nora, Tommy & the Hispano Bloggers Awards

  1. Congratulations on the Hispanic Blogger nomination. I will be tweeting for you. I just re-watched part of Downton Abbey with my friends last night and I’m waiting to see Maggie Smith in the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel… oh how I love her.
    Nora will be missed in my household Monica. I must have watched Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve got Mail and When Harry Met Sally a million times – that’s how much I love the films and also the chemistry between Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks as well as Billy Crystal. I could mention many more but you know what I’m talking about of course. I will now watch them again.
    I am reading many books at one time – a young adult book – Shadow and Bone, and the Sandalwood Tree – a book about 1940s colonial times in India. I am awaiting Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s newest book from Amazon – and I cannot wait. Enjoy your vacation – big hugs.

    • I’m waiting for Best Exotic to come out on DVD. I really have been enjoying my Nora E. marathon, and I think I may be doing other marathons in the near future. It’s more fun that way. 🙂

  2. My biped enjoys Nora Ephron films and you named a couple she hasn’t seen, so I think that’s high on our list of things to do! I’ve tweeted the information about your nomination – congratulations!

    • Thank you so much, Clowie! How very nice of you. I’m glad your biped enjoys Nora Ephron films. They’re so good! By the way, which ones hasn’t she seen? I’ve seen them all except “Mixed Nuts.” I hope to see that soon, though.

      • She hasn’t seen “Mixed Nuts” and she hasn’t seen “Heartburn”. I like Brinkley in “You’ve Got Mail” and there’s a lovely doggy song in that film.

      • Clowie, please tell her “Heartburn” is a must-see. Meryl Streep is wonderful and Jack Nicholson is in his element. Rest of the cast is great, too. Based on the book by the same name, this is based on Nora’s own marriage to one of the Watergate reporters. So I think that makes it even more interesting.

  3. I had the pleasure, this past Saturday night, of hearing Paquito d’Rivera and his ensemble as part of the Caramoor summer music festival. So clearly there’s much more than a love of summer reading that we share. If only it didn’t feel like so fleeting a season!

    • Deborah, what a great concert. Sounds like such fun. Oh, yes, I bet if we lived in the same city, we could have a lot of fun hanging out! Concerts, theater and a good bookstore. What fun!

  4. Hi Monica

    Have re-tweeted as requested and I hope you win you certainly deserve to.

    Film wise I have just watched a private function with Maggie Smith, Michael Palin & Denholm Elliot.

    Also watched The Station Agent with Paul Benjamin & Patricia Clarkson.

    Right onwards and hopefully upwards with another week.

  5. Monica, Congratulations on your nomination!!! Much deserved. I too love and miss Nora, her take on what it means to be female, etc. Love Sleepless in Seattle best of all, though.

    And I have to say: you deserve all the slack you need. The 50/50 goal is admirable no matter how close you get. Just look at all you do, at all you have accomplished besides!

    Now here I go to tweet this thing … 🙂

    • Thank you, Lisa. Even if I don’t win (for there are so many worth bloggers out there!), it pleases me to no end to think that someone thought enough of me to nominate me. Ashley is a peach!

      Sleepless meant a lot to me, because that film came out shortly after I moved away from Seattle. And it filled me with nostalgia for the city. I felt overwhelming sadness that I had to leave it (because of my then husband’s studies), so seeing it in the film was bittersweet.

      Thank you for your support, positive spirit regarding my 50/50 challenge. When you put it that way, guess I’m doing okay. I suppose I’m too hard on myself.

    • Thank you so much, Misty. Each of Nora’s movies has a sensibility about them that is tender, sweet and respectful. You recognize her style at once, and I think, I like them all. They each have something invaluable to offer.

  6. I tweeted! Wasn’t it amazing how “Heartburn” still held up? And with such beautiful direction by Mike Nichols — the lingering shots. So different from the “quick cuts” that make up today’s movies.

    • Jayne, I saw your tweet and I love it! Thank you so much! “Heartburn” is my favorite. It’s my anthem. It really, really helped me survive my divorce. It also had a great soundtrack! (The Itsy Bitsy Spider as sung by Carly Simon and some kids, remember?)

  7. You’re so awesome and you can count on me tweeting your stuff! Thanks for always taking the time to comment on shenkitup! I’m working on my communication skills 😀

    • Brenda, I so hope you enjoy Querido Tommy. I think the video, too, is beautifully done, but would love to know your thoughts. And thank you so much for tweeting. I so appreciate it! 🙂

    • Oh, Kim, thank you so much for tweeting. I love you for it. You are such a terrific, powerful woman, and I so appreciate the help you offer me. Hugs to you on this summer day, my friend. 😉

  8. Congrats, Monica — both on your award and on stepping closer to nailing that 50/50 challenge! You’re going to love Julie and Julia (I’ve seen it a couple of times now!)! Thanks for introducing us to Tommy — I swear, a person can sing anything in Spanish and make it sound like a love song!!

    • Debbie, I’ve already seen Julie and Julia twice, but that was when it first came out, and with my memory these days, it’ll be like seeing it for the first time! Tommy has a very sexy voice, made sexier by the accompanying piano. 😉

  9. Hi Monica, congratulations on your nomination! Very well deserved! I also loved Nora Ephron’s movies. When Harry Met Sally is such a classic. We recently went to Katz’s deli i NYC where that infamous scene was filmed….and no, I didn’t reenact it! LOL!
    Great blog and great job!

    • Lisa, I hadn’t seen When Harry Met Sally in years. So when I watched it the other night, I found myself loving it even more the second time around. Plus I just purchased the movie script, which comes with an intro from Nora on how the movie screenplay came to be. And how, Sally is Nora and Harry is Rob Reiner. The two of them collaborated to create these versions of themselves, which I find very interesting.

  10. Congratulations on your nomination!

    Throughout your 50/50 challenge, I’ve been updating my Netflix and library lists with your recommendations and now I need to add music, too. Thanks for the introduction to Tommy Torres.

    For my own recommendations: I just saw The Iron Lady last night and Meryl Streep is amazing. I also thought Michelle Williams was excellent in My Week With Marylin and Clare Danes was wonderful as Temple Grandin. I guess we’ve been watching biopics lately.

    I recently read State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (researchers in the Amazon) and The Paris Wife by Paula McLain (a novel about Hemingway’s first wife). Both were great for armchair travel.

    • Technically, the music isn’t part of the challenge, Shary, but I love music and always have something playing when I’m writing. Is Iron Lady out on DVD? I have to see it, for I love Meryl. I did see Temple Grandin. Great movie. I keep hearing great things about The Paris Wife. That’s on my list!

    • Thank you, Georgette. We’ll see if I win. As for Nora, I’m going on vacation soon, and I’m preparing to take two of her books with me, on my Kindle. Can’t wait!

  11. Clearly, congratulations are due. Looks like you’re making progress with the challenge AND winning awards. Hooray for you. Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend, my friend.

    • Kathy, it’s true. I’m making progress with the challenge–in watching films. With books, unless I switch to only reading children’s books, I’m not going to make it. I’ve already resigned myself. As for the Hispano Blogger Award, technically I haven’t won it; my name was just thrown in for consideration. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. So thanks for your support! Happy Sunday!

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