What a week again. Finally it starts to get easier now at work, so I have plenty of head-space to overthink everything! Yay! -.- It sure was an odd one last week, and before I can put my ducks in a row in my own head, I wouldn’t bother you my dear readers by writing messy stuff about it. Meanwhile, I would just share the good stuff, mmkay? 🙂
1. Foodporn Fever – meatballs and seminar food
Meal prep time! I was a little distracted while I made the meatballs and pasta, so I forgot complete to put salt or anything salty. Basically I made some meatballs that look more like mini hamburgers and then a simple pasta dish with grilled paprika and tomatoes, with some basil on top. For some freshness, I packed some rocket as salad plus some cherry tomatoes and kalamata olives. The olives complimented the pasta beautifully and brought some much needed saltiness too. It was a pretty hearty home cooking with a tat of Mediterranean to color things up with the olives and grilled paprika. Plus the colors are wonderful!
After some home cooking, there was some nice contrast with a sprinkle of luxury in the middle of the week. I attended a seminar where they served some pretty fantastic tapas finger food. There was salmon cream cheese rolls, melon pieces with parman ham, salty reindeer, shrimp tartar and then some super delicious cheese paired with fresh strawberries. I’m not a cheese person, parmesan is pretty much the strongest kind of cheese I consume, I stay away from goat cheese even. But this time, I dared to try this little piece called manchego cheese. It’s a Spanish made from the milk of sheep. It’s quite mild with a creamy and nutty aftertaste. For my palette it didn’t quite match with the sweet strawberries, since it was so mild the cheese needed something bolder to accompany it. I’ve been daydreaming about that cheese since the seminar, and for the first time I know exactly how cheese enthusiasts feel. I did plan to go get it someday this week to treat myself, and I decided to try it with a bottle good Spanish red wine, some fig jam, honey and berries or grapes. Sounds downright decadent, doesn’t it? 😛
2. Cultural Crusade
It was an eventful week when it came to movies. First came an Asian movie In the Room (2015). I stumbled upon the trailer and thought it sounded pretty interesting, although it’s supposed to be artsy. The movie tells the stories of six couples, from different era and different countries. We had Singapore, Thai, Japan, Hong Kong and South-Korea, it was very colorful in that sense. The lives and fates were all observed from the same hotel room, an initially grand hotel in Singapore but it couldn’t keep up with time and fell from grace gradually. I’ve watched a fair amount of movies from different Asian countries, and I recognized different styles of these countries when it comes to portraying love and sex. Hong Kong tends to stay away from graphic sex scenes and they would often take a rather humorous approach to the whole thing. Japan doesn’t shy away from revealing sex scenes, and they sometimes can make something really raunchy into something quite beautiful. South-Korea is something in between, but the sex itself looks to be more passionate and raw. ‘In The Room’ showcased each of these styles of different countries quite accurately. I haven’t watched a lot of Thai movies, but that part in the movie I enjoyed the most. The cinematography is almost stunning and so bright in times, but towards the end, it looked it the budget ran out and it felt rushed and unsatisfying. ‘In The Room’ is one of those movies that had all the potential to be a masterpiece but fell short because someone somewhere didn’t have the skills/patience to see it through. Which is a big pity. My IMDb rating: 6 stars out of 10
Then came the short horror flick Unfriended (2014). First I thought it was silly, but it was actually quite brilliantly made. The whole movie the audience observes the incident through this girl Blair’s iMac computer. You follow her mouse moving, you silently judge her too many tabs opened on Chrome and you try to read what sites she had open, or even songs on her music playlist. It felt weirdly personal, and at least I felt like a stalker and peeping tom. There were so much going on all the time, so I didn’t mind that she clicked on everything that most computer users probably won’t click, like the copy and paste function. But for the audience sake, it was easy to follow even if you’re not tech-savy. The haunting itself, it was pretty fucking scary. And it also gave me tons of ideas, in case I ever become a ghost, how I can be a nerdy IT ghost and haunt someone’s computer. 😀 I personally think ‘Unfriended’ was genius, except the build-up could have been more tight. I would have liked to know the characters involved better before the haunting began. You know, so that I could care more when their lives crashed and burned. I don’t mind seeing more this kind of movies more. My IMDb rating: 7 stars out of 10
