doctor who

A quiet week

We ate at Rich Mahal (Burwood Highway, Vermont South) last Thursday night. It took a great deal of persistence to get the BF to try this place for a second time: the first time we ate there, about three years ago, we suffered some, ah, ill effects–the details of which I won’t lavish upon you.

Anyway, fortifying our stomachs, we rocked up in the pouring rain and stepped inside to be greeted by the wonderful aromas of Indian and Malaysian cooking. Warm spicy fumes shot straight up my nostrils; I inhaled in delight. Tantalising trays of curry sat on heated, glass-paned counters. Mere metres away, chefs stood in front of large stoves tossing things in woks. I was drooling.

We ordered our usual meal for trying out Indian restaurants: butter chicken, biryani rice, naan bread and mango lassi. Probably the equivalent of white folk walking into an authentic Chinese restaurant and ordering fried rice, sweet and sour pork and sweet corn soup.

I wish I could post up pictures of the food, but I always forget. It’s not so much about not wanting to draw attention (“Oh look, another Asian girl taking a picture of her food, whaddya expect”) but more that when the food arrives at the table, I get so excited that by the time I remember that I’m supposed to take a pic, the plate is half-demolished.

The naan bread with dahl turned out to be roti canai, which I love. The butter chicken was creamy through and through and absolutely delicious. The lamb biryani was a touch dry but went well with the curry. Warning: if you don’t do well with spicy food, you should probably ask for mild variations. We did not, and ended up slurping desperately at the mango lassi.

Later that night we watched Star Trek: Into Darkness, which I struggled to enjoy, mainly because I was wearing 3D glasses over my usual glasses and was pushing them up literally every 30 seconds. Eventually I sort of had to keep one hand on my cheek to prop them up. 3D does not agree with me. Also, you’re probably laughing at me because I wear two pairs of glasses to watch 3D movies. I do not care. I spurn your laughter.

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Oh, the movie itself was enjoyable. Sherlock Holmes in space?! How much more awesome can you get? ;P Sadly, I was born several years after the best decades (comic book, Star Wars movies, parachute pants). Partly because of that, I never became a Trekkie; I don’t groan at the new-fangled blockbuster movies the way the diehard fans do. I’ve only seen two old Star Trek movies ever and though I can appreciate the huge difference in style, I’ve never submerged myself in the universe. It’s a little intimidating.

As is this.

As is this.

If there are any Star Trek fans reading this: what would  you recommend to the uninitiated as the best introduction into the Star Trek Universe?

*

the office

Warning: Moderate Spoilers Ahead

After nine wonderful seasons, The Office (US) has come to a timely end. This show has grown on me like a barnacle ever since I started watching it about three years ago. I have come to believe that Dwight Howard is the most hilarious character ever created for TV. I am also genuinely puzzled as to how Rainn Wilson keeps his real-life beard so sparsely scruffy whilst Dwight’s cheeks are persistently as smooth as a baby’s bottom.

The 50-minute final episode was sweet, emotional, hilarious and pretty much perfect. Steve Carell appears for some killer lines but all in all says very little–it’s not his finale, but everyone else’s. Pam surprising Jim predictably but in a thoroughly touching way, Dwight and Angela–clearly perfect for each other–get married, Oscar goes into politics, Kevin gets fired and buys a bar…everyone reaches some sort of satisfying closure (Creed’s ending is surely the best). Erin’s surprise reunion was extremely random. The fourth wall is transcended as the directors/producers celebrate in the warehouse with the cast of their “reality show”.

There’s also a short documentary about the journey of the cast, well worth watching. I’d love to watch some behind the scenes filming of the Office, with bloopers and improvisation. Maybe I’ll have to get my hands on a box set.

