Month: April 2015

HK14: One-on-One

After losing two members of the blue team last week, 9 chefs remain in Hell’s Kitchen.  The challenge this week is exotic in nature.  The chefs see a lot of things I’d never like to eat sitting in the kitchen… rats, scorpions, an iguana, a tarantula, and a snake… wait, one snake?  Gordon asks where the other one has gone and a plastic snake rains from the sky startling the chefs.  Because the joke was funny once, he plays it again with several more plastic snakes.

Thankfully, the actual challenge involves exotic proteins that more people are okay with eating: ostrich, alligator, wild boar, and elk.  Only one chef can grab each protein and the slow man to the party, Michelle, picks her protein.  Of course, only one Red alligator can go up to be tasted and Michelle’s gets dropped in favor of T’s.

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Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo come to judge with Gordon:

  • Battle Elk is Nick v. Alison.  Nick earns 2 out of 5’s from each judge; Alison earns a 3, a 2, and a 3.
  • Battle Wild Boar is Meghan v. Joshua.  Meghan gets a 3, a 2, and a 3; Joshua earns a 3, a 2, and a 2.
  • Battle Alligator is Milly v. T.  Milly earns three 3’s; T gets a 3 and two 4’s.
  • Battle Ostrich is Randy v. Christine.  Christine earns 2’s across the board, but Randy’s cleans up with three 4’s winning it for the blue team.

To add insult to injury, Chef Ramsay has the group try Michelle’s, which they all would have given 5’s to.

Blue wins a spa day, and which Randy is the most uncomfortable you could ever imagine a person be in that setting.  Things are worse for Red, though.  They do a deep clean of HK and have to drink special protein milkshakes… made of the proteins they cooked earlier.  Michelle wins the roulette and gets a regular milkshake.  She feels very justified to have been the lucky one.

Gordon then calls each of the chefs in for one-on-on evaluations in his office.  Gordon in his office always cracks me up… like he actually does work on the office set of HK?  Anyway, he chats with each of the chefs about their performances and has each of them rank their team.

After the individual evaluations, he pits the lowest ranked members of each team against each other.  Christine and Randy face off knowing the loser will have to leave Hell’s Kitchen.  They have to make three dishes from the menu: lobster risotto, halibut, and bread putting.

Christine’s performance seems more solid.  She doesn’t realize Gordon’s given them a bread pudding base and whips up her own crème anglaise displaying tenacity.  She has no idea what she’s doing with the lobster, though!  I know this has to do with where I’m from (coastal New England, hi) but I judge people so hard when they can’t break down a lobster.

Ultimately, Randy’s dishes are more complete even though he botches the plating on the halibut.  Christine gets eliminated.

I’m shocked, honestly.  I think Christine has an edge over Randy, and I was sure no one would go home this week.  What did you all think of this dinner service-less episode?!

Casetify

If you follow me on instagram, you may have noticed I have an awesome, adorable new iPhone case.

I was in turmoil when I changed out my first iPhone, a 4, in favor of a 5.  So much so that I bought the exact same case.  I knew this feeling was coming as I upgraded to the 6.  Thankfully, my friend Julia had my back providing me with a dachshund drinking Starbucks case in time for the switch.

As I’d switched from the space gray to the gold, I still wanted something that you could see the gold through.  And let’s be real, I missed a Nintendo theme.  I designed my starter pokémon pattern case on Casetify!

Simply visit the Casetify website and make a couple of choices– I chose the frosted clear plastic snap case, but there are some fancier options as well.  Next, chose layout, and upload/select your pictures.  Note: you must select a picture for each designated square in the layout.

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I pulled these sprites off of Bulbapedia.  I feared they might be too small, but I wanted the look to be somewhat pixel-y, like a Gameboy!  The preview shows exactly what the phone case will look like when it arrives.  I can attest to that having received mine!

All and all, the case arrived in about two weeks.  I absolutely love it!

Here's my preview.

Here’s my preview.

Here's a goofy mirror selfie & a dark photo with my old iPhone 5

Here’s the finished product!

I love pokémon theme and the fact that you can see the gold through!  I also couldn’t use my 30-pin to 8-pin adapter with my old case on… I carry it in my purse so I can charge both my iPad (30 pin) and my iPhone (8 pin) on the go.  This case can stay on while I plug in now!

