Readers, I am obsessed with a new show. I didn’t intend to watch this one and in fact I already gave it up. I watched the first two minutes of Penny Dreadful, but I couldn’t get into it for some reason. I don’t recall why. But then I read that Anne Rice loves it and I love her so I decided to give it a go. Then I saw that her son, Christopher, also loves it, so I decided to drop everything and try again. I LOVE IT. It’s so good! And there’s just no real way to simplify what this show is about. It’s a combination of Victorian stories such as Dracula, Frankenstein, The Picture of Dorian Gray, amidst other oddities of the time. It sounds so ridiculous that it should be a disaster. It’s a wild idea, but it just might work. (Holla at The Producers reference!) And indeed it works, reader. The plot is delicate and twisted and delicious. It’s all about — well, I think it’s all about — DRACULA, or some kind of vampiric monster that has stolen away the childhood friend, Mina, of the show’s heroine, Vanessa Ives. She is played gloriously by Eva Green. She’s my new favorite actress now. Versatile and delightful and beautiful! A winning trio for any entertainer. Vanessa works with Sir Malcom, Mina’s father. Together, they recruit a madcap company of Dr. Frankenstein and the handsome Josh Hartnett as the somewhat badass American gunslinger. Then there are additional characters like DORIAN FREAKING GRAY. I adore the story of Dorian Gray, so I lost my shit a bit when his role was introduced and when he was in a steamy moment with Josh Hartnett. That was quality cable television, my dears. The show is MAD and a JOY and DELIGHTFUL and you should all binge watch it in one day as I did to keep it. I cannot wait for next week’s episode and next season!
Olive Oil on Popcorn:
I have a huge love for popcorn. I grew up on the stuff. It’s a miracle I had enough proper nutrients since all I ate was popcorn. This delicious treat left my life for a while, I can’t really recall why, I think I became bored of it, which is just a silly thing. It turns out that my change simply changed. Instead of microwave popcorn, I needed something different. Then the air popper came into my life. I looked at it with alarm for a while, then I used it. Meh. So, I drowned it in butter and salt and found this to be much superior to the microwave popcorn of my past. I preferred the chewier texture of air popped popcorn and the fact that it had nearly no unpopped kernels in the bowl to break my teeth on! I could eat it every day, and for a while, I did. Perhaps that’s how I gained ten pounds? Probably. Since I’m on a diet and a health kick at the moment, I’ve been suffering miserably as I try to exist with only the barest minimum of calories. Out of desperation I popped a half sized batch of popcorn and drizzled olive oil over it instead of butter as it was half the calories. It was freaking good. I’m forever changed. The heat of the popcorn really makes the olive oil taste so lovely and strong. I need to get a better olive oil, though, for treats like this! I highly recommend you make some olive oil popcorn, reader, and send me your thanks.
Iceland’s Post Office:
I’m getting the feeling that Iceland is going to be all kinds of awesome. They adore coffee. They are the most peaceful nation on Earth. They don’t get upset when foreigners come speaking English. They have a beautifully colored city. There are vegetarian restaurants run by celebrity chefs. They have the sea and the mountains and an active volcano and glaciers and loads of place to hike and they’re only six hours away! Why don’t we all spend more time in Iceland? Anyway, whenever I travel, I prefer to communicate via traditional post. Of course I still send out the occasional email to the people I care about, but it’s so much more fun for me to write with my hand and physically send something off. It’s a skill that’s nearly dead in our society, something that regularly fills me with anguish. I was researching the post offices in Reykjavik so that I would be able to send off notes or postcards or whatever only to discover that they were closed on Sunday, the day I would be there. Sad, but I am sure there are places to buy stamps. There are in the airport and various shops. So, problem solved. I fell deeply in love with their postal system, though, when I was browsing their stamp collection. They offer a service where you text the post office and they send you back a code of letters and numbers. You then write this code on the envelope where the stamp should go and pop it in the postbox. When it gets to the post office, this code is matched to the code they sent you and off it goes as if there were a stamp there! Genius! I’m so delighted by this and I can’t really explain why, it’s just awesome!
