My Favorite Things Right Now, Second Edition

Hola, friends!

It’s only mid week, huh? Can we fast forward the week to Saturday already? Heck, I’ll even take Friday.

I’m back for the second edition of “My Favorite Things, Right Now”. Here are a few things that make my days a little bit sunnier lately:

  • Game of Thrones. This series is the wettest dream of fantasy, medieval history, and drama fans alike. Often  described as “Lord of The Rings meets The Soprano”, this series is one of television’s biggest hits this season. Based on a series of novel called “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George RR Martin, this series tells the tale of seven powerful families all trying to win one powerful throne and in the process we get to see betrayal, revenge, love, lust, war, manslaughter.. and incest. I love that this series is very much un-Machiavellian. It’s not black or white. You’d be hard pressed to find the “antagonist” or the “protagonist”. Everyone is grey. Because much in life is grey, am I right? Things are not always as straightforward as the goodie hero and the baddie villain. And this is exactly what I LOVE about this series and show. Everyone has their own agenda, and everyone tries to pursue their own benefits.  Also, GRRM will kill your favorite character. Fall in love with a character? Better be careful cause you don’t know what’ll happens in the next chapter. This series just gives me life. Pardon the cheesy, but oh dear gods.. it is just that.freaking.good.
  • The Client List. So this is definitely one of those (shameful) guilty pleasures. Short of wine and dancing in your living room to Beyonce, that is. This is soap opera, maybe not the finest of them all, but it does me good. Beautiful eye candies (the dudes in this show are more than just aesthetically pleasing, ladies), story line that’s borderline trashy (desperate housewive got left by her douchenozzle of a husband and was forced to find work…. as a masseuse who does “extras” for her clients, if ya know what I mean). Okay, okay I’ll be honest.. it is not borderline trashy.. it IS trashy.. but a girl needs her telenovela fix, yes? So I’m absolutely not proud that I like this series, but what can I say? My heart wants what my brain shames me for. 🙂  Also, I really would prefer not to attach the poster for this series here, because of its very R-rated nature, hahahaha. If you need to see it for your own eyes, simply google image search The Client List. Just a reminder, Not Safe For Work! 😀
  • Girls. This is HBO’s newest series this season. Often compared to Sex and The City.. but I don’t think they’re of the same type. This is a story of four early twenty somethings trying to make it in NYC– trials, tribulations and all that biznass. The women in this series are of “ordinary beauty”, that is to say, don’t expect them to look like Megan Fox or Angelina Jolie, heavily made up and wearing the prettiest, latest pair of Louboutins money can buy. They look ordinary, just like you and me. Their clothes are cute, yes, but not of dreamlike level. Maybe Zara -cute, or H&M-cute. This is a show that’s earned rave reviews from the critics but not so much from the audience. People have complained of the “lack of diversity” in this show (Four white girls in NYC, what else is new?), cultural insensitivity (the opening scene in the first episode was of the main character Hannah, having argument with her parents who decided to stop funding her after doing so for two years after her graduating college.. in a time of bad economy and people who struggle to make it day to day to pay bills, it just seems really insensitive. It feels a bit like, “look at me I’m all so privileged” and that pushes a lot of buttons for a lot of people). I can understand it, really. I mean I feel almost guilty for finding myself to be attracted to this show. Also, be forewarned: lots of nudity. Like, very uncomfortable nudity.
  • Reading Indonesian foodie blogs. I recently, upon some intensive blog hopping, stumbled upon a sleuth of Indonesian bloggers who blog about nothing else but eating establishments across the country, complete with beautiful photos. This is like going down the rabbit hole for me. Once I start, I just can’t stop. I haven’t been home for 8.5 years and by reading these blogs I feel like I’m catching up on the places I’ve never been to. I mean, gosh! The culinary scene in Indonesia is just so wonderful. I’m also making a list of places I’d like to eat at if the opportunity comes and I get to go home again.. (you can also bet I would gain 20 pounds easy!). My favorites are Jenzcorner and Wanderbites. Also, reading these blogs in a state of hunger is very dangerous. Take caution; eat first. 😛
  • George Orwell’s 1984. A little late to the game (a LOT late, actually, but who’s taking notes?). It is a classic for a reason. An absolute page turner. I’ve always been strangely interested in subjects related to Stalinism, socialism, communism, and the likes (perhaps a result of being married to a laissez-faire Capitalist?). Recently I’ve been reading some books and been watching some documentaries on Netflix about North Korea. This, too, is like going down a rabbit hole. Can’t stop, won’t stop. If you’re interested in reading up about this topic, I’d suggest starting with this book by Barbara Demick, “Nothing to Envy”. As to documentaries, I’d suggest starting with this hour long National Geographic presentation, “Inside North Korea”. Also, if you’re a Hunger Games fan, you’d probably notice the disturbingly striking similarities between life in (fictional) Panem and life in (real) North Korea. 
  • Making plans for Baby Bubbles’ 3rd birthday party in July. Actually, calling it a “party” would be a stretch, seeing as this will only be a small, intimate gathering of our closest friends and family. The number probably won’t even reach 15. But for simplicity’s sake, I’ll just call it party. It’s going to be a barbeque at a local park with a playground that Baby Bubbles really likes (we call it “Spaceship Park”  because there is this jungle gym area in a tower shape resembling space ship). This will keep the kiddos busy and us adults can hang out while barbequing. I’m thinking of procuring a pinata.. but definitely not from big names like Walmart or Party City, because they cost a fortune. Instead I will be going to a Mexican supermarket in our town’s Little Mexico. A bonus point of doing this is that I can hop next door to our favorite Mexican restaurant and do lunch. I know planning a party for July in May is a little early, but I need something to look forward to these days.. lots of stress round these parts, folks.
What are your favorite things right now, friends?