If you want to create a case of your own, use my code and save some money! PKC5N6

Let me know if you try it out and be sure to share your cool designs!

Mid-Week Mad Men: Time & Life

It’s not quite mid-week, but my Mad Men post is coming at you a bit early!  This week’s episode, “Time & Life,” was honestly such a pleasure to watch.

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The main storyline of the episode was the sudden (but almost obviously eventual) announcement than McCann Erickson would be fully absorbing, aka swallowing, Sterling Cooper.  There’s a fantastic classic rallying of the partners– Roger, Don, Joan, Pete, and Ted– with a grand plan to move to SC&P West to keep their independence alive.  McCann, though, is not having any of it.  They see this as SC&P passing the test; “they’ve died and gone to advertising heaven.”  Account names are dropped to entice each partner (Ted already wanted to go) with the exception of… Joan.

Joan has been a presence since this show began, but she’s risen from secretary to partner and account manager.  McCann’s already treated her atrociously.  She seems to take it the hardest, even though Don has now lost his home, his family, and the job he’s had since this show began.  Meanwhile, Joan’s love connection seems to be going well.

But whatever, I still live for this moment.

But whatever, I still live for this moment.

Peggy had a brilliant storyline as well.  She was charged with casting some kids and Stan notes how uncomfortable she seems around them. A stage mom leaves her little girl at the audition and plays in Peggy’s office while Peggy & Stan work.  The girl promptly staples her finger just in time for her mother to arrive.  Things escalate between Peggy and the mom, and later, as Peggy fumes to Stan further, she ends up telling him of the baby she once had, and how she can’t think about it so she can move on with her life.  Is this like the first person Peggy’s ever told?  Powerful.  She ultimately decides to go to McCann, and tells Stan he can come too.

Pete had a little more air time than he has had recently.  It was quite nice to see Turdy again, and she and Pete were very civil.  I actually liked him in this episode.  He was the one who told Peggy of the upcoming merge, which felt kind coming from Pete.

Finally, shout out to Don’s girl Meredith.  I’ve started loving her in this season 7 part 2.  She’s not very sharp, but listening to her tell Don she would not get him alka selzter was pure joy.

Did you guys like this episode as much as I did?

Clone Club Catch-Up: Castor

The problem with this weekend’s episode of Orphan Black, “Transitory Sacrifices of Crisis,” is that the Castor clones took the spotlight.  I’m just no as interested in them as the Leda ladies!  The beginning was interesting (and creepy!) enough, picking up at the post-elevator seduction we witnessed last week between scar (Rudy) and some chick.  Things take a turn when mustache (Seth) comes to join them in bed.  Theme song.  Clones we care about.

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Sarah spends time with Kira and Cal in Cal’s newly purchased home.  She gets a call from Art, a character I’m so happy to see again, about the woman complaining of the encounter with the Castor clones.  She pretends she’s Beth to get more information on Rudy and Seth.  Sarah is still mad at S for giving up Helena, but Felix is more caring toward S.  Poor lady’s in bad shape from her beat down last week.  She wants Sarah and Kira to run.

Paul visits Cal and warns him and Sarah to get the hell out of there too.  Sarah returns home with Kira, but Rudy has broken in and is hiding.  He grabs Kira in hopes of getting information out of Sarah, specifically, the original tissue samples.  Sarah knows nothing of this, and Rudy is interrupted by Seth’s screams downstairs.  He’s like, malfunctioning, fallen in pain, his mind flashing; Sarah can see he’s sick.  Rudy shoots his brother.

Sarah decides to send Kira away with her father to keep her safe.

Cosima visits Dr. Neely with Scott.  She learns that the original samples were taken to the grave with the Duncans and are lost.

Alison continues her quest to run for School Trustee.  For campaign money, she decides to buy local drug dealer Ramon’s business since he’s leaving for college.  Alison is hilarious.

Helena is far away with Dr. Virginia Cody.  It makes me nervous to have Helena separated from her sisters, especially with people trying to turn her against them.  She does have that imaginary scorpion, though… maybe that’ll keep her grounded? Hah!

