Month: October 2014

Au Revoir, October!

Happy Halloween!  Guys, October FLEW by!  It was such a great month, too.  Because it was such an awesome October, I had a hard time picking just 9 pictures for this post! Here are just some of the things that happened:

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[1] pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins! [2] I attended the midnight release of Super Smash Brothers 3DS.  The game is amazing!  And you can see how excited I was about it. [3] I took in a lot of fall foliage!  Remember my hike of Blue Hills[4] Gillian Anderson’s first book, A Vision of Fire, came out!  I’m hoping to actually get some time to read next month… [5] I returned to my all-black-everything fashion sense and finally finished/got re-obsessed with American Horror Story: Coven.  That’s kept me obsessed and up-to-date with AHS season 4! [6] I made pumpkin cookies with my little pumpkin friend!  I’ve actually done a lot of cooking this month. [7] I’ve done a lot of eating too.  These are pumpkin cheesecake cupcakes for part of our October birthday celebration at work. [8] Boston College football!  I went to BC v. Clemson, and getting stuck in the Clemson section was okay because cheerleaders are fun. [9] And finally, my Philly trip to visit Stacie & Walker!  That post went up earlier this week.

You can always check my instagram for more photo updates!

Have a fun Halloweekend, everybody!

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Top Chef Boston: Fine Dining at Fenway

Padma and Ming Tsai announce the second Sudden Death Quickfire of the season.  It’s Boston Tea Party themed… because that might the be only thing people know about Boston.  Actually, it’s a neat challenge.  Each cheftestant gets a different type of tea to cook with.  There are thirteen different types which include:

  • strawberry white tea, which Gregory gets
  • gunpowder spearmint, which Aaron gets
  • lemongrass pomegranate rooibos, which Rebecca gets
  • Asian pear white tea, for James
  • chocolate & salt herbal tea, for Rob
  • toasted nut oolong, for Melissa

They don’t get to pick, they just open a container and that’s what they need to prepare tea for two with for Padma and Ming.  Melissa, Gregory, and Ron come out on top.  Gregory takes the win and earns immunity for the elimination challenge.  The bottom three are James, Aaron, and Rebecca.  Ultimately, Aaron loses and is up for elimination.  He has to cook for his life.

Aaron chooses Katie to cook again, as she is a culinary instructor and he has some kind of chip on his shoulder for not being able to afford culinary school.  The twist?  The only source of heat Aaron and Katie can use is boiling water.

Aaron does “a spring roll, but a fucked up one,” which Padma asks how he would like her to eat.  Katie makes pasta by hand since she couldn’t figure out the pasta maker.  Aaron’s fucked up spring roll is enough to beat Katie and keep him in the competition.  It’s nice to see no one go home!  But Aaron’s ego, man.

Ming & Padma then announce the elimination challenge and FENWAY PARK home of the Boston Red Sox!  I’m still too excited about that not to type it in caps.  The cheftestants must use a classic ballpark snack as inspiration (peanuts, popcorn, pretzels, friend dough) to make a fine dining dish to serve at Fenway.

Tom, Richard Blais, Hugh Acheson, Padma, Ming, and guests Dennis Eckersley and Dan Shaughnessy sit below the green monster and are served the following:

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Back at the judges’ table, Ming accompanies our regulars.  The favorites are Gregory, Melissa, and Katie.  Gregory takes the win, again!  I’m really starting to like him after hearing more of his backstory.  On the bottom, we have Ron, Kerriann, and Katsuji.  None of these are people I wanted to go home.  Ron ends up packing his knives.  I would’ve liked to see more from him; he seemed like a genuinely good guy.

NEXT WEEK THOUGH features one of my absolute favorite shows, CHEERS!  Special guests include George Wendt (say it with me, Norm!  Did you know I’m the world’s oldest 25-year-old?) and Shameless’s Emmy Rossum!  Every preview just gets me more and more excited about Top Chef Boston!

If you watch in the Eastern time zone, remember to tweet with me next week! @nikkisee

What did you guys think of this week’s episode and the results?!

ANTM Cycle 21: The Road to Seoul

We resolve the cliffhanger ending at the beginning of “The Girl with the Bloodcurdling Scream,” and Chantelle rejoins the competition.  This is what I was hoping for!  Although, results were not quite as expected.  With 8 models in the competition and only 7 tickets to Seoul, people are more determined than ever.

So, the challenge is particularly relevant.  I just went through my first haunted house this weekend, and that’s basically what the model-hopefuls did.  They go through a pitch black hallway with scares along the way, then come face-to-face with the flashing lights of a camera and have to pose without fear.

