Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Glee Highlights - Season 2, Episode 3: Grilled Cheesus

So, so behind on this. Busy weekend, been sick with a cold, blah, blah. And of course because of the Commonwealth Games being televised on Channel 10 THEY SUSPENDED GLEE for a couple of weeks, so we are now two or so weeks behind the States.

Anyway, I thought episode three was good, as far as Very Special Episodes go. The title alone makes me giggle. It was well-paced, the storyline was focused and coherent and I liked that the episode didn't end in Kurt suddenly finding Jesus and becoming a born-again Christian, because life just doesn't work like that (most of the time).

So, my here are my highlights:

Puck's solo. Why isn't this dude getting more solos? Come on, producers, he's charismatic, talented and a funny dude. He needs more screen time, and the fact that he played a Billy Joel song was icing on the cake. Although he looks a little bit constipated here, but you get my drift.
But producers? Please, PLEASE stop auto-tuning his voice into a tinny, high pitched sound. He's actually an okay singer, so the post-production effects need to stop.

Sue Sylvester's anti-religion speech. It was succinct and well-executed, and it felt like a very real, simple explanation for why someone might not believe in God. And it was done with reason, a strong argument and no dramatics and/or screaming.
As usual, Jane Lynch completely sold what she was saying. I'm still so glad she won the Emmy.

Kurt's father and son flashbacks. Number one, they matched up the kid that played the young Kurt so unbelievably well. Number two, how adorable was Burt Hummel particpating in the tea party with Kurt? It's obvious he doesn't understand why his young son is so into playing afternoon tea, but his heart is in the right place and it shows. Mike O'Malley does such a fantastic job as Burt.
I particularly loved the way young Kurt was trying to show Burt how to hold up his pinky. There was such concentration on Burt's face.

Kurt's church fedora.
Damn, that dude can rock a hat. He totally gave those church ladies a run for their money.

The actual grilled cheesus. Kind of amusing watch Finn pray to it, but.....
....if the episode was spread over the course of about three or four days, and he ate the remaining half of it at the end, how is it possible that he did not end up with explosive food poisoning?

Must be the processed cheese. Pin It

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

All Aboard the RMS Titanic!

I have always loved the story of the Titanic. That may seem morbid because obviously it was a tragedy, but there's something about it I find so fascinating. So, when the Melbourne Museum began it's exhibition, Titanic: The Artefact Exhibition, I knew I would head over there to check it out.

This exhibit has apparently been the most successful museum exhibition in Australia's history - so popular, in fact, that they extended it for another few weeks.

You have to book in advance, because practically every session is sold out. We had the 5pm timeslot, and joined the queue too climb aboard and receive our boarding White Star Line boarding pass, a particularly clever marketing tool. You hand over your ticket just as you're about to walk in, and the usher gives you a boarding pass that looks like this:
Flip it over and you'll see that they've personalised each boarding pass with an actual passenger's name, what class they were in, their age, where they were from, who they were traveling with, where they were traveling to once they disembarked at the end of the journey and a quick fact about the person. It makes the exhibition feel a lot more personal and emotional, as some people would no doubt have been looking at artefacts worn/owned or used by the passenger on their boarding pass. And of course at the end of the exhibit you find out if your person survived the journey/shipwreck.

Here's mine:
In case you can't quite read it I'll give you a quick run-down: my passenger was Mrs. John Borland Thayer (Marian Longstreth Morris) who traveled in first class. She was sailing from Cherbourg and traveling to Haverford, Pennsylvania after visiting her son Jack. She had also just been in Berlin with her husband as guests of the American General Consul. She survived. Once on board the Carpathia (the ship that resuced those in lifeboats - also known as the Ship of Widows) she was one of only four women rescued to be reunited with her husband.

So you can see the moment you step inside the exhibition you're already connected to someone traveling. The first parts of the exhibit are the Construction Gallery and the Departure Gallery, which focus on the design and construction of the ship and what it was like to set sail on that April day in 1912.