All and all, I want more Leda and less Castor.  What did you guys think of this week’s episode?

HK14: Blame it on the Alcohol

This week’s episode offered a genuine surprise to me!  We start off with six men remaining on the blue team and five women on red.  As usual, we start with a team challenge.

Chef Ramsay speaks of how alcohol can enhance dishes and thus charges each team with creating at least one dish using each beer, wine, and liquor.  This is a fun challenge made even more fun by guest judge and bartender, JOHN RATZENBERGER!  My favorite former mailman (Cliff on Cheers!  Oh, also a voice in every Pixar movie.  He’s awesome!) and Marino serve up the alcohol to the chefs and get to taste the results.  Of course, each team will only present one of each so the chefs must chose which to drop.

Nick's donuts drizzled in caramel, Michelle's soufflé, and Meghan's picture-perfect duck.

Nick’s donuts drizzled in caramel, Michelle’s bittersweet soufflé, and Meghan’s picture-perfect duck.

  • Battle Beer is Michelle v. Nick | Michelle’s beer stout soufflé earns (out of 5) 3 from John, 4 from Marino and 4 from Gordon.  Nick’s sweet potato donuts with stout caramel sauce earns 4 from John, 4 from Marino, and 4 from Gordon.
  • Battle Wine is Alison v. Adam | Alison’s ribeye with plum port earns a 3, 4, 3.  Adam’s lamb with port earns the same.
  • Battle Liquor is Meghan v. Josh | Meghan’s pan-seared duck breast with calvados apple bacon gastrique earns 3’s across the board.  Josh’s pork with bourbon mushroom sauce gets a 3 from Marino, but 4’s from John & Gordon sealing a win for blue!

There’s a roller skating reward for the men and a grueling punishment for the women, and before you know it, it’s time for dinner service.  Someone’s not quite ready, as Bret takes a trip to the bathroom… and literally never comes back.  It’s a crass way to go out as we hear sounds of pain from a closed lavatory door.  Turns out Bret has a pre-existing slipped disc which is pinching a nerve.  Chef Ramsay finds him lying on the dorm floors, where he shakes his hand from above and tells him he’s done.  Bret withdraws.  The rest carry on.

Dinner service has some very exciting VIP guests at the chef’s tables– in red, Jaleel White (Urkel!) and in blue, Fred Willard!  Too bad the men have so much trouble with communication.  Between Josh, Randy on fish, and Adam on meat, the gastropub menu for the night gets butchered.  I’ve never seen so much wasted fish from the fish and chips entrée.  The meat and fish station cannot coordinate their times, but when Adam brings up undercooked lamb for the chef’s table… twice, he gets blue kicked out.

Red has a few problems too.  Alison undercooks lamb too, but recovers quickly.  Christine is good and vocal with Meghan in the dining room– she and Milly serving table-side for the night.  Red is able to finish service for blue too.  They win the night, obviously.

Adam and Randy are up for elimination.  Chef Ramsay wants to hear from Josh too.  Ultimately, Adam is eliminated.

I still think Randy had more problems, but I don’t think Adam was a bad choice by any means.  With a double elimination this week, I’m sure no one will be going home next week.  We’ll see, though!

Midweek Mad Men: The Forecast

This week’s episode gave me the two things I wanted most: Kiernan Shipka as Sally Draper all-grown-up, and more Christina Hendricks as the always amazing Joan.  That’s where my focus is this time around.

As a wearer of big earrings, I appreciate that Joan takes one off to answer the phone.

As a wearer of big earrings, I appreciate that Joan takes one off to answer the phone.

Joan’s storyline starts out in LA, as she basks in the life of a fabulous account executive and partner.  She’s loving her job and things take a romantic turn when she meets a mysterious stranger, Richard.  They enjoy a night together, he speaks of his grown children and his divorce, and asks if she is married.  She says no, but admits to once having been.  She returns to New York.  He flies in to surprise her for dinner, where probing questions sour his interests.  Joan assures him that she is not married, but does have a four-year-old son, Kevin.  This stops the tryst in its tracks later on, as he’s free as a bird and doesn’t want to raise kids anymore.  This leads Joan to yell at her babysitter that she’s ruining her life.  Her sweet son’s voice softens her slightly.

