Spring Rambling

springGosh, it’s been forever since I posted anything! Over a month! But for my excuse, I’ve been awfully busy and also sick, so basically exhausted. I didn’t think of writing anything today but I read some of my favourite bloggers blogs for the first time for a long time and I realised how much I actually missed this world! So, thanks to all of you who write the best blogs ever. My e-mail is full of mails that reminds me to read your posts but I just haven’t had time to properly read them and I don’t want to do it in a glance. You all deserve proper attention.

I’m just going to ramble about life in general this time. I’ll get back to films the next time I’ll post something. 🙂 As it has been that I’ve watched something like three films during the last month. All of them in cinema, thankfully, but still! THREE. Pathetic. But I’ve watched some “classy” television like The Vampire Diaries, Friends and Pretty Little Liars. Yeah, I know. But that shows how tired I’ve been. All of my energy has basically gone to the school work and actual work too. Too much of both of them. So, nothing educational to me. And that is also the reason why I haven’t started watching new season of Game of Thrones either. It also deserves proper attention. But I will, soon! I promise. gameofthrones

Thankfully, spring is here. Finally. It’s still a bit grey, we don’t have leaves on the trees yet but at least it’s been sunny for the last four days or so. It’s still a bit cold (7 degrees in celsius) but still definitely spring. And it means that the school year is coming to end. We have only two semesters here, so the end of the term is in three weeks. Yay! I just finished this big marketing report that we did for local arthouse cinema today. We started it already in October, so getting it done is a huge thing. I’m so relieved. So, only few more exams, couple of presentations and a lot of essays of international law and I’m done! And quite well, I have to admit, I got a lot more credits that is expected of me. But I need them to get to the exchange school I want to.

partyWork-wise I’ve been bartending a lot lately. My colleagues are taking their holidays and that means I’m filling up for them. A bit too much to think that I still have school. But I can’t wait to get to summer when I only have to think of pouring those beers. I also have a new roommate and even though I’ve known him for 10 years it has taken quite a lot to get our habits to work together. But it’s good now. We even had a party that celebrated his housewarming and my birthday (I’m actually 34 years old now… that’s a lot, huh?).

Yeah, I don’t know if this was interesting to anyone but I’m glad I wrote something. Stay tuned, I’ll wrote short reviews for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Only Lovers Left Alive (I didn’t get Hiddleston himself as a birthday gift but I did get a lot of messages including his pictures 😀 ) and Noah the next time. Thanks for reading this rambling!

P.S. I also managed to do one thing on my list of 101 Things; bought earrings and wore them for a day. In the spirit of Captain America:earrings

 

And the Oscars 2014 went to…

I’m re-watching the Oscars of last night (morning to us here in Finland) and Lupita Nyong’o, the Queen of the evening and Best Actress in a Supporting Role, is about to get her Oscar again. She was so graceful, so beautiful. Here is her speech if you haven’t heard it, it’s worth to listen (I’m so awfully tired that I’m crying here, again):

Let’s see what else happened.

The Best Picture went deservedly to 12 Years a Slave. That was the option number one according to Ellen and so it was. (Option number two was that everyone in the hall is Pitt and the rest of the cast including director and producer McQueen accept the Oscar for best picture at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywoodracist.) All in all I had 18 out of 24 correct because I took some chances, wrongly, against all odds. The winners were not surprising. And this year it was just fine. I kinda hoped that Leo DiCaprio would have won Best Actor in a Leading Role instead of Matthew McConaughey, especially after his acceptance speech, but because Dallas Buyers Club was great, I don’t mind. Cate Blanchett won Best Actress in a Leading Role. Besides Lupita, Jared Leto, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, gave great speech. See here:

Best Director went expectedly to Alfonso Cuarón and Best Adapted Screenplay, also expectedly, to 12 Years a Slave. And even though I had predicted that American Hustle would take Original Screenplay, I’m so unbelievably happy that it didn’t but Her did. For once it went right.