Netflix has become such a big part of our culture that I think we have forgotten what the world used to be like before. In high school, I couldn’t just hop on the Internet and stream a movie or have a DVD sent to my mailbox. I had to buy one for $10-20 and then find a place to keep it. I was a poor student, so I can’t deny that I downloaded many things from the Internet. This is a practice that I regret being part of, but it was also part of the mid-2000 culture. Services like Netflix and Spotify have made me an honest man, though. I pay a reasonable fee each month and I have access to their huge libraries of material. Netflix is quite a blessing, I feel. I love being able to stream a show on a whim without having to get it loaned from the library from some other library. If there is an obscure title, I just add it to my list and one of these days it’ll show up. It’s quite freeing to have all of these videos to stream instantly, even if their online library isn’t quite up to par with their physical offerings. I do hope, and I do believe, that as time passes by, more and more of their DVD exclusives will find themselves online and that will be a glorious day. In the future, people will be able to stream the entire filmography of Joan Crawford from their couch in HD and I think that’s just glorious. They can watch shows from the past and present. Netflix is precious. We are blessed.
Day Trip To Brighton:
This summer’s vacation has quickly turned into three or four separate vacations all packed together in the space of a month. I don’t know how it happened, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. First we have the day trip to Iceland, then the week in London, then the several weeks in Paris. During our time in London, though, Jessica and I are boarding an early train south to BRIGHTON to the SEA! Oh, reader, I am particularly enthused about this trip. I love nothing more than a beach town. Can you imagine how delightful a British beach town must be? Oh, I’m swooning at the thought. I’ve looked at all the things to do and picked out a dozen restaurants and bakeries to eat at. We will walk along the beach and poke in little shops and hopefully have some fun in the sun. Then, as the evening progresses, we have tickets to see DAWN FREAKING FRENCH perform her show Thirty Million Minutes. Reviews are saying it’s more of a personal show than a standup gig, which is a bit worrying since Jessica and I love to laugh so very much, but whatever she does is surely superb. We adore her. We’ll eat at some more restaurants and then catch a very late train back to London. Oh, what fun we’ll have!
Jefferson Mays Losing the Tony:
Before last night I had never watched the Tony Awards. I always meant to since I adore theater, but I don’t much care for award shows. It’s a bunch of people congratulating themselves, after all. Ah, that would be such a marvelous life, wouldn’t it, the theatre life? You sing and dance all day, gorge at night, live for the applause, and repeat each day. Suits me down to the ground. Unfortunately, I haven’t any real developed skills for singing or dancing. I like to think that I could be capable — I did perform in a choreographed dance in a talent show, after all — but if I truly am, well, that is a mystery to me. I’m off topic. Last night, my favorite musical of all time, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, was nominated for the most awards. All of them deserved, mind you. That show was absolutely phenomenal and I still think of it regularly. I still sing the lyrics. I wake up with them in my head oftentimes. The lead actor in the show, Jefferson Mays, who played nearly every character in the show with aplomb, was nominated for best actor. HE LOST! To Neil Patrick Harris. I’m sure it was deserved, but Jefferson Mays is a triumph! He’s also terribly sweet. I met him after I attended the matinee of A Gentleman’s Guide with Kathie Lee and Hoda Kotb. We didn’t go together, but we did attend together and therefore we are close friends. This is the same reasoning that explains my dear friendship with Jefferson Mays. We exchanged a few lines, shook hands, exchanged fond smiles and all that. Very close. Anyway, I think the man is a genius and I demand a recall for the award. He deserves eight Tony awards for each of the characters he brought to life, especially Lady Hyacinth. That was perfection. Listen:
They won the best musical of the year, which is the number one award to get, so HOORAY FOR MY FAVORITE SHOW!
