Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New season so far

"Up All Night" is winning so far. I am not saying it's going to get a weekly spot, but it's up for nomination. Two quotes from this week:

1. "Don't shame spiral" featured in the scene where Will Forte is giving Will Arnet advice about how to keep his wife interested.

2. Reagan to Ava, after Ava finds out that her ex-boy band member ex-boyfriend is getting married. "Terrible people can get married, you know."

Because it's true, you know??

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Glee quote of the week -- season premiere! 9/20

The quote of the week is not so much a quote as a scene with Emma giving out a pamphlet called "me and my hag." Which I loved because this is just the sort of thing that I have to do at my job. I just did an exhaustive search of pamphlets for a new client with one year old twins that needs some parenting help. Except none of the pamphlets I found had interesting titles like "me and my hag."

Speaking of hags...

My favorite number...was Blaine singing "It's not Unusual."

This is an episode that is going to do some time in DVR queue!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

an update

I've been hinting to people that I would be visiting them this fall because a new JM album would be released in October and a tour would follow. If you are saying to yourself, "Hmm... it's almost October and I haven't heard anything about this tour," finally, we all have some answers.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

How to Succeed in Business...

I was watching "Live from the Red Carpet" prior to the Emmy's tonight and Darren Criss said that he is going to be in How to Succeed in Business without even Trying. I never thought I'd say this, but I have to see this show!!

Anyone want to go with me?

Fall TV

A couple of the new shows began last week (for example, "Up All Night" started on Wednesday, presumably to get some of audience carry-over after "America's Got Talent" finale), but this is premiere week for most shows, old and new. Clearly, it's about time to get my Fall TV post up here!
If you want to see the whole line up to make your own schedule, check this or to read about any of the new shows, check this.

Shows I'm most excited for:

Up All Night -- mostly because I have been a fan of Will Arnet since Arrested Development and his show from last fall tanked. I am also a big fan of Maya Rudolph and welcome the opportunity to see both of them each week in a regular show. However, to say that I'm excited for this show is an overstatement. It is potentially just another show about a buffoonish dad (possibly both parents) with a cute baby. I recorded it on Wednesday and haven't seen it yet, so we'll see. (Wednesdays @ 8:00 on NBC)

Terra Nova -- again, I guess it is an overstatement to say that I'm excited for this show. It has the potential to fill the gap that all of the networks have been trying to fill in their line-ups since LOST was so successful, and especially now that it's over. However, it appears that the main features of this show are dinosaurs and time travel, which may or may not play out so well on TV. Science fiction and fantasy are not really my things -- the reason that LOST resonated with people that are not into fantasy is because it was character driven. So if they can make this show look cool at the same time as presenting interesting characters, I think it has potential. (Mondays @ 8:00, FOX)

Pan Am -- Yes, it's clearly inspired by the success of Mad Men, and there is no way they are going to duplicate it, but it looks like it might have legs. (Sundays @ 10:00 on ABC)

New Girl -- I probably wouldn't even give this show another thought if it wasn't for Zooey Deschanel. It kind of looks like it's trying to be "Friends" or "Big Bang Theory" or a mix of the two, right? (Tuesdays @ 9:00 FOX)

Other shows I am going to try out:

2 Broke Girls -- EW gives this one an endorsement, but I feel like it's trying to be Paris Hilton's The Simple Life, but in a non-reality format. (Tuesdays @8:30 CBS)

Ringer -- described by Sarah Michelle Gellar as a cross between her characters from Cruel Intentions and Buffy. Neither of which I watched, but I'm going to give this one a shot anyway. (Tuesdays @ 9 The CW)

Returning shows :

Parenthood -- I seriously love this show! But in the season premiere, Alex gets arrested. Really? Can't we move on from this cliche? And what the heck did Haddie do to her hair? But most importantly Jason Ritter is back as Sarah's love interest?!?! I could not be more excited! In fact, I may just watch the parts with him again today! (Tuesdays @ 10 NBC)

Glee -- an uneven season two, but I'm sticking with this show for season three. I did watch The Glee Project over the summer and I am interested to see how they use these new characters. (Tuesdays @ 8:00 FOX)

30 Rock -- beginning mid-season, I'm counting on it being as brilliant as always! (Thursdays NBC)

The Office -- last season was boring, for the most part. I'm very interested to see what James Spader is going to bring to it. His character in the season finale was HILARIOUS and strange so it sould be interesting. (Thursdays @ 9:00 NBC)

Parks and Recreation -- so funny! I almost gave up on this show after the first season, but it keeps getting better! (Thursdays @ 8:30 NBC)

Modern Family -- I like, but don't love, this show. I know that puts me in the minority, and I'm fine with that. Basically, I only really like Cameron & Mitchell (but mostly Cameron), and Luke & Phil (but mostly Luke).