Frozen took home Best Animated Feature and Best Song, so I didn’t need to become angry at any time of the evening. John Travolta named Idina Menzel Adela Dazeem (that person has her own Twitter account now) who sang Let It Go of Frozen (unfortunately not so well as I hoped; it looked like she was nervous) and other singing acts did nice job in their performances. Especially Pharrell Williams who jammed with the front row:

The Best Foreign Language Film went to Italy, to La Grande Bellezza. And Best Documentary to 20 Feet from Stardom which was, to me, the most annoying price of the evening. They could have chosen something a bit deeper meaning… Shorts: Live Action went to Helium (I changed my prediction yesterday, before that I had Helium, how very annoying), Animation to Mr. Hublot (only real surprise to me but nice one because it was my favourite of the bunch) and Documentary to The Lady in Number 6 (again good acceptance speech). Ooooh, Cumberbatch is in telly! Thanks to The Academy for adding him to the show and thanks to him for photobombing U2:

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch jumps behind U2 at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood

Quite many people have been complaining about heros theme, I don’t. I liked it. It reminded me why they make movies and how many great, uplifting films there are. I need to watch my indys, bonds and potters again. And nolans, marvels and georgebaileys too. And In Memoriam, that was beautiful. I really liked Glenn Close’s short speech before the montage. Like was the tribute to The Wizard of Oz. And the fact that real Philomena and Captain Phillips were present. All in all, I  and rest of our viewing party was very happy. And kudos to Ellen DeGeneres for that, she did a great job!

Alfonso-Cuaron-Oscar-GravityBack to the trophies. Best Cinematography, Editing, Visual Effects (duh!), Sound Mixing and Editing and Score went to Gravity. I thought that editing might go to Captain Phillips but was not surprised that Gravity took it. Gravity was, with seven wins, the biggest winner of the night. But for sure, not the only one.

Dallas Buyers Club took home Best Make-up and Hairstyling (thankfully!) and The Great Gatsby both; Best Production Design and Costumes.

Here are all of the winners once more:

  • Best Picture “12 Years a Slave”
  • Direction Alfonso Cuarón, “Gravity”
  • Actor Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club”
  • Actress Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”
  • Supporting Actor Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club”
  • Supporting Actress Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”
  • Adapted Screenplay “12 Years a Slave,” John Ridley
  • Original Screenplay “Her,” Spike Jonze
  • Cinematography “Gravity,” Emmanuel Lubezki
  • Production Design “The Great Gatsby,” Catherine Martin and Beverley Dunn
  • Film Editing “Gravity,” Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
  • Visual Effects “Gravity,” Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould
  • Costume Design “The Great Gatsby,” Catherine Martin
  • Makeup “Dallas Buyers Club,” Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews
  • Sound Editing “Gravity,” Glenn Freemantle
  • Sound Mixing “Gravity,” Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro
  • Score “Gravity,” Steven Price
  • Song “Let It Go” from “Frozen,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
  • Foreign Language Film “The Great Beauty” (Italy)
  • Animated Feature “Frozen”
  • Documentary Feature “20 Feet From Stardom”
  • Animated Short “Mr. Hublot”
  • Documentary Short “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life”
  • Live Action Short “Helium”

And finally, the best thing of the evening, crashing down Twitter with the most re-tweeted selfie ever (that’s 2,7 millions at the moment!):

ellendegeneresselfieoscar

There’s Always a Reason to Celebrate

And today it’s that my blog has survived six months and a day, so that’s half a year celebrationcelebration time! Toast to that!

To properly celebrate my success at keeping up my blog, maybe not as well as I had hoped for, I added a bunch of stuff to the sidebar.

The first it’s easier for everyone to follow my blog now. Via e-mail is the way I like the best when it comes to the blogs that I really like. It’s easier to keep up. Or there are now options to follow on Facebook or Twitter! I made the FB page a couple of hours ago and I will be posting a lot (I assume) of film and television news and rumours to that page. I’m already doing that in my personal FB profile and now when I have a page to do that, I can maybe give a little rest for my friends and not to force them to read all kinds of (not) so interesting news. So, if I were you, I’d “like” my FB page. Another option is Twitter. I registered to Twitter three years ago and posted one tweet and then stopped using it. I have on my 101 Things -list that I need to start using it and now I have. There’s already four new tweets! Anyway, I try to keep up there too from now on, so if you prefer it, follow me there. Or on Pinterest. I very much like my board for The Hottest. An example:

In and out beautiful Jennifer Lawrence

In and out beautiful Jennifer Lawrence

Besides the places to follow me there is now “Themes” that makes it easier to people find my so-called series. Apparently I’m not the only one who likes lists because The Best of the Best rankings are the most read posts of my blog. The ones about the TV shows were posted about a week ago and is already the fifth most read post of my blog. Guess I’m gonna wrote few more of those. I’m glad I enjoy doing lists as well. Any suggestions? What kind of rankings would you like to read and comment about? Or any other subjects you think I should write about? My readers seem to also enjoy my almost monthly (well…) updates of my life with lists that I try to carry out, so the List Lover will continue fulfill her dreams and the other goals.