Finding Nemo came out in 2003 aka more than a decade ago. Is there such a thing as waiting too long? Yes there is. So when the news that they are finally making a sequel and it would be called Finding Dory (2016), I didn’t care anymore. I didn’t go see it in the theater, I didn’t even mark it down anywhere about the DVD release date. I didn’t mind at all if I never see it. So when I found myself having absolutely nothing else to do, and the movie happened to just be available without much fuss, I watched it. First, the good bits. It was beautifully made. The water, the coast, the everything except the fish looked absolutely gorgeous. It had tons of scenes that tucked on the feels, no matter how cheesy they are, and the octopus was a great addition, because as we all know, octopuses are pretty freaking awesome creatures. But the movie felt a bit messy, a movie stuck between a sleek one to attract the new generation of audience and a nostalgic one to throw odd ball morsels for older audience members. It failed a little in both, and I can say that this movie sucks for those who have not seen the first one. And for those who had seen it a long time ago, like me, it’s just too little too late. Not enough to aroused the good-old-times-remembering old lady in the rocking chair in me, and not enough character building or growth to attract me anew. Sequels that come decades later only work when time has past for the characters too, like in the Rocky series. ‘Finding Dory’ only seemed like the inferior second episode to a very good pilot episode ‘Finding Nemo’, and there was 13 years in between. In the end though, Pixar is Pixar. It’s decent even when it’s underwhelming. My IMDb rating: 7 stars out of 10 (which is like an D in Pixar world)
Doctor Strange (2016)
I’ve no idea why some people like the Captain America Civil War, because I didn’t like it at all. It seemed like the Marvel Movie Universe has gone downhill since the first Avengers movie, and the whole phase 2 was just scraping by and living on the hype and Captain 3 was the final straw for me to get me to declare that a Marvel movie doesn’t necessary equal better than average. I didn’t dare to have high hopes for Doctor Strange, despite being a crazed Cumberbitch. I have no doubt whatsoever that Benedict would do great, it’s the other pieces in the big puzzle I was worried about. I didn’t see it on its premier week, so when I heard that it broke record by being the freshest movie on Rotten Tomatoes upon entry, high hopes crept in me no matter what I wanted. After weeks of its premiere, it still stands tall on being 90% fresh, which is 6% higher than Deadpool. Is it a better superhero movie than Deadpool? I don’t think so. But it’s definitely the best Marvel movie that focused on one hero. It’s almost as good as the first Iron Man. But I’m a sentimental movie reviewer. Iron Man (2008) was a miracle and no one went in with high expectation and RDJ blew it out of the park. So do I think Doctor Strange is this good because of the string of only average Marvel movies of late? I really can’t tell. Doctor Strange’s story is solid, with a good pace that was not too fast or slow. It had pretty good character development, the only thing that was a little out of the nowhere was Strange accusing the Ancient One of stealing powers from the dark side. They didn’t put any evidence or even hint about it earlier and Strange just arrived at the conclusion all of the sudden and spitting out quite a heavy accusation. Of course, they might have shown the mark on the Ancient One’s forehead in the movie opening fight, but I didn’t know to look for it and for the life of me I couldn’t remember. The effects were breath-breaking, but during the whole movie in every fighting scene, the only thing I could think of was ‘how freaking awesome this could have looked if there wasn’t such a movie as Inception’. Benedict was a brilliant Strange, I worried that he would be too similar to Sherlock, but Strange is a bit more of a people person than Sherlock. 😛 The magic looked cool, especially the magic whip. 😉 And of course, the cloak of levitation, I’m pretty sure it’s a girl. All in all, Doctor Strange delivered, with spot on performances, stunning visual affects and a mighty awesome origin movie worth the watch. My IMDb rating: 9 stars out of 10
3. Happy Hubbub
First snow came to Helsinki last week and surprisingly they are still on the ground. I can’t remember when was the last time there was a white Christmas in Helsinki, I sure hope that this already thick layer of first snow would stay for the whole winter. As much as I love Helsinki summer, snow-covered Helsinki is quite enchanting. I say let it snow let it snow let it snow. ^^
4. Pouty Phenomenon
I’m keeping this short. My latest workout plan began less smoothly due to being so busy at work and constantly tired and sleepy. I’m attempting to reset myself this week. Lately I noticed that sleeping more than eight hours would make me very tired during the day. It used to be me needing the 8-hour of sleep. Guess I’m getting old. So starting from this week, I will try the no more than 7 hours of sleep each night, even if I have time to sleep more. Let’s see how it goes.
5. Sexy Stir
There is something rather exciting happening in my BDSM journey, as we had quite an interesting conversation with Sir Atticus on Monday. But strictly speaking, Monday was not last week. 😛 So I’ll be writing about this on next Weekly Obsession. Stay tuned and stay kinky! ^^