Last week: I was just chatting about party food with the temp (I almost always get on with temps), because I was thinking about doing something re the upcoming weekend, especially since tomorrow looks like being a shocker of a long day (ie, I'll need snacks). Anyway, my old party piece used to be the pineapple. Oh yes, what used to pass for the height of sophistication way back when. The last time I ever did one, sigh, must have been nearly ten years ago now, at a previous job, where we decided to throw a Melbourne Cup party but we had to bring 60s cocktail party food, crazy kids that we were.
Anyway, the pineapple (and if you're setting up elsewhere, best to pop everything into little plastic containers and assemble in situ, trust me on this). First, get yourself a large and pleasing pineapple. Then get several packets worth of toothpicks. Always err on the side of way too many (you can always use them for stuff like digging sticky fruit loaf toast out of the toaster later). Get yourself a cheap cheddar and chop it into tiny cubes, about 1cm square. Then get your olives, with pimentos, and at least three colours of cocktail onions, all drained. Stick cheese, onions and olives onto toothpicks. You can double or triple up if you like, if you've got a good supply, but leave at least half of the toothpick free to stab into the pineapple and for folks to grab at. Using the pineapple as an adhoc chequerboard, you just stick your cocktail toothpicks into the pineapple in a criss cross alignment, making patterns if you wish (it depends on the amount of time you have, creativity and level of ocd). Et voila, one swinging 60s cocktail party pineapple, good to go.
Hey, it's what they used to do for fun, they didn't have cable. It makes a nice centrepiece with the Jatz crackers and devilled eggs.
Don't mind me, just a bit frustrated at work. I can't edit the css if I don't have access, but nobody seems to get that. Sigh.
What else? Watched Primeval last night. I didn't get to see the screening, but I'd since been fed up with that so I'd bought the S3 box so I popped that on once the chores were done. Instant gratification. It was the knight vs dragon one, which I always thought was a cute idea. What I didn't know it featured Tony Curran (long my choice for Esca, but never mind), still lookin' mighty fine (and demonstrably, he would have made a perfect Esca). We'll ignore the whole hey, those Chaucer folks are totally speaking modern english because this is a show about dinosaurs, and such pedantry would look both foolish and unkind. At least they threw in some Latin, so they made an attempt. I just hope they'd had all their shots since said knight was just back from the Holy Land.
Supernatural? Well, it as back with more of a nod than a bang, but that's okay, a nice filler episode to ease us back into the swing of things, even if it should have come up with a warning about "the following program may contain Irish accents". I dunno, there's always something about an Irish accent on an American show, but I guess I'm just too used to Ulster or Dublin accents on Brit telly. Anyhoo, the card game, cute idea. Coulda done without the whole Bobby woe is me thing (I loved Bobby but he's Mr Boat Anchor this season) but the back and forth with Dean was fun to watch and it was nice to see Sammy employ some devious instead of just swinging between angst and/or evil depending upon which way the wind was blowing. I liked. It sort of had an independant film vibe, but that's probably because it was a bottle episode by stealth (ie, not a proper legally defined bottle episode, but very bottlely, nevertheless). Best of all it was one I'd not seen as the version I, er, well, it didn't work.
We've yet to see Neal (since this episode was dealing with cardsharks I can't help but think of Caffrey and the Mavericks) do the full on Casino Royale high stakes poker game thing, but I'm sure it'll come.
But I did like the idea of the card game, playing for years instead of dollars, very much so. I swear I've seen or read something very like it somewhere, but where I've no idea (I wish I'd done the whole drink, drugs and rock and roll thing when I was a kid for all the good the grey matter does me these days. This is what being good gets ya - sweet FA and no stories to tell). I know I'm in the minority, but I like the small standalone episodes, I really do, especially when they keep it simple. There should be more magic and general weird in the Supernatural universe, imho, instead of just monsters and big theological battles. Btw, young Jimmy Bond ruminates upon the nature of good and evil towards the end of Casino Royale in a monologue that wouldn't look out of place on Supernatural, but that's just me.
