Friday Five: June 14th

HAPPY FRIDAY!

HAPPY FRIDAY!

I’ve missed writing these!  But I’ll probably be revamping the logo for the future.  FYI.

(Because your investment in these things is great and powerful, I know.)

In advance; I’m apologizing for this being The Longest Friday Five Ever.  I’m blaming writer’s withdrawal, or maybe just having a lot of juicy stuff to talk about this week.

1. Graceland

Graceland airs Thursdays at 10 on USA

We’ll start with Graceland.  My family were huge fans of Rescue Memostly because Denis Leary is one of the wittiest pieces of shit ever to walk the Earth.  (Sidebar, I do not even know what it is about him but I would do him in a heartbeat.  Skinny Irish ass and all.  So would my mother.  And incidentally enough, he shares her birthday.)  So when mamabear heard Daniel Sunjata (aka Franco, the token Puerto Rican and general sex machine) was going to be on a show called “Graceland”, she was a little confused.  Mostly because she thought it was going to be about Elvis, and probably because I think she was confusing it a little with Nashville.

Which is totally unrelated.  In case you don’t know, Graceland is about undercover agents who are all working out of one house (…Graceland.  Get it?)  Sunjata plays this Super Agent with a rogue side and some super sekrit something that we don’t know about yet (hey, you can only reveal so much in a pilot).  Aaron Tveit, who I’m seriously regretting never having seen before, is the top-of-his-class rookie who is assigned to him for training– but wait, he’s really there to investigate Sunjata.

It has promise.  It’s from the creator of White Collar, my love for which has absolutely nothing to do with Matt Bomer.  (60% or more of it, anyway.  Honest.)  Either way, I’ll keep watching until either a, it stays awesome, or b, it completely fizzles out (and I continue to watch it anyway because that’s what I do.)

2. Hannibal

Hannibal also airs Thursdays at 10, on NBC. And is not for the faint of heart.

Along the lines of television that I have been completely devouring (I’m hilarious), I give you Hannibal, which I have NOT been able to get enough of.  (Seriously.  This show is sickeningly good.  And so well thought out that it makes your head spin.  And full of little things that just make you go “squee”, like the fact that the episodes are all named after elements of classic French cuisine?  And the fact that the show has a tumblr and it’s actually the best thing ever?  I can’t.  Gold star.)

Mads Mikkelsen is Dr. Lecter, and he’s brilliant in that way he is.  Hugh Dancy is borderline-of-psychopathy FBI profiler Will Graham, who is not only working on a series of murders actually committed by Hannibal at the moment…he also goes to Hannibal for therapy.

Hannibal wants them to be friends.  I think this is a great idea.

The show is pretty brutal, and I’m not sure how Bryan Fuller is getting away with showing this shit on network TV, but I’m super thrilled that he is.  And with the exception of Laurence Fishburne (aka Craterface 2) the supporting cast of characters is pretty damn brilliant.

Also, Eddie Izzard.  I rest my case.

3. Gillian Flynn
You guys are going to think I’m just in super twisted mode right now.  (This is probably not true.)  But aside from being able to construct some seriously twisted stories, Gillian Flynn is an excellent writer and you should give her a look if you’re not finding your usual summer-reading-list fodder to be as gripping as you’d like.

YOUR NEW READING LIST

My book club read Gone Girl for our June meeting, and we all loved it.  I foisted it on my mom, and she loved it.  Everyone I have talked to who has read this book has loved it.  (That could have something to do with the fact that it’s really, incredibly well crafted.)  I’m not going to tell you a peep about it because I don’t want to spoil anything (and trust me, you don’t want me to risk that) but basically just find it, read it, and come back to smash your fingers wordlessly against the keyboard in a comment or something when you get to The Twist.

After we both loved GG, my mom went ahead and requested Sharp Objects and Dark Places.  I gave her a dose of “but mom, I’m already reading another really excellent book and I’m getting back to Infinite Jest after that and when am I going to have time to read these things?”

I’d forgotten something in the weeks since finishing Gone Girl: Gillian Flynn is an amazingly compelling storyteller.  I started Sharp Objects Wednesday at work; I was finished by Thursday night.

Not a big.

I probably would have been done faster if I hadn’t had to, you know.  Work.

TL;DR: check this woman out.  Doctor’s orders.

(Sidebar #2: I would suggest reading them in publication-order, not because there’s any continuity or chronology to think of but because her writing builds so much.  The difference is hugely noticeable between SO and GG; they’re both fantastic, but SO has a much more subdued punch (and this one I actually saw coming, thanks to more overt clues.  GG is like GJAE;ROIYJHROT out-of-nowhere-you-expected) and I think letting your experience unfold with her development as a writer would be a good way to tackle these.)

I’ll stop writing about things like an English major now.

4. Sirens

Oh, E4. You so rarely fail me.

If you’re currently going through some Red Wedding PTSD (because that shit was as hard to watch as it was to read), may I direct your attention towards the gentleman pictured above: Richard Madden, our favorite late-great-King-in-the-North.