Then you get to the First Class Hallway & Grand Staircase replicas, which totally made me want to watch the movie right that very second. They've gone to a lot of trouble to bring parts of the ship to life as much as possible for patrons, and it was a lot of fun to walk through. Next stop is the Passenger Gallery, which details stories and has personal artefacts on display that have been recovered (fun fact: over 5,000 artefacts have been recovered from the ocean floor wreckage since it was discovered in 1985). Things like mens boots, toothbrush and toothpaste, jewelery, letters, postcards and clothing can be seen in varying degrees of decay (a lot of items were pristine - it was really quite incredible). Next you'll head into the Third Class Gallery where you'll seen the simple accommodation offered to passengers in steerage (which, incidentally, were a lot more generous than other ocean liners at the time).

After that you walk through a dark passage and enter the Iceberg Gallery. It's pitch black, except for spotlights on the display cases, and they've cleverly displayed stories and quotes on video and projectors to add to the frigid feeling in the room. They've also brought in a giant mound of ice with finger holes in it. Patrons are encouraged to put their fingers in the holes or place their hands on the ice to get a sense of just how freezing conditions were that fateful night (-2 degrees celsius in the water). It definitely sent a chill down my spine. As did this quote:
    "We have lived together for many years. Where you go, I go."
    - passenger Ida Strauss, who jumped off her lifeboat at the last second to reboard the Titanic to be with her husband as the ship went down.
Then you'll step through to the final two sections of the exhibiton: the Seabed Gallery, which shows how the wreckage was found and the process of receovering artefacts, and the Memorial Gallery, which is where patrons can stand in front of six large boards to see who lived and who died. Finally, there is a small gallery called Australian Stories, which details the Australians on board that night, where they came from, why they were on the ship, and if they survived.

The exhibition was fantastic. It took about two hours to wander round the entire thing (probably less if it hadn't been a Saturday) and it only costs $25 for an adult ticket. It closes on the 7th of November, 2010, and I really recommend it!
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Heeeeeyyyyy PESTO!

Oh, hey, I started this post with a pun. That's not dorky at all......

So, obviously I made pesto. I bought a food processor a couple of weeks ago and thought pesto would be a simple thing to start with in my new appliance.

 It's a Kambrook, and I bought it for no other reason than it was under $100 in the recent Harris Scarfe sale. Man, that place has good sales. Sometimes I walk in there and I just want to buy stuff, just...whatever, simply because it's on sale.

Anyway, I went on to Taste.com.au to check out some pesto recipes and used this one as my basis, but I did add/change a few things.

1 1/2 cups of fresh basil
1/4 cup of pine nuts
2 fresh garlic cloves
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
A small handful of rocket
A small handful of cashew nuts

Total prep and cooking time: about 20 minutes.
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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Glee Highlights - Season 2 Episode 2 - It's Britney.....bitch

Well, this was a lacklustre episode, in terms on storyline. Horrible clich├ęd mid-life crisis Mr. Schue, needy, possessive Rachel and the fact that they basically wrote an episode around the songs they wanted to include, which is a really bad motivation for a storyline.

However, there were some good moments, so here are my top five highlights from the Britney episode of Glee.

I loved Kurt's outburst about how important Britney is to them. And Mr. Schue's subsequent smackdown that sends him to the principal's office. It was a nice moment that reminded the audience that they are still kids (as much as Mr. Schue tries to be the "cool" teacher).
Plus it was another great moment from Chris Colfer.

Brittany S. Pierce cracked my shit up. And, can we please pause to remember how freaking awesome Heather Morris' dancing is? She used to be a back-up dancer for Beyonce, and in this episode you can see why.
Brittany's Britney montage of music videos was a fantastic showcase of her dancing. I could watch an entire episode of her and Mike Chang/Other Asian dancing without any of the other cast members and enjoy every single minute of it.

This pic doesn't really illustrate it properly, but I loved Rachel's WTF face when Brittany announces she will be performing the Glee solos from now on. It was a split second expression, but Lea Michele really sold the barely contained outrage Rachel Berry felt as soon as Brittany utters that sentence.

Principal Figgins also cracked my shit up.
His casual remark warning students that have eaten the ravioli to make sure they have up to date tetanus shots was gold. 

The New Directions version of Britney's Toxic.
A slow, sexy number, the choreography was a little bit broadway, a little bit burlesque and I loved the entire number.

Oh, and an honorable mention goes to the final solo of the episode from Rachel Berry. I know a lot of people didn't like it, but I really enjoyed her version of Paramore's The Only Exception. It felt really raw and honest, and I think it was a nice way to end the episode.
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