Month: May 2014

2048-Vision

I can’t stop playing 2048.  I know, I know, I’m late to the party.  I’ve seen people playing it on the T (that’s the subway, for all you non-Bostonians) before, and I never understood it.  Once I tried it out, it just clicked.

2048 is a sliding tile game in which you make matches, staring with the number 2.  Matching two 2’s give you a 4, two 4’s an 8, and so on, all the way up to 2048.

I can almost get 2048 on demand at this point...

I can almost get 2048 on demand at this point…

The version I have on my iPhone and iPad is not the original–  I have something called 2048 Plus, but it’s totally doing it for me.  I’ve gotten to 2048 several times at this point, although it did take me about a week to get the strategy down.  It’s so anti-climatic… you get 2048 and you just keep playing?  Again, it’s totally doing it for me.  Despite “beating” this game over and over again, I just keep playing!

I’m now seeing things in 2048-vision.  People on TV and objects in my room seem to be sliding into each other giving me the satisfaction of matches.  I’ve been watching a LOT of X-Files lately, and other characters seems to be growing and morphing into Agent Scully and sliding into her.  I’m seeing numbers in color in my mind– 2 is yellow, 4 golden, 8 orange, 16 red, and so on.

Is anyone as obsessed with this game as I am?

I know I’m going to be taking a long break because, as my friends say, I’m about to spend the evening with a plumber named Mario…

WHO’S PSYCHED FOR MARIO KART 8 TODAY?  I clearly am.  I’m sure the sliding tiles in my mind will soon be replaced with race tracks.

Happy weekend, and happy gaming!

 

Hell’s Kitchen Recap: 10 Chefs Compete

IMG_0544

Back in Hell’s Kitchen, Gabriel feels not-so-great about putting Ralph up for elimination in place of himself since Ralph went home even though his team did not nominate himself.  I did what I had to do, he thinks.  Um, how about cook better?

Challenge:

A giant pig statue comes out with divider lines indicating different cuts of pork.  The teams run to label each cut of pork.  I love this challenge.  Didn’t they do a cow/beef one like this a few seasons back?  It seems super relevant.  Blue wins the race and gets the advantage for the challenge: they pick their cut of pork and their opponent for the challenge.

  • Antoine picks shoulder and goes up against Melanie
  • Richard chooses tenderloin and, as an opponent, Rochelle
  • Scott goes for cheek and chooses Kashia (he calls her Keisha, but you know)
  • Gabriel picks spare ribs and goes up against Joy
  • Jason ends up with belly and Sandra for his opponent

Melanie takes the first point for Red, and Rochelle takes the second for the team as well.  Gabriel snags a point to keep Blue in the game and quel surprise, so does Jason to tie things up.  Scott earns the last point and clenches the victory for Blue.  What is this like, the second time they’ve won?  I’m not impressed.

Their reward is super cool: indoor skydiving.  JP’s already testing it out when they arrive– so adorbs!  They also get boss Vitamix blenders when they get back to the dorms.  The women have prep to deal with, as well as cracking & shelling peanuts to make “the most amazing” peanut butter.  Everything seems to be the most amazing to Chef Ramsay, huh?  Chef Andy & Chef James give the girls a little career advice while they crack away.  It’s a nice human moment that we rarely see in the Kitch.  Rochelle talks about how she wants to start a family, and how this may conflict with her goals in the kitchen.  This will come back to bite her later.

Dinner Service:

Things don’t go really well for Red.  They’re too slow, Kashia tries to cook with the gas off… it’s not their best attempt.  The Blue team starts out okay, but Antoine and Scott’s fighting causes Chef Ramsay to give the whole team a “time out” to sort out their issues and work as a team.  Communication continues to be an issue with Red.  Sandra goes rogue and brings food up without coordinating with her team.  Though Blue seems to be in sync, Gabriel’s garnish holds back his team’s entrées.  Neither Sandra nor Antoine can handle salmon.  “Nobody talk to me unless I ask,” huffs Antoine.  That sounds like great kitchen communication, eh?  Chef Ramsay yells at him, then basically cooks his fish.  Then Antoine slips and falls.  Womp.  It’s not smooth, but both teams finish service.

Chef Ramsay says he needs more coordination from both teams and that neither win.  Each team is to nominate two people that, in Chef Ramsay’s words, are making it difficult to coordinate.