Shows that the networks are promoting so much, I can't figure out if they are that good, or that bad:

Revenge -- I wasn't really considering this one, but it did get an endorsement from EW's Must List. I will give almost any show with Emily Van Camp a shot.

Whitney -- I can't believe this is going to be all that funny, but there has not been a commercial break on NBC or an issue of EW that has not had some mention of this show.

Shows I won't be watching:

American Horror Story -- this show has three things going for it. Dylan McDermott, Connie Britton, and co-creator Ryan Murphy. However, title says it all, and I can't do horror.

Two and a Half Men -- with or without Charlie Sheen, all I can say is Uff!!

I want to watch in theory, but probably won't :

Prime Suspect -- based on a British show, which I've heard about for years and is probably very good. But I'm just not that interested in detective shows anymore. (Thursdays @10:00 NBC)

A Gifted Man -- Seems a little too Ghost Whisperer or something. (Fridays @ 8:00 CBS)

The X Factor -- I watched American Idol for the first several seasons but got so sick of it, mostly because it was the same songs over and over, and it bugged me so much when bad singers stayed and good singers left. Apparently Simon Cowell thinks this is a different show, but I'm not so sure. I might be a tad curious. For a week or two, at least.

So.... I think that's it!! Am I missing anything? What are you excited to watch this season?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Scandinavian finale

For day 10, we were back in Copenhagen. In the morning, we woke up and went shopping. I had told Julia that one of the things I wanted to bring home was a Helly Hansen. When I lived in Norway, all my American friends had one but me, so I thought it would be nice to have one after all these years. I told Julia about the Helly Hansen and she thought she might like one, too, so we went on a quest. After looking around for a few hours, she ended up with a jacket and rain pants and I had nothing. Once I was back home, I looked to see where I could get one here in the city and, low and behold, found that they available at Paragon Sports, which is about a ten minute walk from the office where I worked for 13 years.

Another funny-ish thing that happened is that Julia casually asked our world traveling friend, Trevor, if, by chance, he planned to be in Copenhagen at all in May. Guess what! He was. So we met up with him on our last day, had lunch, rode bikes, shopped a bit, ate fresh strawberries and danish.

Here are just some odds and ends...

A manhole cover in Tivoli Gardens....

Our favorite bakery. It's a chain so we could find them almost anywhere we were. The story is that the Germans came up with weinerbrød, but that the Danes perfected them, and now most people call them danish. No joke, they were amazing (they beat any danish we had in Norway or Sweden).

The Hans Christian Anderson statue. His lap was really well worn from lots of people sitting on his lap. Apparently the locals pose topless. We did not.

Julia and Trevor on Strøget.

A Danish elephant.

The next morning, we got up, gobbled down the rest of the ice cream that we had in our freezer, and headed to the airport.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Scandinavia day 9

Day 9 began with a tour of the State house . Because it was on the way between our hotel and Gamla Stan, we walked past this place a million times so I took lots of pictures...
Here's a view of the State house from the ferry ride we took the previous day.

The three crowns represent the three Scandinavian countries...

View from inside the courtyard...

This is inside the buidling, and this area is where they have the Nobel prize winners' dinner. Except for the Peace Prize, which happens in Oslo, for some reason.

pictures inside the building didn't really come out, but here's just a few.

I loved these black pillars and the ceiling was painted in a very Scandinavian blue design.

after the tour, we looked around the city a bit more. Here are some pictures and I have no idea what they are...

a sign for ice cream that says "An ice cream makes you happy!"

After all this, we went to the airport, and split some meatballs. (No need to say they were Swedish meatballs, since we were in Sweden.)

and had a pastry...

Saw this display for the book "One Day" and decided to take a picture just for the heck of it.

Back in Copenhagen for the end of the trip.....

Monday, September 5, 2011

Scandinavia day 8

Wow.... we went to Scandinavia before Memorial day, and now it's after Labor day. I promise it's coming to an end soon...
Our one full day in Stockholm began with a tour of StorKyrka.

This is Saint George slaying the dragon....

This is a pretty bad picture of a really cool painting, called Vädersolstavlan...

Next we went to the German church ...

After these two churches, we boarded a little ferry to Drottningholm Palace...