I also think Dean needs to read up on his Voltaire and stop accepting the basic premise that a) God has left his perfect machine to run down and break and b) everything is for the best, in this best of all possible worlds. Sure, Dean gets lippy, but to me it feels like just lip, and that he really does believe in fate and being the bitch of higher powers. Come on Dean, try and master your own destiny, and but the blame where it lies (not in the stars, but in ourselves). Yeah, like that's gonna happen. Oh well. It's like watching a toy train on a track, isn't it? That's the problem with plotted out arcs, there's no deviation to be had along the journey, no surprises along the way.
Oh, one of the few folks I really like here is having a really, really bad day and sounds all kicked puppy on the phone. Oh, hugs, mate, hugs.
And my day didn't get any better. Those neverending emails are really mean. I feel like I'm covered in bitemarks. Ah well, who doesn't work for a bully, eh? That's what bullies do: they become management.
Meanwhile, my plans to lose weight have gone awry. Go sit in the park, away from temptation, go and work in the garden, away from temptation, and walk home the 5km from the station, tubbo. But no, it rains, doesn't it, and I'm just not that much of a masochist any more, more's the pity. Sigh. Rain, in the worst drought ever, can you believe it?
Thurs: Okay, so I was looking at some Pretty Matty piccies, because I was upset, because I always get upset when someone is rude to me and looking at Pretty Matty helps the medicine go down, just a bit, and I'm also annoyed he didn't make the cut, again, for Who Weekly, because we never get People out here and oh never mind. Anyway, I was perving at this pic and I noticed what he had hanging around his neck and thought it's not, it can't be, no way, snap! How embarrassing. So there's me, taking mine off right now and slipping it in my pocket.
Yes, pocket. I've worn jeans in today. Because. Instead of a holiday today is gonna me a triple shift of horribleness and damned if I'm doing it in scratchy office clothes. I've got my coat to throw on in case of emergencies, and I was, up until five minutes ago, wearing one of my favourite little gee gaws. Oh well.
One week later...
Well, wasn't last Thursday bracing. I'll spare you the miserable details but come Friday night I didn't really get to watch the White Collar finale at all, because I was still sitting there being very distressed, which is a pity, because if nothing else, there was shameless man flesh to olgle at (and what magnificent flesh it is, too). Thank goodness I'd had the opportunity to watch and enjoy earlier, as I suspected Thursday might suck, but not that much, not even in my worst nightmares. What can I say, screaming at me for things that are not in my power to fix (like seriously, no password, no access) does not motivate me. Quite the opposite.
I don't know why, it just really got to me, got under my skin, and I spent all Friday in my room sulking. No net, no dvds, just brooding.
Saturday I resolved to do better and I was up and out before 8 am, weeding the garden and it was quite lovely in the early morning, with everyone else still abed and the spiders driven off with a thorough swishing of the undergrowth with a big stick that I'd found. That was most satisfying, I must say, and I know you're gonna say the spiders have every right to be there and to crawl over my back and dangle from my hat brim, and they do, but I don't like it, and at least the swishing got rid of the worst of them. And you've no idea, because you ought to see outside the kitchen window, there hangs the world's biggest spider web. It's huge, at least 2m diameter. We're talking b/w Tarzan flick sized webs and spiders. Anyway, I was enjoying my spot of weeding, clearing a space for the new almond tree, and I didn't stop until elenses, when I really had to stop.
Sure enough though, before I'd finished my cuppa, big grey clouds had rolled up and it was game called on account of rain. This kind of threw me because I'd had everything set up to get the trees in and I usually roll onto another job but I just kind of pottered. I was going to have a go at the kitchen but Himself was in Masterchef mode, churning out grape bread, roast chicken with balsamic and figs, and a parade of blancmanges including chocolate, coffee and a splendid one made with fresh raspberries and served with raspberry jus. He'd picked up a fancy egg blue porcelain blancmange mould from the Rupert Bunny Exhibition giftshop (one of those exhibitions where the giftshop exceds the art in fun and fancy) and thank you Rupert Bunny because it's a perfect blancmange mould, pops 'em out every time (the old tin one I used to use as a kid was a horror). Can't post you the blancmange recipe, it's from a 1930s American cookbook he found at a jumble sale and it apparently took several goes, ahem, to properly adjust 30s American measurements to modern metric local ones.
