MVOTD: Month End Review (Day 214)

July ends. July was a good blogging month for me with the list of music videos posted being a respectable number. Here is the list;


2NE1Can't Nobody (Korean)
9MusesFigaro
Armi Aavikko & Ilkka "Danny" LipsanenI Wanna Love You Tender
B2ST/BeastBeautiful Night
BoAOnly One (Dance Version)
David BisbalCorazon Latino
David BisbalDimelo
David BustamanteA Contracorriente
David BustamanteEl Aire Que Me Das
DC TalkLuv is a Verb
Demon HunterLifewar
GP BasicGame
Jo KwonI'm Da One
MBLAQY
MyNameAs Long as You Love Me (BSB cover)
PlayUs Against the World
Super JuniorSexy, Free & Single
TeddiefilmsPrimeday
TVXQAndroid (Japanese)
ZE:AI Want it that Way (BSB cover)


Taking live singing and covers out of the running, Armi Aavikko & Ilkka "Danny" Lipsanen's I Wanna Love You Tender wins. Their terrible/wonderful back-up dancers, epic retro-ness, and space theme were just so amazing that no one else had a chance. Honourable mentions go to David Bustamante's bad dancing El Aire Que Me Das, GP Basic's Game, TVXQ's shiny bum patches Android, BoA's Only One, and Super Junior's Sexy, Free & Single. Unfortunately for Play, Us Against the World was bad enough that it went past being good and went straight back to being bad. If that hadn't happened, their cryogenic transport tubes and ninja crisis would have been a strong contender. Too bad for them. Here's the winner.

MVOTD: ZE:A/BSB (Day 213)

It's great when Kpop groups do covers of 90's pop. Particularly when they are Backstreet Boys covers. ZE:A did a particularly good one of I Want it that Way. Here it is.


MVOTD: B2ST (Day 212)

There's not point in doing a music video review just after Eat Your Kimchi does one, so I will beat them to the punch. Wha ha ha ha ha. B2ST/Beast's new song, '아름다운 밤이야', otherwise known as Beautiful Night, is out.   
I didn't like it. Why, you ask. Beast is a solid group with good songs and dancing. How could I ever not like their music video?
Setting for one. I know that foreign settings are cool. However, foreign for the Korean market, and foreign for North America are different. Therefore, shooting a music video in New York did not impress me. I just thought about how much it would cost to shoot there the whole time.
Costumes. They were not attractive. It was like the costumes were mostly good, but each had a fatal flaw. The best pieces were the colour gradiated suits, Yeseob's surprisingly flattering pink 80's sweater thingy, classic leather shoes, and a red striped blazer. That's not very impressive. I expect more from Beast's stylists.

Next item - attitude. When did Beast get attitude? Are they gangsta's? Answer. No they aren't. For me all the attitude they exibit in this music video is on first thought repulsive, and on second thought misplaced and unnattractive. I don't like attitude that much.
Dance. There was no dance. Only the cars danced. This is usually not an issue for me because Beast can be thoroughly interesting without dancing, but I was so displeased that for me a choreographed dance could have saved the music video. It would have saved bad hairdos, my favourite member looking like a girl, over use of the back alley, bad costuming, and the unnattractive use of attitude.
The song was good though. I liked the song. It was a good song. 

For Felicia

This one's for Felicia, who has a problem with gets annoyed with people not being able to pronounce alphabetical letters.
Picture credit to baristanet.com, play.kapook.com, and planking.me

Creamy Squash Carrot and Longanisa Soup

title
Sometimes we get so lost in our own doldrums that we miss out on all the goodness that is around us, just waiting to be noticed.  The worse is when we get so entangled in small problems that they soon feel like mountains (which once were molehills).  Life is too short for fretting over molehills.  Heck, life is too short for fretting over mountains either.  There is much too be thankful for and much to embrace.  Start now.  This very second.