At the sidebar there’s also the list of the most liked posts recently and the one that’s important to me: the other pages that I enjoy reading. I’ve ment to do that list for a while already but just haven’t gotten around it. But now it’s there! IMDb is, of course, like a Google to me and I do read The Hollywood Reporter and Rope of Silicon daily as well. And Rotten Tomatoes! I forgot that… I’ll add it there later. But yeah, check out my fave websites theconjuringif you like movies, there’s a lot of good stuff. And talking about RT, anyone seen The Conjuring yet? Is it as scary as critics are saying? It has 85% Fresh score at RT.

The Liebster Award picture has been there a while and if you’re interested, by clicking it you end up reading my answers to movie related questions. I kinda like that post myself… And the last there are tags of my favourite subjects. Like Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Or maybe travelling would be more interesting to other people or what you think? How do you like the blog so far? Or the sidebar, is it readable enough? Any bugs? I’d love to get some feedback if you have any.

I have now 47 followers. About 12 readers per day even the days when I’m not posting anything. From Finland to Guam. They’ve found me via Walt Disney’s immortal words and viewed my blog 1855 times so far. Because of them I love doing this even when I’m awfully slow (like today) and finding or editing images is taking forever, it’s definitely worth it. I promise to try to write a bit more often.

thankyou

Buon Appetito!

italiannite9

Ever since visiting Rome the last spring I’ve wanted to host this Italian dinner party. And I finally managed to get it together the last month for my birthday. Well, it wasn’t exactly the same day but close enough. Cooking is one of my hobbies and I’m quite good at it. To be modest, I’m that good that my step dad always asks me, whenever I cook for them, that why I don’t I make it as my profession. I enjoy it a lot but it’s not my passion like movies or television. I can go without proper cooking for a couple of weeks but I could never stop watching tv-series or films for that long. You need to have a passion for cooking if you want to be really good.

Well, anyway, as I said I finally managed to set the date and prepare a menu for the dinner. I had approximately 12 people coming and I only noticed the day before that if I’m going to offer everything I planned, I need to drop a visit to Ikea. And so I did. ikea
I’m not a big fan of the place because everyone in the Western world has Ikea furnitures and other stuff at their homes. But I got to admit that when you need to buy three different kind of glasses for alcohol beverages and some other stuff for the kitchen basically only for one party, it’s nice to get them cheap. Plus now, that I have them, I can always organize another party again.

So, the menu for the evening was the following:

l’aperitivo: Bellini with Finnish twist (meaning I used this blueberry smoothie to them)

gli antipasti: marinated veggies, olives, focaccia, prosciutto, salami, cantaloupe and garlic shrimps

il primo piatto: spinach risotto

il secondo piatto: Italian style pork or mozzarella salmon and rustic root vegetables

i dolci: Tiramisu

il digestivo: Limoncello and cheeses with crackers

italiannite1I did the most of the foods myself with a super-help from my friend and roommate. The first one on the list was Tiramisu because everyone said it’s better when done the day before.
So we made it the night before. I’ve never made it before, so I thought it would be difficult but it wasn’t at all. And apparently it was good as well. So, I most definitely will be making it again. I guess the secret of my recipe (well, Giulia’s) was that there were the same amounts of sugar, eggs and mascarpone. Here’s the end result of the first time:

italiannite2

The next one on the list was focaccia. I made that for the first time as well and also the night before. I used this recipe of Hans Välimäki who’s known cook in Finland. I couldn’t find his recipe in English but here’s one from Jamie Oliver. What I’ve read was that the main point is not to spare with the olive oil. And I didn’t as you can see from the “before going into the oven” pic:

italiannite4

For the flavor I used rosemary, black seedless olives and sea salt. Worked. And it’s also easy to made but will take much longer than Tiramisu because the dough needs to stand.

italiannite5

I should have made the marinated veggies the night before as well but they worked just fine after running them on the frying pan. All of the other courses and parts of them I made the next day. The schedule was way too tight, so I couldn’t concentrate on the guests at the beginning of the feast as well as I have hoped for and I also made some of the foods kind of “left-handed” but fortunately for me, they turn out to be good. Especially the spinach risotto. I only used spinach, salt and pepper to spice it. And I managed to buy a really good parmesan that of course was the huge part of the meal. Also very easy to made and you can always spice it up with pine nuts or mushrooms or whatever you like. I have lived with vegetarians for two years now, so I tend to make food that they can eat too.

kuva-2While I was preparing the food my lovely roommate made the setting. Simple but working. We don’t have a huge apartment and that table for ten is usually shrinked to the normal size that is half of the size in the picture. We also don’t have that many chairs but the little extra tables next to wall worked as seats just well.