I deeply suspect the round the clock cooking was to get Himself out of doing anything else, but it'd be far, far too churlish to complain, so we'll let it slide. That said, I spent a good portion of the weekend washing pots.
Watched: Supernatural. I really like the Fox8 versions. I'm less tired and they're less cut, I suspect. I just really get into them more. Don't know why. It wasn't a great one, it was the dreamwalker one, but I didn't really care.
Sunday. Grrr. I got scorched almonds for Easter, which was the equivalent of broken glass, as far as I'm concerned. I've never voluntarily eaten one since I spat out my first one when I was four. I can't even just suck the chocolate off, like my Nana once advised me to try when I wasn't much older. I quite like almonds, but I can't stand scorched ones. Why anyone would think I would want them, I do not know, and, worse, they would have had to have climbed over the freckles, frogs and tiny eggs, all of which I love, to get them. Bah and humbug. And after the largesse of excellence I sent the other way. Definite trade deficit, no mistake. I probably could have coped, because I really shouldn't be having any chocolate anyway, but still. A shitty weekend and no cholocolate. Harumph. Retreated to my room for further sulking. Tried bidding on a signed Lindt bunny (cause I figured it was the only way I was gonna get one), but I lost that, too. And I forgot I was supposed to be going out. And my PC kept playing up on me. And it was raining. Poopy.
Monday. It lightened a little. It was actually quite nice and I attempted the washing, despite the currawong warning most anxiously against such an enterprise, but I figured the bulk of it could be bunged in the drier, which is what happened as I only had the first three loads out on the line before the clouds rolled up. It never actually rained but it looked grim enough and besides, nothing was drying on the line anyway, so that was that.
Still in sulk mode but I caight some Sarah Jane Adventures (the creepy haunted manor one was very creepy, way creepier than anything on Supernatural but British shows, when they do it right, are always the creepiest, imho, mainly because they rely more on shadows and tension than cgi, I do suspect) and then I cracked open Tales of the Gold Monkey. Yes, really. I'd not seen it since, well, yes, and I was kind of watching the first few minutes from behind my fingers but it wasn't that bad (or rather, as bad as I'd feared). It's dumb but fun. The crap acting, cheap FX and silly plots are no worse than anything I've seen on recent American shows (Bones and Supernatural spring most readily to mind) and I was of a mood to watch evil Eyptian priests and natives with blow darts and the like and it has Roddy McDowell in it so there. And I gotta say, it either says a lot about the ingenuity of TOTGM or the laziness and poverty of current US shows that the FX was on a par, if not better. Good grief, but it was. Lots of clever editing and making do, and it holds up surprisingly well. It's still fun to watch, Stephen Collins was pretty and Roddy McDowell, well, he was just perfect.
Finished off with Carnivale (oh, Jonesy, with bomus John Hannah) and the silly Supernatural stuck in tv shows one which probably would have made a touch more sense if I actually watched any of the shows they were parodying, or perhaps not. And, oh, Dean, protesting too much again? All that rather glorious squeeing over his favourite soap and favourite tv doctor. I do wonder about Dean, at times, or most of the time. Soap squeeing aside, he does play up the whole ultra male blue collar redneck thing well past the point of camp parody. Which would seem to indicate some sort of insecurity is at play. Through in some parental disappintment and estrangement, and entire coal shipment's worth of daddy issues, failed expectations and failure to live up to Dad's dysfunctional image, not to mention the odd interests that cause much eye rolling from Sam (and much squirming from Dean) and, well, I could be silly and start to factor in the whole oral fixation thing but, really, Dean, find a nice guy, get yourself good and properly laid and get over it. Seriously, dude.