My Favorite Things Right Now, first edition

I’ll start doing routine posts called “My favorite things right now”. If anything, this will guarantee my consistent appearance on this here blog. Here goes the first one.

  • The Hunger Games. Well, who isn’t liking this franchise nowadays, eh? I super adore Jennifer Lawrence, by the way. I just love her personality. If you aren’t on The Hunger Games bandwagon yet, hurry and get on board!
  • BBC’s Sherlock. Do you like detective stories? Do you like British accent? Then you are sure to enjoy this gem of a television show. It is incredibly smart and addictive, so please approach with caution. Although I’m not sure you can, once you dip into it. First season available on Netflix On Demand for US residents, and second season will air on PBS in May. (Though if you can’t wait, I’m sure there are variety of ways the internet can assist you with that. 😉 ) Bonus point: great looking men in beautiful garb.Image
  • Mad Men. It’s just returned last Sunday for season 5. This show is so glorious, it is soap opera, it’s smart and sexy and troll-esque. Pretty much all you need for a good telly shows, Mad Men has. So go on, take the plunge and start watching this. You won’t regret. Look at these beautiful people. Image
  • Army Wives. Well.. this is definitely a guilty pleasure for me. I love watching all things military, reading all things military.. and this one appeals to my military junkie self AND my drama addict self. Image
  • The weather. 80 degrees in March? If this is global warming, consider me on board.
  • Neon nail polishes. What better way to usher in the warm spring season than to sport some bright, eye catching colors on your nails? None, I say. Image
  • A lot of outdoor time!

What are your favorite things right now? Please do share!

Revenge : thoughts.

Last night I finished watching the first 10 episodes of Revenge. I started watching because I’ve been reading some pretty good reviews from people whose opinion I generally value in high regard (in other words, cool people on the internets).

Well, all I can say is, if you enjoy Latin telenovelas, daytime soaps and The West Wing, you sure will find this one hard to resist.

The story is about a beautiful girl in her late twenties, I presume, who has altered her past identity into a completely new person, Emily. Emily is fit and perfectly trained, cold hearted and focused on her goals. What she wants, she gets. Emily’s past is ridden with tragedy, her father framed for a crime he didn’t commit, therefore sentencing both of them into life in living hell. Him in prison, later on we’d find that he passed away serving his time. And her under the undesirable care of Social Services. Later on we’d find that she landed a gig serving in juvie, essentially a prison for troubled youth who committed unlawful acts, where she met another young woman with whom she stroke a deal  – this woman would take on her past identity, and she would take this woman’s identity : Emily.

Emily’s father left her with a hefty sum of inheritance, enabling her to live a life where nothing is ever too much a concern. Except everything is always a concern when you have so much grudge and hatred. The moment she found out that her father wasn’t guilty (simultaneously also the moment she found out she is a young billionaire) was the moment she decided to plot her revenge.

We are taken to summer 2011, in the Southamptons, where the rich mingle about with each other and where Emily got herself a beach house located strategically right next to the mansion of the Graysons, the people responsible for her father’s tragic fate. The rest is well, I don’t want to go too much into it. Episodes after episodes we are shown the people Emily took down (and of course, how she took them down), one by one.

Does the storyline sound awfully repeated and familiar? Why, of course it is. It’s a recipe that’s been proven again and again to work in television. And who am I to resist? Although every ending can be easily predicted, I still find myself pining for the next scene, pining for the next episode, curious, wanting for more.

And another thought about the development of Emily’s character : in all honesty I feel that this Hollywood trend of “strong cold hearted female heroine falling in love with a nice guy that would later makes her mission even more difficult or even turn her into forgiveness”  thing to be an old, tired theme.

Because women are unable to remain on focus once a man is in the picture? Because somehow still, after all these time, women’s validation still depend heavily on.. yet again, men? Men’s opinion, men’s approval. I tire of it. So over that.

I would like Revenge to prove to me this is wrong. I am rooting for Emily, hoping that everything she wishes to accomplish will end up being executed well. I would like Revenge to prove to me that we can, and we will, as women, survive on our own. If Emily would like to turn around and go back to the path of forgiveness, a man shouldn’t be her reason. Because, how tragic. How sad and ironic. She, a strong woman who’s been training , preparing, and focusing for years. I’d like to think she has much much more self discipline in her.

Will she forgive? Or will she continue to be unstoppable with her revenge no matter the cost? And moreover, what would be constituted as a happy ending here?

You see, happy endings are overrated to me. It is nice, but it’s not a prerequisite for me to classify something as being “good”. Good entertainment doesn’t always guarantee you happy ending. Good entertainment guarantees you that longing for more, that rooting for your favorite character, that attachment you didn’t even realize you’ve formed with these people you’ve been watching on screen.

Good entertainment, afterall, to me, seems much like a good philosophy on living life. It isn’t about the destination, it is about the journey.

And it seems to me, although Revenge is awfully predictable and has followed a familiar pattern, it has all those delicious elements it needs to guarantee its success.

And let’s just be honest here.. watching rich, beautiful people trying to bring each other down the path of oblivion?

Count me in, baby.