Elimination:

Blue nominates Antoine and Scott.  No Gabriel?!

Red nominates Sandra and Rochelle… told ya.

Chef Ramsay has all four contestants take their jackets off andddd switches their teams!  I was wondering why he hadn’t done so yet!  So tonight, 10 chefs will compete again with teams mixed up!

I’m guessing Antoine is not going to mix well with the ladies… any predictions?!

Recent Purchase: Gilmore Girls

box set!

box set!

Sometimes I stress eat.  Sometimes my lunch break is the only time for sanity during a busy work day.  Luckily, the mall provides a food court for that kind of break… and oh yeah, a better kind of break: stress shopping.  If I’ve seriously had enough, I’ll take a spin through a store.  When I’m pressed for time, trying on clothes is an impossibility. The TV on DVD section of Best Buy is my saviour.

I spotted the complete series of Gilmore Girls for an irresistible price.  Less than $70 got me 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls; how could I resist?  Now I didn’t impulse buy.  I left it after I saw it once, then twice, but after fatefully coming across a Buzzfeed article on Gilmore Girls, I couldn’t pass it up the third time.

So, I’ve been rewatching Gilmore Girls, which I’ve said before, is a “lifestyle,” not a show.  (These are the words of my dear friend Chelsea, who’s sent me the following two unsolicited texts this week: “fred bass add,” and “dilated.”)  I always love watching early seasons of shows knowing how everything ends up, because it’s so nice to see everything simpler.  I guess it’s the ultimate nostalgia.  After rewatching Cinnamon’s funeral, I was thinking about how underrated Babette and Maury are.  Then I realized something I’ve never realized before: Babette is Sally freakin’ Struthers!  Why did it take me so long to notice this?  I’m just so surprised at myself. But hey, Sally Struthers looks a lot different than I remember her as Gloria from All in the Family.  My only modern reference point for her was South Park’s portrayal in “Starvin’ Marvin in Space” …and that was seriously unkind.

Well, I’m excited to make my way through Gilmore Girls!  I’m sure there are some episodes I’ve never seen, and I’m so excited to get into it again.  What have you been watching lately?

OotD: Sweet Stripes

Wedding Wear

Hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!  This is different than the usual, but I wanted to share an outfit post from the beautiful wedding I attended this weekend.  It was such a great time and will be a cherished memory; so here’s what I wore!

Dress: Guess | Shoes: Nine West | Jewelry: Tiffany’s (necklace, bracelets, pearls); David Yurman (topaz ring), mixed-metal earrings from Santa Teresa di Riva, Sicily | Lips: Too Faced “I Want Candy” | Nails: Essie “Neowhimsical”

Clone Club Catch-Up: Sister Sister

you are my candy giiiirl

you are my candy giiiirl

Sarah and Helena do some major sisterly bonding in “To Hound Nature in Her Wanderings.”  They share a camp out, and a little road trip to [The] Cold River [Institute] in search of Ethan Duncan.  Helena does some weird things like kissy shadow puppets and belting out “Candy Girl,” which playfully irritate Sarah.  Despite the sweet sisterly bond forming, Helena thinks giving Sarah too much information would cause her to proceed without her.  Paul, as Rachel’s new henchman, is on their tails the whole time.

just a couple of drinks

just a couple of drinks

Sarah discovers that “Cold River” was The Cold River Institute and that Ethan has been poking aorund in the archives as Andrew Peckham.  While Sarah goes through the archives herself, Helena treats herself to a little vacation at a nearby bar.  She gets friendly with a guy named Jesse– from arm wrestling, to dancing, to making out on a pool table.  Prolethean Mark and Paul both find themselves in this bar as well and decide: you take your girl, I’ll take mine.  Things get violent when Jesse’s friends try to cut in, and Helena goes WILD.  She gets arrested for the bar brawl.

Sarah, having discovered Maggie Chen pilfered from the archives, walks out just to see Helena getting pushed into a police car.  When Helena’s “sister” picks her up from the police station, it’s Gracie, not Sarah.  Bruised lipped-Gracie promises Helena to take her to her children.  The promise of having children entices Helena to return to the Prolethean homestead.

Cosima and Delphine gain Scott, Cosima’s classmate from the University of Minnesota, as a sequencing tech on their team at the Dyad Institute.  Cosima has previously asked him for help when she was independently investigating.  He figured out that the sequences are for clones, but Cosima doesn’t want him involved further.  Leekie personally approved him, though, so welcome to the team, Scott.