Meanwhile, been so not happy the story damn nearly ended with one very pissed off Peter putting a bullet in Neal's back but fortunately I was far too squeamish for that. Too squeamish even to sit through the last Pretty Matty episode of Tru Calling. Man, he was wasted on that show. I mean, the poor guy was doomed from the outset, and he was treated like dirt by Tru (come on, he was), and I just never got this great cosmic destined to be but torn apart vibe that was supposed to be going on, because, to be honest, most of the time they were generating the low wattage of a couple of colleagues who occassionally have coffee together. Matty did try in the last episode, though, and he was very sweet, all dressed up, but I never really did buy it as the grand tragedy it was clearly meant to be. And, like I said, vaguely and oddly squeamish, though Matt, as usual, left a damn fine looking corpse, but does he always have to die in the stuff I watch him in? Shrug.
So, slightly unsettled, I changed the story. Neal is still in a world of trouble though, like I've been watching too much Spooks lately even when I actually haven't, kind of trouble. But I kinda like it, it has more symmetry, and Neal, he's made some dire Faustian pacts in his young life, and those are nigh impossible to wriggle out from. Can Peter save him? Well, just as well it ain't a British show, eh?
One thing I forgot to mention, is last Friday when I flicked over from Whitechapel, there was Tim Dekay, scowling away and I panicked until I relised it was just his episode of NCIS. Damn, I would have liked to have seen that, but, well, it was Rupert over on the ABC (and I love Whitechapel and loathe NCIS, so that was the way it was).
So, no more White Collar. Sigh. Yeah, now the ratings period is in full swing I can see a lot of nights suddenly freeing up. Oh well, still got, for the moment, Burn Notice, Dollhouse, Supernatural, Bones and Castle. Hardly edifying and weirdly all American (well, the Brit shows come and go and I've usually already had the dvd for years and years before they screen out here).
Oh, Leverage. I forgot to mention Leverage, my new darling show of the moment. I was out at the branch office yesterday, on yet another frustrating and unrewarding excursion, especially with the server shuddering in its death rattles, so I darted off as early as I could across the road to the shops, and just for once they shops were on the way home, but I did have a proper shopping list, but Borders was once again a bust (American magazines are damn near impossible to track down, I really should save myself the stress and stick to less flightly and reliable old Brits) but the dvd shop coughed up Leverage, just right there, without me even asking for it, so I bought it, sprinted home and spent the three to four hours I'd normally waste on my insane commute curled up on the couch watching disk one of Leverage. And loving it.
It's sort of like Hustle, only much funnier, and I don't mind the whole Robin Hood they have to be good guys thing. I love the fact that poor Nate's job is pretty much herding cats, as he drags his team through each job, and it's got Timothy Hutton, Christian Kane and Gina from Coupling in it. And it makes a wet evening all snuggly and warm. I love it. It's not complicated but it does the job, and it's a damn sight more fun to watch than uptight middleclass Americans agonising over every little detail in their small little lives (ie the stuff that passes for quality television).
Oh, I also bought a new shirt. It was just sitting there on a hanger and I must have pushed past it four or five times before I gave in and snatched it up. It was cheap (like made by slaves cheap), and is a broad red check faux cowboy shirt. Well, I just couldn't go a dull office shirt. Not this week. I liked it but as I was setting out this morning, having had to team it with the faux Westwood skirt and the black boots on account of the rain, the Peanut Gallery, usually too sensible to offer any sort of comment on the ensemble, coughed "Italian!" into his hand as I went out, meaning I looked like I was off to audition for Bananarama. Cruel, but true. Heh. Watching too much Ashes lately? Quite possibly. But I do like this shirt. It's cute, and I'm well past cute so last chance to wear, you know?
Oh, another rubbish day. I'm getting rather tired of this. Hopefully there will be tv violence in Burn Notice tonight to enjoy vicariously.
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