Chantelle and Shei do the best, but Chantelle is ultimately the winner, already proving she deserves to be back in the competition.  However, she is not acting very happy to be back.

When it comes to the main photo shoot of the competition, Lenox asks her if she’s ready to rejoin the madness.  Chantelle says something along the lines of, I was having a better time out there.  Lenox takes this, understandably, as she doesn’t want to be there.

The photo shoot is (loosely) themed “no glove, no love” to promote condom use to prevent STDs.  This is a noble endeavor, but the only tie-in seems to be that the models are wearing fancy gloves.  They are posing with themselves and I think the shoot is super cool.

Kind of Black Swan, eh?

Kind of Black Swan, eh?

Although I think Lenox has the best photo of the week, her weak challenge score prevents her from taking that title.

Here are everybody’s results:

  1. Chantelle
  2. Shei
  3. Lenox
  4. Adam
  5. Keith
  6. Will
  7. Raelia
  8. Mirjana finally goes home

Mirjana seemed lost this week without Denzel, and the proof was in the pictures.

What do you think about the group heading to Seoul?!

Doctor Who: slightly awkward if the world was destroyed

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I liked “In the Forest of the Night” more than I expected to.  For an episode that takes place entire on (or, for a hot second, around) Earth, it felt Whovian enough.  Even though it involved so much Mr. Pink, (am I the only one who hates him?) he came in tolerable doses.

I really liked Maeve, who feels like an indigo child or a horror movie kid right away.  I knew the funny way she was running with her arms swatting in front of her face would come full circle, though that annoyed me every time she ran.  I liked how precocious she was.  I don’t understand how the disappearance of her sister left her strangely clairvoyant, and prophetic, but whatever.  She was cute and a bit creepy, and that made her interesting to me.

Maybe it’s because I watch too much SVU, but I was certain her sister was dead.  When the tree magic brought her back at the end, I was pleased to see she looked like a teenage runaway.

What I have a problem with is Mr. Pink yelling that Maeve was on medication and emotionally unstable in front of her other classmates.  While it seems that everyone knew full well of Maeve’s trauma, I found this disrespectful, especially for a teacher.  As a foil for Clara who was ready, willing, and able to run off with the Doctor and investigate, I think Danny failed on this account.  He removes the children from the Tardis and leads them through a forest of danger, when he could’ve stayed and protected them.  He’s not as perfect as everyone thinks her is.

I did like the philosophical question he brought up, and I even agree with him.  Spending time with certain people can be worth more than any adventure.  I was worried, though, that he talked Clara out of watching the solar flare.  I’m happy to see that she was still interested in that experience of a lifetime.

My other major problem comes in the form of Clara kissing Danny in front of the Coal Hill students.  That is not appropriate behavior!  Let alone the fact that they whole school already thinks they are in love.  This is an HR nightmare, you guys.

Oh, let’s not even start on how every year 8 student has been on the Tardis at this point.  It bothered me when the Doctor brought Courtney aboard, and it bothered me slightly less this time… but not so little that I wouldn’t mention it.

I do like the trees acting as a giant shield around the earth for an intense solar flare.  I like that Doctor said that humankind will simply forget, as that is our superpower.

Now, the finale, THAT looks interesting.  I’ve been thinking about the origin of Clara a lot lately.  Back int he Matt Smith days, Clara was so interesting to me– popping up in different times as slightly different people.  Clara’s life as a school teacher with her regular boyfriend is so painfully boring to me.  Looks like she’s going to get exciting again!

Any thoughts?

Weekend Adventures: Philadelphia

On Friday morning, I took off for the weekend… literally.  I fly out to Philadelphia, PA to visit one of my best friends, Stacie, and her husband Walker.  They moved to Pennsylvania last summer after getting married.  It was so fun to see my friends’ new home, hang out with them for the weekend, and see a city I’ve never seen before.

  • On Friday night we went to a haunted house at the old Eastern State Penitentiary, which hosted Terror Behind the Walls for the Halloween season.  I’ve never been to a haunted house before and this was a series of 6.  I survived!  And I had a lot of fun laughing at myself every time I screamed.
  • Saturday we toured The Mütter Museum, a medical museum full of oddities which was interesting, educational, and so appropriate for my current AHS: Freak Show obsession.  We saw pieces of Albert Einstein’s brain!
  • We also went to Reading Terminal Market, where I probably could’ve stayed and eaten for the rest of my life, and did a drive by of Independence Hall since we didn’t want to deal with Liberty Bell lines.

