Monday, August 24, 2009

Chocolate from Australia

A very nice person from Twitter and Xbox LIVE sent me a box full of candy from his native Australia. The Tim Tams were breathtaking of course, and I must mention here that they are from New Zealand, not Australia. My favorite treats so far are: Curly Wurly, Chomp, and Flake, all from Cadbury UK.

Curly Wurly: Caramel covered with chocolate, soft and chewy. According to Wikipedia this was sold in the US in the 70s and 80s (my childhood) under the name Marathon Bar. I prefer the CW name because, being afflicted with curly hair I enjoy having something chocolatey and delicious associated with the word "curly".

Flake: Though it cleaves more like flint, this bar is the pumice of chocolate. It's interesting as a novelty, but it's very messy and the taste isn't worth the trouble.

Chomp: This one is my favorite of the three. Imagine a Twix bar (my ultimate favorite candy!) with wafers instead of a cookie. It seems simple enough, but the combination of soft chocolate and caramel when you bite in and then the cool crispness of the wafers is unique and very nom.

If you live in Australia or the UK--lucky you! If not, get an overseas friend to send you some.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Movie: Metropolitan

This piece of crap is from 1990 (Metropolitan, written and directed by Whit Stillman)and I recently streamed it to my Xbox 360 via Netflix Instant Thingie. Some people --including otherwise reasonable professional critics-- think this is important or compelling in some way. I think it blows.

Metropolitan is like "Clerks" for the upper-crust. Take the pointless one-note dialog (all the characters have the same vocabulary and speech patterns; something Kevin Smith does a lot as does David Mamet), horrifyingly bad acting, and lack of any action (at least Clerks had hockey on the roof) and dress it up in aristocratic garb. It STILL sucks. It does have a plot; which Clerks lacks, and might have been interesting if done with real actors and a believable script.

Skip this film, unless you just want to make fun of the goofy hairstyles.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Big Bangin'

I am not much of a TV watcher. I am not a person that keeps the TV on for company. My husband, however is gluuuuuued to the TV. A day without TV is like a day without napalm for him. Our TV and not-TV worlds recently collided when our daughter was born in June and we were both home on leave from work. The TV was on ALL DAY LONG. I could elaborate, but my blood pressure will rise, and I will begin to tear at my hangnails with my incisors. Let's not.

Suffice it to say I discovered many many MANY things that I do not care to watch. But happily, I did discover one thing I DO like: The Big Bang Theory. My husband is a fan of the show and came home one night with the first season on DVD. We watched it in one sitting. If you're not familiar with the show the premise is: a pretty blonde girl moves in across the hall from two supernerds. Like super duper PROFESSIONAL nerds. Sheldon is a theoretical physicist working on string theory and Leonard (Darlene's boyfriend from Roseanne) is... some other kind of physicist, but from what I gather a kind that is inferior to Sheldon's kind. Or so sayeth Sheldon.

Penny, the chick, is kind of a throwaway character. She is the fish out of water in this situation, the 'normal' person thrust into a world of nerdery and supersmarties. We, the viewer are meant to see Sheldon and Leonard through her eyes--through the lens of normalcy. I knew I was on the wrong side of the lens when in the first episode I said indignantly to my husband, "Nuh-UH. Light is a wave AND a particle!" after which the Leonard character said exactly the same thing. Disclaimer: I am not a physicist, nor do I claim ownership of supersmarts but I am discovering that after 15 years in the video game industry (and coming from a gene pool replete with engineers and math/science types) I am skewing more toward 'nerd' and less and less toward 'normal'.

Oh my, is this a fourth paragraph already? OLJ.

Well, this show is very funny and fantastically smart. It doesn't make any cheeseball attempts to manipulate your emotions; there are no lessons learned. The best part is that of the 4 main nerdgods in the pantheon of The Big Bang Theory they are each nerdy and charming in their own unique, not stereotypical way. I don't pay attention to who makes the show, but they know their nerds.

I've watched Season One twice all the way through and have introduced it to my kids. #1 and #2 are old enough to appreciate it. #1 (who actually reads books about string theory) and I were both surprised at how much #2 enjoys it. She tends toward teenage girl things like books written in emoticons and shows about junior high cliques. #3 has been exposed to the show while breastfeeding, but has not yet commented on if she approves.

I've got Season 2 on pre-order at Amazon. If you haven't seen TBBT, give it a try. Apparently it's on CBS for free!