Victor, Sarah’s abusive ex, shows up in rehab and starts to befriend Alison.  He ends up coming to her rescue with Donnie, who she’s lost all respect for as her monitor and the person standing between her and her children.  With his seemingly good will, Alison begins to trust him.  Bad move, as Vic is working with Angie.

Art basically moves in with Fe.  The two of them go through the contents of Maggie Chen/Helena’s storage locker, trying to put pieces of the puzzle together.  With the knowledge of Peckham, Sarah consults Art and Felix’s cache of papers from the locker.  Ethan stole his identity, and they are able to track him down; however, when Sarah knocks on the door, it’s Mrs. S that answers.

“I got caught up in a struggle I didn’t ask for,” insists S.  She’s been helping hiding Peckham and allows Sarah an audience with him.  He’s clearly disappointed that she’s not Rachel.  He doesn’t know how many clones there are.  He reveals the Dyad took Project LEDA over from the military.  “Why?  What did you want?” asks Sarah.  “Babies,” he replies, “little girls.”

“We’re not just a concept,” Sarah starts.  Peckham is really only interested in Rachel.  “We loved her,” he maintains to Sarah’s insinuation that she’s a monster.  He claims it’s the Neulutionists inside Dyad (read: Leekie) who turned Rachel into what she is today.  He breaks down about his daughter.

“Your daughter is lost.  There’s just me.  And Alison, a housewife with two adopted kids.  And Cosima, a brilliant scientist, just like you… We’re real… We’re sick.  Your little girls are dying.”

“Who do you think I’ve been hiding from all these years?” asks Peckham, then revealing that Leekie killed Susan and wouldn’t let them raise Rachel.

S confronts Paul outside.  She’s seriously such a badass.  He knows that Sarah’s inside with Duncan.  She knows he’s caught between Leekie and Duncan’s allegiances.  She says he could really use a new friend…

Guys, S is so much more involved in this than we ever imagined.  And how about Helena going back to the Proletheans?  That has got to be dangerous.  I’m hoping we can see Alison out of rehab next week, but Angie!  Angie is my biggest annoyance.  What does everyone think?!

Not Getting Married Today

Life has been so crazy lately that I really haven’t had time to write anything personal.  My brother graduated last weekend, which caused me to miss a post, so the Amazing Race finale recap went up late.  I’m hoping this weekend’s festivities don’t cause any other delays!  (This is your warning in case they do.)

One of my best and oldest friends is getting married this weekend.  Because I keep saying that, I’ve had the below song stuck in my head for at least two weeks.  They have absolutely nothing to do with each other, just that it’s wedding-related.

 

 

I’m completely in love with the musical Company.  My relationship with this show started out super rocky.  I was first introduced to it in college.  My then-boyfriend was playing David in his college’s production.  I was not wild about this.  My then-boyfriend had to be married in this play!  I was jealous.  Because being 20 is super hard.  I went to the show in a kind of begrudging manner.  He assured me that the show displays marriage in a negative light, which I thought was even worse, as at the time, I thought we’d marry one day.  What I found in Company is a truly unique social commentary.  I do not think it necessarily casts a shadow on marriage, but I do think it deals with some deeper emotional aspects of the human experience.

Stephen Sondheim, who provided the music and lyrics for the show, said, “Broadway theater has been for many years supported by upper-middle-class people with upper-middle-class problems. These people really want to escape that world when they go to the theatre, and then here we are with Company talking about how we’re going to bring it right back in their faces.”

The 5 married couples in Company present the main character, Robert, with a shiny surface view of marriage, that he is occasionally envious of.  However, scratch that surface and see 10 individuals each struggling with their own issues and coexisting as a couple.  Oh, and spoiler alert: Amy and Paul do indeed get married after all this.  This hilarious exploration of Amy’s pre-wedding mind is just the kind of dichotomy Company loves to highlight.

Even in the relationship-happiness fog of my very early 20’s, I loved the subtle sadness of this show.  Company is profoundly beautiful, and the musical numbers are to die for!  The Broadway revival starring Neil Patrick Harris and Stephen Colbert is available on Hulu.  It also features the beautiful Christina Hendricks as one of the three girlfriends Robert (Harris) has throughout the show.  The version of (Not) Getting Married Today above is from this revival, and I cannot recommend watching it highly enough!