(May he rest in peace.)

Sirens was sadly shortlived, but it’s good comedic fodder in that crass-buddy-E4 way.  Madden and Company are a team of EMTs, and the show chronicles their antics on the job and off.  It’s a bit silly, but in a good time-wastey way with just enough heart and just enough time spent on the Big Questions to keep it engaging past that point.

Plus, Madden.  But we covered that.

I’ve been rewatching it as filler in the mornings, so I’m remembering that it’s actually a pretty decent show.

(Sidebar #3: it’ll be brought to the US next spring, thanks to Denis Leary (who is a huge softy for emergency services, if you couldn’t tell) and USA.  I’ll forgive you if you wait until then to check it out.)

5. True Blood

The wait is over, Truebies: season six starts Sunday!

I’m excited.  I want to see what’s up with Billith!  I want to know what’s going to happen with Jason and Jessica!  I want to see Niall!  I want to see Skarsgård again!  And Alcide ripping off his shirt for no reason!

Sue me.  Sometimes, I’m a really simple creature.

What have you been into this week– and what are you looking forward to over the weekend?

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Friday Five: April 5th

HAPPY FRIDAY!

HAPPY FRIDAY!

So, let’s be real: I’ve kind of sucked this week when it comes to making contributions to the blogosphere.  It’s not because I don’t love you guys (because I love you guys a whole lot!); it’s not because I didn’t plan (oooh, did I plan); and it’s not because I got side tracked with easier distractions (puhleze, AC3 has been sitting on my game shelf since December.  I just don’t have enough time).

What happened was a result of two things: firstly, my epic fail and ensuing injury left the middle finger of my left hand wrapped in masking tape until about Tuesday, which made it seriously hard to type.  I was reduced to hunt-and-peck, where I hunted all of the letters but still managed to only peck “r”.  But after my redneck dressing was cleared to be removed, things…

..well.  Things just got real busy.  So I thought I’d take this week’s Friday Five to tell you about them (because some of them were kind of neat!) and leave you with very non-empty promises to be back next week in full force with all of the recipes.

1. I got halfway cleared for an ambulance ride-along!

..in this fat bastard. I probably shouldn’t call it that to anyone’s face, though.

The ambulances my sister works on are really, really hard up for volunteers, and I’m…curiously, very tentatively entertaining the idea.  Very, very tentatively.  But concretely enough to take the bloodborne/airborne pathogens class (Monday night) and get CPR certification (tomorrow) so that I can ride along in the rig with her for a day and hope something gory happens.

And then hope I don’t puke.  But if I do, now I’ll know what to do about it.

2. We got chicks!

They're so sweet. I can't even.

They’re so sweet. I can’t even.

We used to be better about keeping chickens at my house, because fresh eggs rock.  But after a rash of brutal slaughters-by-coyote (that ended with me making friends with a dead shecoyote that I decided to name Bob (don’t ask, I was an odd ten year old)) we gave it a rest for about ten years.

The chick-draught is finally over!  We have three little chirping darlings in the kitchen right now; since I’m the only one who cares enough to name them and be clever, they’re called Violet, Sunny, and SheKlaus.

I’m hoping their lives go better than those of the Baudelaires, though.

3. I joined a book club!

Well.  Technically I joined a few weeks ago, but the book club met, which was great.  The girls all seem really sweet so far, and I’m so excited to have somewhere I can read and just be silly with actual people my age for an hour every now and again.  I got home and my mom was like “did you make any friends?”

I am not the speed-friender, mama.  An hour is a little short.  But I made contacts with ladyfolk, so at least there’s that.

Plus, the book suggestions.  They are so far off from my norm, but I’m loving them so far.  My to-read list just like doubled.

4. I cooked, honest!

I don’t have pictures of any of it, or instructions or thoughts or all those nifty things you get when I post something in long-form.  But what I do have are some recipes, so I’ll share those with you since I’m in suck-mode right now and it’s the best I can do.

  • Chicken with Kalamata Olives and Artichokes – Food Network Mag March 2013.  I can’t find the recipe to share, but if you have the mag try it!  Either use a little less liquid, though, or reduce it down a bit more; ours was a little too sloppy for us.
  • Chicken and Broccoli adapted off of this recipe with cauliflower fried rice – so good!  The chicken cooked to the perfect texture; I’m not sure if that’s due to the quick marinade or the cornstarch, but either way it was so perfectly reminiscent of takeout and  couldn’t believe it.  

5. I planned for next week!  

I hate (we’re talking a special level of hate here, the kind generally reserved for Subarus) that I’ve been so bad about posting this past two weeks, and I’m going to make every effort I have to turn that around.  I have a plan for next week, posts to write over the weekend, and things to do to fill the week after!  Kind of a crummy start for April, but there’s nowhere to go but up?

Something like that.

Enjoy your Friday, everyone!  Doing anything special to revel in the nice(ish) weather?

(For me?  Sitting outside in shorts reading Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand.  I can’t wait.)