Monday, August 31, 2009

District 9

I’m not really a sci-fi geek. I enjoyed “Star Wars” and I remember being addicted to the series “V” back in the day, and I loved the new “Star Trek” movie, but I wouldn’t call myself an avid fan. It’s all amusing and fun but that’s where it ends for me. I did, however, really enjoy “District 9.” It’s an alien movie, plain and simple, shot documentary-style and is extremely innovative and well done. I think these days it’s hard to put together an alien story without recycling ideas, just as it is with vampire and werewolf stories. Aliens in “District 9” like cat food, just like they did in “V” (as my darling husband pointed out). Vamps in “True Blood” opt for True Blood vs. arbitrary killing, just like the “vegetarians” of “Twilight,” who have risen above their basic needs. And once you get past the initial “how and why” plot holes, you can really enjoy yourself. The prawn-like aliens were amazingly well-designed and super-intelligent, even though they lived like dogs. The human/prawn interactions were suspense-filled and possibly allegorical, since this took place in South Africa, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to notice apartheid references throughout. Without spoiling it, the ending leaves ample room for a sequel (or five). I will be waiting.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Guacamole time!

I've been making guacamole since forever. I've mastered it at this point and I use secret ingredients to make it zingy and really flavorful. I won't say what I put in it, but I will say what I never put in it: tomatoes, garlic or anything creamy/dairy. Avocado is a delicious vegan butter, so I feel that it really doesn't need a lot to make it delicious - it's already delicious. It just needs a frame of flavor around it. A little salty, a little sweet and a little heat.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Omg, it's Gosh!

Gosh Velvet Touch Eyeliner pencils are my love. They're a waterproof formula which means they don't budge all day long. They come in a rainbow of colors and in matte and shimmer finishes. They're comparable to Urban Decay 24/7 liners, Make Up For Ever Aqua liner pencils and MAC Pearlglides, but they're a fraction of the price. They cost about $8 US, however these are extremely difficult to find here (I've only seen them at the airport). They sell them at drugstores in Canada and in the UK. A lovely lady I "met" on a certain makeup website *cough* did a CP (custom purchase) for me for these.

From left to right and in alpha order:
Black Ink (matte black), Golden Moss (golden green with grass green shimmer), Hypnotic Grey (shimmery blackened grey), Metallic Brass (deep brown with amber shimmer), Pretty Petrol (shimmery denim blue), Purple Stain (violet purple shimmer), Truly Brown (matte dark chocolate brown) and Woody Green (deep shimmery teal).

Swatched on arm, in reverse order:

I swatched these about three strokes each. I ran my finger over the whole thing a few times, and firmly, and nothing budged. I cannot express enough my love for these magical wonders of makeup technology.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Darling Kuhn Rikon...

I've had a few garlic presses in my lifetime...some worked better than others. Some didn't work well at all, and one has actually changed my life. That one, is the Kuhn Rikon. I came upon this jewel of kitchen gadgetry while looking through various product reviews on, an amazing source of culinary information that I refer to often and with much reverence.

The Kuhn is a swiss design - easy to clean to the point where it's almost silly. Silly, I say! I'll never forget one press that I had, that you needed a separate plastic cleaner in order to get the garlic bits out of the holes...and of course, I lost the cleaner-thingy when I moved this one time, so if I ever wanted to press my garlic, I had to dedicate 10 minutes of cleanuptime just to poke a toothpick through all of the tiny holes. FAIL. This beauty of a press has the press/hole mechanism on a separate swivel, so you just open the press and swivel the thick screen out like sections of butterfly wings, and rinse with your hands. As a lefty with small hands, I find that squeezing these things can be a challenge, but with my Kuhn, it's a no-brainer. It's dishwasher safe and as sturdy as my beloved stainless steel All-Clad cookware. I've already owned mine for about 5 years and it performs as though I just purchased it yesterday.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Inglourious Basterds

I'm not a big Brad Pitt fan. I kind of never thought he was attractive or sexy or interesting. I still don't. I am a big Quentin Tarantino fan, however. I loved the Kill Bill movies and thought Grindhouse was oodles of fun. Pulp Fiction is still one of the best movies ever made. Reservoir Dogs still haunts me to this day. I went in to see Basterds with no expectations. I had read a little about it and had an open mind. I didn't expect to love it. Brad's Aldo Raine, leader of the pack of misfits out for Nazi scalps was absolutely spot-on hilarious. Brad seriously needs to stick to comedy. The last time I enjoyed him so much since Fight Club was in Burn After Reading. He's amazing at being cleverly retarded. The ying to Brad's yang was Christoph Waltz, the "Jew Hunter" who you instantly feared. His performance was simultanously dreadfully tense and comically delightful.

I enjoyed the fact that Inglourious Basterds doesn't take itself seriously for one moment. It has the usual brand of Tarantino pulpy over-the-topness but this was one of the most well done things he's directed since Pulp Fiction in my humble avid moviegoer opinion. It's a fictionalized account of a WWII story, but it should have happened. Who knew killing Nazis could have been so much fun?!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Julie & Julia

As a longtime fan of both Julia Childs and Meryl Streep, I knew I had to see this on opening weekend. Julia was an original. A woman who stood tall, who never apologized for her clumsiness or for anything for that matter, she was an icon, a pioneer for women cooks and a hero to anyone who used to watch early PBS cooking shows, long before the Food Network, before there was ever a Giada, a Paula or a even that puffy wastoid Emeril. As a child, I watched a regular rotation of Julia, Justin Wilson, Jeff Smith (!!!) and that guy who made vegetarian Indian food, who taught me to saute the spices before you grind them. Julia was the best of them all. I remember fondly the episode of the Buche de Noel, in which Julia makes her jelly roll look like a festive Christmas log and then vendalizes her studio kitchen with threads of molten sugar in order to make the moss that laid on top, and subsequently, looked nothing like actual moss. Julia was entertainment.

Meryl's Julia was tall and jovial, lightening the hearts of every sourpuss frog that crossed her path (all but the beyotch at the Cordon Bleu who tried and failed to keep Julia out of the kitchen.) Her performance as the French Chef was absolutely perfect, hilariously funny and of course, touching and lovable.

The Julie half of the film was typical Nora Ephron, please-the-people filler, Hollywood-style. I love Amy Adams but this role did nothing to showcase her acting abilities. This was akin to Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada. No big challenge to the role. Just be cute and quirky, and let's finish this movie.

I give it 3.5/5 stars!