Again, this has absolutely nothing to do with the wedding of the lovely couple I’m about to attend.  Tomorrow is for Stacie!

Have a lovely long weekend, everyone!

 

Hell’s Kitchen Recap: 11 Chefs Compete

Last week’s Hell’s Kitchen picks up in the previous week’s cliffhanger challange: Jessica v. Richard’s elimination challenge.

After evaluating both sets of dishes, Chef Ramsay announces the Jessica is to be eliminated.  She overcooked two of her proteins!  I previously thought Jessica was strong, but it just goes to show you that standing on your own, away from the team, is a whole different story.  Jessica’s also gotten super emotional in these last few episodes, and as Chef Ramsay pays her some pretty nice compliments she whines over and over again for him to please let her back in line.  Girl, he already eliminated you; just go!

The remaining 11 chefs head to a surprise location the next day.  They are expecting a challenge, but instead find themselves in Chef Ramsay’s gastropub, the restaurant of the future winner.  They soak up the atmosphere and Chef Ramsay announces that the night’s dinner service will be gastropub inspired.  Yum!

"I'll see you back at HK," says Rams.  See, abbrevs are cool.

“I’ll see you back at HK,” says Rams. See, abbrevs are cool.

So let’s talk about Ralph.  Gabriel, his roommate, snores something awful and keeps him from getting sleep.  I definitely sympathize here, but can’t he like, go in the living room or something?  Ralph is representing my city, Boston, and so far he is really doing us a disservice.  Padma, Hugh, and crew are here RIGHT NOW working with cheftestants for a new season of Top Chef.  Ralph is putting this culinary city to shame!  We’re seen him do absolutely nothing impressive.  We’ve seen him complain a lot.  So he’s sick.  I’ve been sick.  I get it.  He cooks anyway.  He doesn’t do well.  Neither does the rest of the Blue Team.

The Red Team, after a couple bumps (and Melanie taking a tumble), finds a perfect rhythm.  They get their food out to their happy diners and work in perfect harmony.  Blue is a mess, and while Sandra serves up desserts, Chef Ramsay sends the remaining 4 Red Team chefs into the Blue kitchen to help the 6 struggling men.  Remember last time this happened, the Blue Team just yelled a lot?  That’s what happened again.  Chef Ramsay asks,

“Where’s your dignity, Blue Team?”

They never do locate said dignity.  There’s no need to wait until service is over.  Chef Ramsay sends the Blue Team away to nominate 2 team members for elimination.  The Blue Team decides on Gabriel and Scott.  Rams happens to ask Gabriel for nominees, and he says Scott and Ralph, omitting himself and throwing Ralph under the bus.  Rams says why not? and brings all three forward.  He decides to eliminate Ralph after all; he’s not ready to be head chef anywhere.

Sorry, Ralph, but you were just not the representative I want for my city.  I think the Red Team’s got our winner this season.

Amazing Race Recap: Do You Believe in Magic?

Teams left London for Las Vegas, Nevada.  I was cheering on the Brenchels, (I want them to have a Brenchel baby too!) and was psyched to learn Rachel lived in Vegas!

bidding a fond farewell to season 24 at the Las Vegas Speedway

bidding a fond farewell to season 24 at the Las Vegas Speedway

Upon landing in the US, a car picked up the teams and sent them to a desert to dig up a box reading “Property of David Copperfield.”  The Brenchels were the only ones to break the box open and reveal the keys before arriving at the clue.  (More good news!)  The first clue asks the teams, do you believe in magic?  David Copperfield himself put them to the test in the Roadblock.

In the illusion Roadblock, one teammate is locked in a box with the keys– they had to unlock the shackles, retrieve lockpicks from the top of the box, which was raised, and set on fire.  Once they were done, the other teammate presses a series of switches that dropped the boxes into a burning piling of wood in an explosion.  David Copperfield would then act concerned, and say they should call the fire department.  The previously boxed teammate would then come out dresses as a firefighter.  Cute!

Then it was off to the neon boneyard for the next clue.  The had to grab a lightbulb from a giant question mark, then head over to The Mirage.  At The Mirage, the next challenge came in the form of hoisting a teammate to the top and having them replace and count the light bulbs in the sign’s letter “I.”

