Friday, July 29, 2016

July Wrap Up/ Ab Fab Review

It's the monthly wrap up post. I am also going to add my review to Absolutely Fabulous the Movie at the end.
Let's start off with the lowest point of the month.
Technically straight line winds, but they can actually be worse than a funnel cloud. I was at work, there wasn't a Tornado Watch. The worst of "Tornado Season" is supposed to be over. Then BAM, I'm hiding in a bathroom at work with a bunch of other people. I hate tornadoes!
Changing Things Up
I have mentioned last week that I am going to try and focus on getting physical fit. I am actually eating grapes as I write this...but I want chocolate. Making better choices. That is the plan. Since I have been feeling off lately I also cut off my hair. It is shoulder length so it isn't drastic, but my hair was really long to begin with. 

Just something I wanted to share. I made a clay Jabba the Hutt for an online contest. Didn't win but at least I have this monstrosity.
Absolutely Fabulous the Movie
I have grown up watching the British TV series Absolutely Fabulous. I think it may have been one of the first British shows I ever watch. It is one of the few TV shows that my parents and I both like.
Although I love the show, the movie was just okay. Since it is a limited run release it cost about $10 to see. Not really worth it for the price. I did laugh a few times and smile quite a bit.
In some ways it is a good send off to a beloved show. So many of the pasts characters show up. Edina and Patsy are still out of control and doing it with style. It just felt a bit off. Maybe because it is the end.
All that aside there were some good moments. Jon Hamm and Patsy, YES! Also Chris Colfer as Edina's stylist was a perfect way to do a cameo.
The final resolution between Saffy and Edina was sweet. That for me was important for the end of this all encompassing franchise. 
When this comes out on DVD I will probably get it along with the entire series. It does give a nice closure but not at movie theater prices.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Ghostbusters 2016 Review

My mom and I went to see the female led Ghostbusters. There probably will be spoilers from here on.

Having grown up with the original Ghostbusters films as well as the cartoon version (I am still looking for the damned Ecto Cooler that was supposed to come out this summer) I was a little unsure of this film. My biggest concern wasn't a female cast but of casting any other actor or actress to play the same exact roles as the original actors. I didn't want to watch anyone try and play "Bill Murray" if you get what I mean.
I am pleased to say that this film didn't do that.
There wasn't a "Female Ray" or anything like that. Instead they cast truly funny actresses and wrote well rounded (for a comedy) characters that are not just rehashed characters from the original films.
Kristin Wiig's semi straight-laced Erin is the first character introduced and what I liked best is that Wiig made her funny without going over the top. With four comedic actress leading this picture there needed to be a balance in the comedy. Most of her funniest parts are almost dry in their delivery. Her lusting after Chris Hemsworth really speaks to a few people, my mom included.
Honestly I liked all the main characters. Melissa McCarthy's Abby balances enthusiasm with science know how. Leslie Jones' Patty gets to be the over the top character because she can deliver a character like that and still be relatable. Most of the big laughs in the theater were for her. But my main love is for Kate McKinnon. I have been a fan of McKinnon since The Big Gay Sketch Show. Her Jillian stole scenes with less dialog then the other actress, but she doesn't need to say anything to be funny. My personal highlight, the DeBarge blowtorch-fire-fire extinguisher dance. Of course I must mention Chris Hemsworth's Kevin. It is great to see an actor like him embrace the ridiculous dimness of his character and play with it. The dancing scene during the credits was fantastic. Such a pretty man.
This Ghostbusters embraces the past movies without trying to remake them. All of the living original Ghostbusters actors have cameos including Sigourney Weaver and Annie Potts. They all play different characters from the original films. Which I like. It adds to the film for people that loved the first films but doesn't take away anything from the new characters. There is also a tribute to the late Harold Ramis, he is seen as a bust behind Charles Dance's character at the college towards the beginning of the film. And not to be left out Slimer and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man show up too.
The plot itself is entertaining and well paced. It never felt like it was dragging. I don;t want to write a full synopsis here but I will say that despite being a comedy it does manage to have an endearing moment or two.
Conclusion: I thought this was an entertaining film. It introduces fun new Ghostbusters but gives a few nods and winks to the past films.     