The Rustic root veggies included some potatoes, carrots and a little of parsnip seasoned with sea salt and a lot of thyme.

italiannite6Unfortunately I don’t have proper pictures of the main courses because of the scheduling. And I couldn’t find recipes in English either but here are the ones in Finnish if you are interested: pork and salmon.

But all in all the Italian dinner was very succesful. We ate for approximately five hours, drank a lot of good wines and listened quite enough of Italian dinner music (that can be found from Spotify with that name).

italiannite8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salute!

One Week Later

To be honest I planned on posting this post on Monday. But I was just so tired after all Oscar “festivities” that I couldn’t write it. But better late than never, huh?

So, last Sunday we had our (there and there) traditional Oscar Sunday. The “tradition” began few years ago when me and one of my closest friends started to watch the Oscars when they finally started to broadcast them in Finland too. So there was just me and her and maybe a bowl of candies, I don’t remember. As I told you in my first post The Golden Boy the Oscars naturally start in the middle of the night here on the other side of the world, so first couple of years it was only me and my trusted film-geek friend. But from year to year we’ve been able to attract more friends to join us and this year there were already ten of us. I’m quite proud of that.

oscarparty1We started last Sunday with a brunch. I made American pancakes for the first time and they were really good even if I say so. Gonna do them some other time too for sure. We also had some Mimosas (sparkling wine and orange juice). It felt very gossipgirly, though I got to admit, we were quite far away from being glamorous in any ways.

After the brunch we made, or at least tried, marshmallows. Sticky stuff. My best friend suggested of doing them on her blog and I really wanted to make them. This is how they (the “dough”) looked after letting the sit for few hours:

oscarparty3So, not really a great success. Guess we didn’t do it in a proper way. We did use another recipe than that mentioned in my friend’s blog. While we left the marshmallow goo to sit, we went to see the last of the Best Picture films. Les Misérables.

oscarparty4To me it was first a bit hard to digest the fact that they really are singing all the time. And from time to time I was quite bored. But in the end it wasn’t that bad and the end, in fact, was quite the opposite. I felt the cast, the longing for freedom to choose the path of your own life. And kudos to Anne Hathaway, she totally deserved her Oscar, what a take the one where she sings I Dreamed a Dream. Wow.

But yeah, after the Les Miz, I had seen all of the Best Picture nominees and I still hurrayed for Argo. And thankfully, so did The Academy. And most of my friends too because after getting home from the cinema, we watched Argo as the last film before the gala. It’s also been a tradition to watch one of the best as the last. Last year it was The Help, the year before The Social Network and before that The Hurt Locker (which I was quite disappointed but I’ll get back to that on another post related to the film). But anyway, my friends almost fell of the couch while watching Argo. It just is that thrilling. So, I recommend to see it if you haven’t yet. It’ll be out on dvd in Finland on March 27th and for example in the States it already is.

oscarparty5

After Argo, we finished our menu for the night as seen above. The blue thingies are our marshmallows. And the stack beside them is supposed to be “cracker jacks” inspired by Dash of Cinema but guess I was too slow with caramel. I’m not a big fan of sweet things, maybe I should just stop trying to make them… Except cupcakes. Besides these two experiments we had very delicious pizzas, lovely peanut and chocolate brownies, ready-made profiteroles, these Finnish small edition of Karelian pies with eggbutter and of course chips and dips and candy. And loads of coffee.

The gala itself was a success to me. Seth MacFarlane was hilarious. Yes, some of his jokes were rude but who cares?! Hopefully, if he doesn’t come back, they’ll get someone like him. Big bow to him. Most of the winners at the beginning were quite boring with their speeches but after Adele (love her!) it got so good. Especially ever-adorable Jennifer Lawrence and gracious Daniel Day-Lewis made my night. And Ben Affleck of course. I’m still so glad he got to receive the Oscar for Best Picture. If you don’t know who the winners were, here’s a list.

theggSo, that’s it for a little while with the Oscars. It’s time to concentrate on another films and things. Though, if you’re interested, I already have a list of films that might be the Oscar contenders next year. You can check it here.

Next time I’ll be blogging about something else than the Oscars. I promise. Until then, good night and good luck.