Richard thinks better of himself and brings her flowers.  Joan admits she lives with her mother and has been married twice… and there’s still the kid.  Richard has made a 180 and says he’d like to meet Kevin and her mother.  What I found weird is Joan saying she’d chose him over her son… that doesn’t sound right, or like Joan.  I’m actually a huge Roger/Joan shipper, so although I love seeing Joan happy, I don’t have hopes in this relationship.

Sally Draper has grown to be so smart, and resents the way both her parents act.  Glen, who admittedly has grown up a lot too, visits inciting more odd behavior between him and Betty.  He’s 18 and shipping off to Vietnam.  He makes a move on Betty, who I literally give credit to for stopping it… but only because I have no faith in Betty.  Sally’s reaction to Glen’s enlisting stops her from enjoying a day with him and leaves her in tears on the phone trying to wish him goodbye.  Sally’s going away too, though– 12 states in 12 days.  Don takes her and a few friends out to dinner.  One friend gets flirty with Don, and Sally calls him out on it.  I actually thought Don was better behaved than usual… I guess I don’t have much faith in Don either.

Let’s talk about Don, because it’s kind of his show.  I mean, everyone sort of thinks he’s a mess like his penthouse.  Against all odds, his wine-stained and empty place sells!  It looks like Don is going to have to move on… physically and otherwise.  I don’t want Don to lose his magic.  Maybe a new environment will reinvigorate him.

And before we close, let’s talk about how badass Peggy was saying to Pete, “you can’t fire one of my men!”  You chase that dream of being the first female creative director, Peggy!

What did you guys think of Sunday’s episode?!

SMC: Crystal Tokyo

When we last left out senshi, we were in 30th Century Crystal Tokyo about to unravel some major truths.  In this Act, King Endymion spills all.

King Endymion, Chibiusa’s papa, introduces himself and explains away his spectral state merely by saying his body is unconscious in another room.  Add astral projection to cool tricks Tuxedo Mask can pull!  And yes, he unveils that he is future Tuxedo Mask and future Usagi, Neo Queen Serenity, is in the crystal unconscious, and finally that Chibiusa is their future daughter.  Everyone is thoroughly embarrassed.  Usako/Mamo-chan is still a rather new relationship and they are now completely aware that they marry and have a child.  That’s either a lot of pressure or a lot of pressure off.

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Little Diana is also revealed to be the daughter of Luna and Artemis.  The cats are also adorably embarrassed.

Then things go all Back to the Future and Usagi and Mamoru start to fade out because they can’t be in two places at once, so King Endymion hurries them all back to the past.

Relations are strengthened with Sailor Pluto.

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There’s a fantastic comedic moment with Sailor Venus, that really reminds me of the original anime.  I mean, I miss the other senshi, but their absence has really allowed Venus to shine!

There are a few battles… only one physical.  Tuxedo Mask pledged to his future self to protect Chibiusa with his life, but Usagi feels slighted in his treatment of her.  She kind of snaps, and I don’t blame her!  She’s still a more self-aware Usagi, but she deserves this moment in my opinion.  The physical battle comes back in the future, where Usagi remembers her Moon Princess Halation won’t work, as her past silver crystal doesn’t work in the future.  It’s about time for Usagi and Mamoru to make up and a new attack to be born out of their love, if you ask me!  We’ll see if that happens in a couple weeks, though.

You know what I’m thinking… what are you?!

Clone Club Catch-Up: The New Rachel

Fe's right; power looks amazing on Delphine.

Fe’s right; power looks amazing on Delphine.

I couldn’t be happier that Orphan Black in back on my TV and that the Clone Club is reconvening for the season!  The first episode of season three, “The Weight of this Combination,” was jam-packed with action, yet still leaves me wanting so much more.  We open on a dream sequence through Helena’s eyes that is so much fun, but the stakes are high and there are so many factions with interest in Sarah and her sisters…

Helena we don’t hear from much aside from that.  She’s been captured, and she’s in a box.  Sarah spends her energy trying to get her back.