Friday, July 22, 2016

Out Of Sorts

"Out of sorts", a strange phrase but pretty accurate to how I've been feeling lately.
I am not sure which of the various aspects of my life is making me feel this way. It would be so easy to blame it on the horrific Oklahoma weather of late 100 degrees and tornadoes. Thanks Oklahoma
But I think it is more then the heat that is leaving me drained. I'm restless and listless, angry and sad, basically a general melancholy that I just can't shake.
I have to find a way out of this funk.
Since some aspects of my life cannot be changed at present I will focus on the things that I can control and change.
Thus I have decided to really focus on my physical well being and work towards getting fit and healthy.I am going to add new exercises and make better choices with my diet. (This shouldn't affect Faux Foodie since everyone needs to treat themselves occasionally)
I have tried before to get fit and failed because I tried to change everything at once.

 This time I am not going to turn my diet upside down, I am just going to make a conscience effort to choose better foods and portions, that doesn't mean I will cut out the foods I love. Instead of chips or candy I can grab some fruit. Instead of fried chicken and gravy, baked chicken and a side salad. This is what I have taken from various health blogs and articles.
I am hoping this will jump start me out of this "blah" haze I'm in. To have goals to work towards may just be what I need.
I really don't know why I am writing this. Maybe I just need this out there.
I try to stay away from posts that are not fun and upbeat but even in this I am trying to find the positive.


Friday, July 15, 2016

Literary Fixation- Poldark

After watching Poldark on PBS I wanted to read the books and I an delighted I did. The books do not take away from the TV series or vice versa. In many ways the books have given me more insight into the characters as well as a few interesting surprises.
Ross Poldark
The first book in the Poldark series. One of the things that surprised me in this book versus the TV show is the age of Delmelza when she is first introduced. The timeline in the show seems shorter then in the books. It actually took three or four years for Demelza to grow up and be noticed by Ross. In the series it seems like maybe a year. In fact the book Ross Poldark takes place over the course of a few years.
Also Demelza's appearance in the TV series is far different from the books. In the book she has dark hair and eyes, whereas in the TV series she has red hair and green eyes.
Not that this takes anything away from the character. Her portrayal in the TV series is pretty spot on for the book character.
The first books, Ross Poldark, focuses on Ross' transition back to England after the Revolutionary war, his recovery from the heartbreak of Elizabeth marrying his cousin Francis and his growing dislike of his own social class.
As the book progresses he finds himself falling in love with his servant, Demelza after they are married. 
The book is an easy read. There isn't much flowery language or too much scenic descriptions that you sometimes find in in these types of novels. It flows well and even if this had been the only book instead of the first book in a series it ends rather neatly without forcing a cliffhanger on the reader.
The second novel in the Poldark series is Demelza and it focuses on both Demelza and Ross. Their lives during the happiest times and their lowest moments.
Compared to the TV series Francis and Elizabeth are mentioned but hardly appear in the novel except here and there. Even though they contribute to some important events for Demelza and Ross.
A large part of this book centers on Ross' attempts at a smelting company to help the mines in general and to take away some of the power from people like the Warleggans. Another story line that weaves its way through the book is the secret romance between Verity Poldark and Capt Blamey and the fallout of their elopement. Unlike the first book, Demelza ends on a more melancholy note, yet there is still a glimmer of hope.
If you enjoyed the TV series you will probably like these books and the other way around if you have read these already and have been thinking about watching the TV series.
The books give greater details about minor characters seen in the show as well as giving extra insight into main characters like Ross and Demelza.
After reading these I feel that the TV series had done a great job at translating the books. The casting is perfect, Ross could have easily been portrayed as too brooding but Aiden Turner balances brooding with a touch of charm. Eleanor Tomlinson is just perfect as Demelza. She manages to be both tomboyish and elegant in turn.
Have you seen or read Poldark? What do you think?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Faux Foodie: Bananas Foster

This month for Faux Foodie we made something we have always wanted to try, Bananas Foster.
After finding a pretty simple recipe my mom and I dived in.
Just to let you know, since we were not sure if the rum would flame up or the ingredients would scorched we used an old, beat up looking pan. I don't want anyone thinking I usually use this unflattering pan in the pictures below : P 
I also found this mini bottle of rum at the liquor store. Release The Kraken!!
The All Recipes version seemed pretty straight forward. Melt the butter
Add the Brown sugar.
Then stir in vanilla, rum and cinnamon
(To be honest I was kinda hoping for a bit of a flame..nope)
Cut the bananas so that they look odd before putting them in the bubbling mixture. 
Cook until the bananas are warmed through. 
And scoop onto ice cream.
Pretty simple.
My mom liked this but I didn't. It turned out okay but it just wasn't to my taste. In truth I have never been a spiced rum fan and the only dark rum we could find was spiced. That added to the cinnamon just didn't appeal to me. 
Still this is something we have both wanted to try and I'm glad we did. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Come With Us Now- The Mighty Boosh (or Why I'm mad at BBCAmerica)