Doctor Who Season 7 also finished last week, with a classic twisty Moffat episode. It was definitely the best episode of the second half of this season (I was starting to have my doubts during The Rings of Akhaten). It was just the right amount of twisty, too. Twisty enough to make me go “Oooh, that’s clever!” but not too twisty that I’m sitting there shovelling popcorn into my mouth in dismay and confusion. Clara’s leap into the Doctor’s time-scar explained the Impossible Girl in a satisfying and thrilling way, though he really shouldn’t have gone in and rescued her. That bit made no sense. Clara Oswald–or versions of her–could still have been the Doctor’s companion in many more adventures. That would have been more interesting.

Doctor Who - Series 7B

Clara’s an intriguing character but I’m still not entirely convinced by Jenna-Louise Coleman’s perky, super-speedy delivery and almost automaton-like mannerisms. And the way the Doctor tugs her around like a little doll–cute, but it makes her seem unassertive and patronised. I’m waiting for her to sprout more character in the next season.

 

Til next time,

GLF

A Mish-Mash of Highlights: Doctor Who, Cloud Atlas, Eddings, etc.

Beanie of the year.

Beanie of the year.

It’s getting towards winter down here in the southern hemisphere of the world.

Last week the weather took a welcome dip from the thirties into the low twenties, and we all started layering extra blankets onto our beds and pulling out scarves, beanies, brollies and boots. For me, this time of year is marked by the transition from pyjama shorts to pyjama pants, and the resumption of a continuous intake of hot tea. It’s quite blissful.

Important events of this week included:

1. Neil Gaiman’s wonderfully well-timed and encouraging post on, amongst other things, writing: http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2013/03/princess-and-some-thoughts-on-writing.html

doctor who the bells of saint john

2. The return of Doctor Who; more specifically Doctor Who Season 7 Episode 6: “The Bells of St. John.”

Five-line review…

A modern-London adventure, penned by Moffat, with lively new companion Clara ‘Oswin’ Oswald, that also oddly comes across as a warning against being too connected to wifi/social media, just in case malicious aliens want to eat your mind through the interwebs. Chemistry between Smith and Coleman felt less forced. Plot was well-paced and easy to follow with neat twists. Great half-season kick-off that continues the mystery of the girl with multiple lives.

gameofthrones13_10

3. Season 3 of Game of Thrones. You know it’s getting big when you see a GoT ad at the local bus stop. To be watched.

4. Finishing David Eddings The Elenium Book 2 (The Ruby Knight). Recommended by the beloved BF, who read it in the early days of his youth, the Elenium is a grand swords-and-sorcery style fantasy epic largely revolving around politics. There is a severe deficiency of cool female characters in this story, as Sparhawk and the other heroes are mostly big buff knights with even bigger swords/axes who deliver awesome one-liners before and after they behead their foes. The only key females are Sephrenia, an ageless sorceress, and Flute, a mysterious little girl with powers–interesting, but not entirely unique. Most of the book involves riding back and forth across the countries of Eosia chasing the Bhelliom (a precious gem). Eddings’ writing is unpretentious, lively and straightforward. An easy series to read, though long, and it keeps you turning the pages.

5. Watching Cloud Atlas.

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Cloud Atlas is an insane compendium of story fragments–6 different narratives, each taking place at a different point in time–piled on top of one another. Some of the narratives are fascinating (I liked the futuristic Neo-Seoul story best) and others are boring (Tom Hanks and Halle Berry in the post-apocalyptic distant future. It was impossible to engage with their characters given almost no context and zero background about their motivations and situation). Jim Broadbent’s imprisonment and dramatic escape from an English nursing home is also a gem, as is Jim Wishaw’s portrayal of composer/musician Robert Frobisher.

I was hoping that there would be more of a sense of interconnection between the 6 timezones, but apart from using the same actors and a few pieces of prose floating from period to period (journals, documents), it lacked for substance. The narratives were largely entertaining, but at the end of the Wachowski’s masterpiece I wasn’t sure what message I was supposed to get from it all.

The structure of the book, however, sounds intriguing: a sort of concertina of stories, travelling from 1849AD, through to 2321AD, and back again. Elegant. Perhaps I’ll get my grubby hands on it one day.

Off to work.

x,

GLF

Package number two

 

It’s a fez! Now all we need is a bow tie and a mop.