One final Roadblock had Dave, Caroline, and Brendan skydiving to the finish line while their partners waited below with the eliminated racers.  So great to see my cowboys, Youtubers, Globetrotters, and Miss Mallory again!  This was such a great season.

As the winner came into view, no one could tell it was Dave until he landed.  Poor Rachel cried as Brendan came done, third overall; no Brenchel babies until Brendan graduates.

I’ve got to say, guys, all I wanted out of this season was for Dave and Connor not to win.  I guess the fact that Dave only said achilles twice this episode lessens the blow a little bit.  I’m all for firsts, so congratulations to him for being the oldest winner of the Race, and to both for being the first parent-child team to win.  I cry every single time a team crosses the finish line and this season was no exception.  I cannot wait for another season of the Race.  The All Star season was such a treat; let’s hope for some new, memorable faces next time around!

Some of my favorite moments of the season have to be Flight Time & Big Easy riding donkeys in Italy, and the Afghanimals rolling around in those inflatable bull balls.  Please share yours in the comments!

Clone Club Catch-Up: Team Rachel

One of the most interesting things about Orphan Black is how many different groups and allegiances are involved.  The threats have been endless– the Dyad, the Proletheans, Helena, the police, Mrs. S– everyone’s motives have been in question.  With this episode, “Ispa Scientia Potestas Est,” we’re jumbling up the teams a little more.  Though Helena’s still a bit of a wild card, the Proletheans are her enemy.  She’s joined forces with her sistra in the Clone Club.  Though Rachel is the cloneface of the Dyad, it’s clear that she and Leekie do not have aligning agendas.  There’s a whole new threat in the form of Team Rachel.

On the Prolethean Homestead

After Gracie betrayed her parents by trying to kill Helena, mommy dearest is not happy.  This woman turns out to be cruel as they come.  As punishment for losing Helena, Gracie’s mouth is stitched shut, which happens to be one of my absolute least favorite visuals.  Her mother says she is to get Helena back, or she will carry the baby herself.

At Art’s

After taking Helena to Fe’s (brother-sistra) for a change of clothes, Sarah brings her to Art’s.  Art does not trust her at all, but using the tip that food is the way to Helena’s heart, he manages to get bits of information out of her.  Maggie Chen, the Prolethean woman who Beth had shot, had a locker in which she and Helena met to plot the clone-killing.  I’m now on board with Helena as a character, but Art was right not to trust her.  She finagles her handcuffs off, cuffs Art up, and escapes to destroy her new enemy, Rachel.

At the Dyad

Delphine learns that Leekie has more information than he’s sharing with Cosima, but he catches them sneaking around in his lab.  He comes clean that the clones’ genome was lost in the fire that killed the scientists working on the project.  He agrees to help Cosima with treatment going against Rachel’s wishes.

I'm fairly convinced Delphine's on our side at this point.

I’m fairly convinced Delphine’s on our side at this point.

In Rachel’s Murder House

Does anyone else think it’s weird that Rachel is still living in the room where she came home to find her boyfriend’s flayed body?  It’s confirmed that Rachel is self-aware and knowingly has a monitor.  She asks Paul to join team Rachel as her new monitor.  The job of Rachel’s monitor also apparently involves a fairly submissive sexual role.  Paul’s a better choice than Daniel, if you ask me.

At Felix’s

Paul, now on team Rachel, interrupts Felix’s date to frame him for the murder of a police officer– he gets Fe’s fingerprints on Daniel’s gun (which, if you recall, has a body count) for use as a bargaining chip for Rachel.

In Maggie Chen’s storage locker

Sarah finds a picture of “the swan man,” as Helena called him: Ethan Duncan, alive.  Here’s her leverage against Rachel.  Art and Sarah notice that Helena has taken a sniper rifle.

On a roof across from Helena’s building

Sarah talks Helena out of killing Rachel with a sniper rifle.

"you say Rachel is problem, I fix problem"

“Rachel is problem; I fix problem”

At a bar

Cosima, clearly on team Sarah, sets up a meeting with Sarah and Leekie.  She reveals the information on Ethan Duncan to exonerate Fe.  Leekie lets it spill that Cosima is sick.

 

Once again, Tatiana Maslany has blown me away!  I’m ready to catch up with Alison and S next week.  What’d everyone think of this episode?  You know you loved that Rachel/Paul sex scene…