Here are my other touristy moments:

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[1] Philadelphia is a much bigger city than my dear Boston! [2] One of the kittens!  This is Rafa.  His brother Rog moved before I could snap the picture. [3] Reppin’ House Baratheon outside of the Philadelphia Art Museum [4] And here’s Rocky Balboa! [5] Sock bun across the USA– here I am in front of the Philadelphia skyline from the top of the museum steps. [6] Beautiful weather and beautiful views behind the museum overlooking the boathouse featuring in the Always Sunny opening. [7] Philadelphia City Hall topped with William Penn. [8] Giant game pieces!  The Monopoly iron was always my favorite. [9] From the courtyard at Philadelphia City Hall.

 

 

Gods and Monsters

Hi guys!  I’m away for the weekend but I promise I’ll have a real post for you Monday.  Until then, I wanted to share my favorite thing in the world.

Jessica Lange’s Lana Del Rey cover is literally the most perfect thing I’ve ever seen or heard.  I love this clip from American Horror Story: Freak Show than anything I’ve seen from the season so far.  I love watching Jessica Lange sing “Gods and Monsters” even more than I love watching her smoke cigarettes.

And that’s saying something.

Top Chef Boston: I eat it; I don’t die instantaneously.

“You say we’re not going to do anything crazy, yet we’ve been here for 48 hours and two people are gone.”

We spend a little time with the cheftestants and see James’s AMAZING Patrick Swayze tattoo.  I love that Patrick Swayze inspired him.  I’ve been nursing a resurgent obsession with Dirty Dancing as of late (more for Jennifer Grey than Swayze, but whatevs) so I especially appreciated this moment.

Soon, it’s Quickfire time!  The lovely Padma Lakshmi and Boston restauranteur Todd English come out to announce it.  Boston is home to the Old North Church and Paul Revere’s famous midnight ride.  If you know the poem, you know the famous line: one if by land or two if by sea.  It refers to lanterns in the Old North Church, but in this challenge, one lantern lights up for the land table and two for the sea table in a surf and turf quickfire.  No immunity is offered, but the winner gets $5,000!

The land light signals twice before the sea lights.  If you’re not observant, you could miss out on good ingredients.  This was the fate of Aaron who missed the sea lights and ended up with dried crab snacks.  It works out for him, and we get the quote that titles this post when he tries some.

Katsuji and James get top marks from Todd English, but James ends up winning the quickfire.

Padma then announces the elimination challenge: cooking for Boston’s finest!  The Boston Police Commissioner, Bill Evans, and the Boston Fire Commissioner, John Hasson bring their fabulous Boston accents out and help explain the challenge.  This is near and dear to my Bostonian heart, with all they’ve done for us through the marathon and a scary fire in Back Bay last year.  The cheftestants draw knives to break into teams to cook ~something~ for Boston’s finest.

  • Team 1, the Red Team: Katsuji, Mei, Katie
  • Team 2, the Blue Team: Rebecca, Adam, Gregory
  • Team 3, the Gray Team: Doug, James
  • Team 4, the Yellow Team: Joy, Ron, Melissa
  • Team 5, the Green Team: Kerriann, Stacy, Aaron

This is the order they will serve, and also the order they will pick their mystery boxes to cook.  No planning is involved because they don’t know what ingredients they’ll get.  In spite of that, there’s plenty of fighting on Green between Kerriann and Adam.

Here’s what the teams make happen:

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Tom, Gale, Padma, and Boston’s finest enjoy the first three.  It’s not until we get to Yellow, when the vanilla conditions you to want sweet, but doesn’t deliver.  There’s also an issue with the veal chops being undercooked.

Green is just as flustered in the kitchen as they were before they saw their ingredients.  Kerriann and Adam are so concerned about Stacy’s chicken, which ends up being cooked perfectly.  Tom goes as far as to say that Stacy should be angry with her teammates.  Kerriann’s corn salad and Aaron’s jam do not go over well with the judges.

Red & Blue come out of top, but Blue takes the win!

Green & Yellow, predictably, are on the bottom.

Padma announces that Kerriann and Aaron should really thank Stacy for saving their team with her perfect chicken.  Joy’s undercooked veal sent her home.

While it’s always sad to see someone go, I’m proud of Stacy– my hometown girl– for doing something great for Boston’s finest and saving her team.  What did you guys think of this week’s episode?

I’m so looking forward to next week’s episode when we see Fenway Park and Hugh Acheson!

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Also, bad news if you’re in the Tom’s Glasses Fan Club with me:

quel dommage!

quel dommage!

 

Tweet along with me every Wednesday at 10!