Sarah is forced to play Rachel for a little bit.  It’s always a joy to see Tatiana Maslany play one clone playing another– she has SUCH command over each and every one of these characters.  Sarah and Rachel are such strong personalities, and Sarah is typically the master of disguise when it comes to her sisters.  Sarah embodies Rachel, but doesn’t hold herself the same way as Rachel would.  She pulls it off well enough that “the cleaner,” Ferdinand, believes her.  She’s not really successful in pulling the information out of him she requires, which Delphine, the New Rachel, must step in and achieve.  What’s the big secret Rachel kept?  Helsinki.  In which 6 clones were destroyed.  Guys, can you imagine how many Project LEDA clones there were?  We’ve seen so many die so far.  Also, did anyone think with so many of them these women wouldn’t like, run into each other ever?

The real Rachel has survived the pencil through the eye, but lost her eye and apparently a little cognitive ability.  Delphine employs a little torture, not apparently willing to wait for Rachel to get a little speech therapy.

Alison has a few subplots brewing– Donnie’s quit his job, she wants to run for school counsel, and she’s a complete badass avoiding an assassination attempt long enough for Delphine to abort it.  What’s truly fun is to watch Alison play Sarah– Oy oy, Rachel.  I love Alison.  It’s so interesting that as you can tell which clone is pretending to be which– this was a clear painting of Alison as Sarah.

Cosima is doing better and spender her time with her little savior, Kira.  With Duncan’s cypher in hand, she’s ready to do some science with Scott.  The real crushing blow comes from Delphine, who’s truly embodying her role as Rachel and broke it off with Cosima.  Sad!

Fe is hilarious as always; love his makeover montage and pokin’ fun at Sarah, with the weight of the world on her shoulders, but not even a high school diploma.  Finally, there’s even more confusion when it comes to Project Castor.  These dudes are creepy!  Ferdinand says on Alison-as-Sarah that her face could launch ships, which is true: Tatiana is gorgeous!  Why, then, did scientists not want to create more appealing male clones?

I’m sure we’re in for an amazing season!  What did you all think of the first episode of season three?  Is it just me, or is mean Delphine way cooler than girlfriend Delphine?

HK14: Breakin’ Dishes

Well, the interesting scene we saw last week was too good to be true!  As aways, HK spins something to look insane… not like breaking plates for ingredients isn’t slightly insane anyway.

IMG_1471The challenge is Greek-themed, hence the plate breaking to reveal ingredients.  A chef on Red and a chef on Blue each stand in front of a random dome to pick proteins: Joshua and Alison get lamb, Michelle and Bret get prawns, Milly and Meghan get squid, T and Randy get chicken, Sarah and Nick get swordfish, and Adam and Christine get pork.

Each smashes some plates to reveal ingredients.  These are the only ingredients they can use with their protein, but they are not required to use all of them.

Michael Psilakis guest judges and the head-to-head battles are one:

  • Alison’s lamb earns 3 point from Michael and 3 from Gordon; Josh earns 1 point from each judge.
  • Bret earns 4 points from each judge for his prawns, while Michelle only picks up a 1 and a 2.
  • Meghan gets a 4 and a 5 for her squid, and Milly only earns 3’s from each.
  • T picks up 4 and 3 for her chicken, but Randy gets a perfect 10– 5 from each judge.
  • Christine earns respectable double-4’s for her pork, but Adam cleans up with double-5’s.
  • Sarah gets 3 and 4 for her swordfish, but Nick’s 2 and 3 is enough to seal the victory for Blue.

Red cleans the dining room and preps both kitchens for the night’s service for punishment, while Blue enjoys a go kart racing reward with Miss California.

The night’s service doesn’t go much better for Red.  While Blue has a little bit of “Who put the cream in the mash?” controversy and Milly’s spirit is fading, they ultimately bail out Red who gets kicked out of the kitchen again.  It starts with cold lobster from Alison, then burnt butter from her.  Christine’s garnish station sinks all night.  Sarah on the meat station is a disaster with undercooked Wellingtons and overcooked lamb.

Christine and Sarah are up for elimination.

Christine, I have seen improve.  Sarah started so strong, but has fallen far.  There is a brief moment where Ramsay asks her if she thinks she could cook better in a blue jacket, but alas, he’s not seeing it.  Sarah is sent home.

What do you think about Chef Ramsay’s decision?

Next week’s episode promises drama again; hopefully we get it this time!