The Mighty Boosh is a TV series I almost never knew about and that would have been a tragedy. Like many things my love of Placebo brought this to my attention in a roundabout way.
There was a British quiz show called Nevermind The Buzzcocks that featured musicians and comedians. Brian Molko, of Placebo, was a guest panelist a few times. He was perfection as usual. Unfortunately this show is no longer on Youtube and cannot be seen in the US that I know of.
Back to The Mighty Boosh. In the later seasons of the Buzzcocks, Noel Fielding was a team captain. Fielding is Vince Noir ( among others) in The Mighty Boosh.   
Like the Buzzcocks, The Mighty Boosh is pretty difficult to watch in the States unless you buy the DVD (or are techie enough to find other ways). I bought the DVD...and it came with stickers! 
This show is absurd, weird and completely wonderful. Just look at Noel Fielding's hair and tell me it doesn't make you happy. This show reminds me a little of Monty Python's Flying Circus at times, yet it is its own entity. 
The show focuses on Noel Fielding's Vince Noir and Julian Barratt's Howard Moon. Both Fielding and Barratt play many different characters through the show. My favs are Fielding as The Moon and Old Gregg. I have quoted, in character, Old Gregg to people and received some strange looks.
"Do you love me? I drank Bailey's from a shoe...creamy"
One of my favorite things about this show is the random songs. The song from Call of the Yeti is so freaking fantastic.
Other characters include Bollo- the gorilla, disgusting Bob Fossil, evil Dixon Bainbridge and darling Naboo.
If you have never seen this show and by some chance get an opportunity, WATCH IT! It is delightfully odd.
And this brings to one of the reasons I am writing this post. There are so many brilliant British shows that are nearly impossible to see in the US. BBCAmerica doesn't show series like this anymore. In fact, most of BBCAmerica is blocks of Star Trek Next Generation, Top Gear and Kitchen Nightmares. WHY?
There are so many amazing series that BBCAmerica could be showing. Even some of the older series too, like Ab Fab, My Family, Are You Being Served...I really could go on here. The only way to watch some of this kind of programming is if your local PBS stations puts them on or if you buy really expensive DVD sets, most of which are not region friendly for the US. 
Come on BBCAmerica, you can do better.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Netflix Picks- July 2016

A couple of really great things have been added to Netflix this month.
My usual disclaimer- As of the time I am writing this these films and television shows are available on Netflix is the USA. They can at anytime be taken off...because it's Netflix.

Batman-The Movie
I grew up watching the 1960's Batman and now the movie is on Netflix. Fingers crossed that the TV series will show up soon. This is campy and wonderful.
*Drinking game opportunities

Penny Dreadful
This TV series takes well known characters from 19th century literature and interweaves them into a dark and stunning series. Dorian Gray, Victor Frankenstein and Dracula to name a few.

The Shannara Chronicles
I had no idea what this was when I first watched it on MTV. I am still shocked that MTV made such an interesting and visually capturing series. If you like Lord of the Rings or anything in that fantasy vein this is something to check out. I was surprised how much I liked it. The tree that keeps the demons trapped in an alternate reality is dying and it is up the the Eleven princess, Amberle, and a few unlikely allies to save their world. 

Adult World
Even though I find Emma Roberts on the screeching side, this was actually an interesting film. It is saved by Evan Peters being in it. Not for everyone. 
A recent college grad and wannabe poet takes a job at a sex shop. This begins her exposure to the real world and growing up.

Friday, July 1, 2016

A Day In Pictures

I thought I would try something different. 
I took random pictures throughout one of my normal weekdays.
I almost just dumped these picture without explanations but twitter friends suggested otherwise.

-Who wakes up at this ungodly hour?-  -Cat must be fed-
-Rocking my Link shirt to work- -Leaving the house in the Oklahoma heat, I'm melting-
-Summer semester at the campus I work at...empty parking lots- -You can almost see Tulsa, in the distance, far away.-
-The random things behind the desk I work at include bones people can check out and a bouncy ball chair- -Break time, hanging out with Dory and friends-
-After work errands, dropping off some Iggle mail- -I know these are not really healthy but I like to delude myself-
-Quick stop at the Library- -The happiness of a new book-
-Wine and Zelda to finish off a long hot day-

Faux Foodie- Eton Mess

Since life is strange right now, I have nothing relevant to post right now... so instead a re-post/edit of one of my favorite desserts ...