Here's JuJu looking cute on the back of the boat...

and here's me trying to keep warm...

and I couldn't resist taking a picture of this guy, who we named Carl Svenson, or Sven Carlson, just because he looked so much like a Viking. Julia was making fun of me, but she's just jealous she didn't think of it first...

Views from the boat....

Here's the Palace from the boat...

and Julia in front...

the back of the Palace and the grounds..

After the Palace, we went back into town and looked for something to eat for dinner. Remember from day one when I said that Julia and I were eating some hot dogs? Well, this spurred a memory for Julia of a Swedish feast that she enjoyed way back when. A hot dog, smothered in mashed potatoes, wrapped in lefse. I was on board, but we had to find it first, and we finally did on day 8. I think Julia was happy.

And then we went for dessert... eplekake med vaniljesaus (applecake with vanilla sauce) !

Friday, September 2, 2011

Birthday week

Another year has gone by. Since my boyfriend John Mayer has been taking a much needed break from the limelight and is not touring this summer, I had to come up with something to do for my birthday this year.

My birthday started a few days early with a BBQ at Jill and Chris's house. Chris is an awesome BBQ'er and basically made a dinner made to order for me. We had burgers with blue cheese in the middle and bacon on top. He also grilled some corn on the cob for us and we had some cut up watermelon. It was all delicious!!

After dinner, we walked over to one of their three cupcake spots, Mr. Cupcakes. These were good, but not great. Clockwise from top left: Lemon, Tiramisu, Vanilla/Vanilla, Coconut.

This is the Vanilla/Vanilla, which they named "Birthday cake" so it was a perfect choice for me.

Last year, I went to see JM with Anne Lise in a venue near her town of San Diego. About a week before my trip, I sent an email to another one of my Norwegian friends, Sara, and told her she should come down too. I don't know why she couldn't drop her life of a full-time job and three kids and husband on one week's notice, but she couldn't. This year, I didn't wait until the last minute to invite her and when she said she could come, our reunion was on!! Sounds like a perfect birthday to me!

The day I arrived, Lise picked me up and we went straight to the beach. Afterwards, we found the closest cupcake place (thanks to smart phones!) and ended up at Sugar & Scribe. The owner/baker was there and we chatted her up for a bit. My first thought was "never trust a skinny chef" but in this case, that saying does not apply. My routine is to go straight for the Vanilla/Vanilla but the chocolate buttercream frosting looked so good, I went for that one. And it was a good choice. It was maybe the best chocolate frosting I've had. (except for maybe Lise's norwegian chocolate frosting.) It was super creamy, but not super chocolately, which is good for me. I didn't get a picture of it, but this is what their display looked like:

On my actual birthday, we went to the famous Sprinkles, which has opened a location in San Diego. Although these are good, it sort of bugs me that they are so basic but cost $3.50 each. However, I do like them a lot. The cake is so moist and the perfect density, and the frosting is the perfect sweetness.

Anne Lise, Me, Sara

Sara & Me plus 4 delicious cupcakes (guess who got two??)

Clockwise from left: Lemon, Vanilla/coconut, Vanilla/chocolate w/sprinkles, Key lime

For our last cupcake adventure, we went to Corner Cupcakes . Lise had heard about this cupcake truck and then this week, the owner won "Cupcake Wars." We drove way out of our way to find the truck and were able to congratulate the owner personally on her win. However, the congratulations were a bit premature because these cakes were very marginal.

We tried all three of the show-winning cupcakes: (bottom from right) Belly Buster (Peanut butter & bacon cake, chocolate ganache filling, salted caramel frosting), Full house (coconut cake with lemon curd filling and lemon coconut frosting) and Two Pears (self-explanatory). We also got (top from left) Vanilla/Vanilla, Chocolate cake with salted caramel frosting and red velvet with cream cheese frosting.

The Belly Buster:

The verdict: The winner was the Two Pears cupcake. I have never had a pear cupcake before and it was pretty good. The lemon curd was not tart enough and the whole Full House cupcake was bland overall. But the peanut butter/chocolate/bacon/salted caramel cupcake was NO GOOD. The cake was really dry and crumbly, and did not taste good. The salted caramel frosting was pretty good, so I just ate that off the cupcake and left the rest behind (can't go wrong with salty and sweet).

The non-winning cupcakes were another story. One bite into the vanilla and chocolate cupcakes and we all agreed they were clearly from a mix. I could not be more disappointed. Again, the best part of these cupcakes was the salted caramel frosting.

So, the winner this week was Sugar and Scribe. Plus, they had lots of other tasty looking treats. I indulged in only one besides the cupcakes and that was a no-bake cookie. YUM!!