My Health Kick:
The other day, I was shopping at H&M for my European outfits. I spent a bit of money I didn’t really want to spend, but I’m going to look hella cute whilst I’m away. If these outfits don’t land me a British husband, I honestly don’t know what else will. I’m going very One Direction in my ensembles. Black pants, faded denim tops, simple shirts. The whole look put together is very trendy, classy, and versatile. I just need to find a good pair of shoes. I got home and decided to get on the treadmill for the first time in ages. This was a bad decision. I have gained ten pounds. I don’t look fatter, I don’t think, but my clothes are tighter than they have been in some time. Annoyingly, I decided that I have to go on a diet. I’m good with diets, but they do frustrate me. You have to think so damn much all the effing time. Can I have this espresso? Can I have two slices of bread? Ugh, it is an absolute nightmare. I know I’m going to lose more weight in France, anyway. Whenever I go there, I slender down almost immediately since I’m walking all the time and living off of soup, cheese, and bread. I love France. I’m just not having much fun right now. I’ve been exercising, too, and that has just been awful. Whoever thought planks were a good idea was a very stupid person. I’m planking to Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” and nearly die each time. I haven’t fallen down, yet, though, so I’m feeling pretty confident. Here’s hoping I get my beautiful body back in the next couple weeks.
If I didn’t go so many places, I would have a decent amount of money to live my life with whimsy and a nonchalance. But, I go on several large trips a year. We’re not even halfway through 2014, yet, and I’ve already been to Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and I’m going to Europe next week. It’s becoming a bit much, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’m meant to be a traveler, an explorer, an adventurer. I view it as my role to bring the world to others who aren’t lucky enough to travel or for those out there who just want to read about a place rather than experience it. If life works out for me, I would be paid by travel magazines and hotels and travel shows to visit different sites and places and give my reviews and opinions to an adoring public. Sadly, that hasn’t come to be. But, I must remember I’m not even twenty-five years old, yet. I always feel much older than I am — maybe that’s why I get so depressed? I will never regret traveling and seeing the world, but I do sometimes — oftentimes — regret that I have little financial security. I’d like to buy a juicer and one of those belts you wear around your waist that does ab exercise for you, but I’m scrimping and saving for this trip and the next and the ones I’ve already taken. When I return from wherever it is I end up this summer, I suppose I need to be more serious about being a little more forward thinking with my earnings. I also need to make more earnings. I really don’t want to do that, but this is the time we live in. EVERYTHING IS SO FREAKING EXPENSIVE. Why can’t some rich guy just marry me? I’m amusing and smart and look nice in almost everything. I’m the perfect boy toy. Le sigh…
My Love/Hate Relationship With Gardening:
I have never been content with the common or plain. I always want everything around me to be beautiful and elegant and because of that I am quite annoyed most of the time. During the autumn and winter, my focus is on the inside of the house, even though I was so depressed last season that I really didn’t accomplish much of anything. When the weather becomes lovely, though, I am always outside working away in the gardens or trimming the yard or plotting my next bit of landscaping. I don’t really like doing it, though. I know this will sound odd, because it’s terribly strange, but I try to keep my house and grounds in constant readiness for a surprise appearance by Martha Stewart. It surely won’t happen, but it keeps me constantly on the go. Martha wouldn’t like to see those dishes on the counter and Martha wouldn’t approve of the saplings in the ditch. It’s an exhausting mentality. Though I’m loathe to do it, I’m going to spend most of my day in the gardens. There are four large ones on my grounds, with a path separating them in an English style. Two of them have been hopelessly abandoned for a few years, so they are just weed patches. I’m hoping that they will be tilled up by the end of the day and perhaps even planted with something. The tomato garden is looking splendid. The flower bed needs some more work, but it’s doing just fine now that I spent a few hours thinning and hacking and hoeing. LOL HOE! The salad greens were a disappointment this year, I think the seeds all died from too much rain when the spring first arrived. Oh well. I’m off to Europe in a few days, no time to replant them now.