When I received the sad news about Barbara’s passing I sat shocked in my seat.  A little intake of breath, a soft ‘no’, and a heavy heart.  I had never met Barbara in person but she will always have a special place in my heart as one of the first ‘friends’ I made through blogging.  She was always such a positive force, a classy lady, an inspiration.  We shared a love for Donna Hay, and she created a blogging event centered on her recipes… an event in which I religiously participated.  She was bright and sunny and clever.  She sent me lovely white cloth napkins (I've used them in the photo above) just because.  And she was fighting cancer.

I don’t know what to say that has not already been said…but if you’ve never ‘met’ Barbara, go over to her blog.  Her words will show her strength, bravery, and joy much better than anything I could tell you.  She lived life to the fullest.  An attitude I greatly admire and always try my darnedest to adopt.

Even in the midst of all she was going through, she took the time to create a food blogging event called a Taste of Yellow to raise cancer awareness, which she coincided with LiveStrong Day.  Bloggers around the world would participate with yellow dishes and shared their own stories of cancer.  As a tribute to this wonderful, courageous woman, Meeta’s Monthly Mingle, hosted by Jeanne, is celebrating a Taste ofYellow one more time.

I wish I could share this warming soup with you my friend…

Creamy Squash Carrot Longanisa Soup
  • Olive oil
  • 1 white onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 100-150 grams longanisa
  • 400-450 gram wedge of squash, peeled and chopped
  • 400 grams carrots (about 2-3 depending on size), peeled and chopped
  • 100 grams longanisa, extra
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 4-5 cups water
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste 
- Take all the longanisa out of its skins and chop the meat, or simply break apart with your fingers.  Separate the 100 grams from the rest – this will be your topping.
- Heat a pot over medium high flame.  Add a couple of generous swirls of oil.  When the oil is hot add the garlic and onion and sauté until the onion is soft and translucent.  Add the ground up longanisa (except what you have set aside for topping!) to the pan and sauté until just cooked.
- Add squash and carrots and stir, turning to coat everything in the fragrant oil.  Add the water (start with 4 cups), cover, and bring the heat down to low.  Cook this, stirring occasionally, until all the vegetables are tender.  At some point in the cooking, season to taste with salt and pepper.
- When everything is soft, take the pot off the heat and leave to cool.  When cool, blitz with a stick blender until everything is smooth.  Alternately, you can pour the cool soup in a blender and blend.
- While your soup is cooking, or while it is cooling, sauté the rest of your ground up longanisa in a pan until cooked and a bit crisp.  Set aside.
- Place the now smooth soup back on the heat and add the cream.  Cook over very low heat, stirring, until all the cream is mixed in well.  Taste and re-season.  If the soup looks to thick for your tastes, add some water.  If it is too thin, cook for a while longer.
- Ladle the hot soup into bowls and top with a good ration of fried longanisa.

When I was making a batch of squash soup a while back (one of my favorite soups), I added some carrots that needed using up, and was rooting around the pantry and fridge for something to give it another layer of flavor.  I spied two pieces of longanisa (a spiced Filipino sausage) in the freezer.  And that, as they say, was that.  The longanisa lends the soup a delicious new dimension that I really like.  There are many types of longanisa available and each will give its own special stamp to your soup, so use your favorites and experiment.  I've tried it with the hamonado type (pictured above) and the more garlicky types, and both a delicious.  I am sure this would also be fantastic with chorizo as well.

Thank you Barbara for the inspiration and grace you always showed me, and the many others whose lives you touched.

Life is indeed too short to waste even one second moping over spilled milk.  We should instead be grateful that we are alive and fit and able to wipe that milk up and go out and get another carton.

MVOTD: BoA (Day 211)

BoA's new single Only One is out, and watching the dance version there is only one word to describe it. Respect. BoA's got dance skills. She is one pop singer who doesn't hold her dance crew back (I'm thinking of you Bustamante, Billie Piper, etc.), and that deserves respect. Only One is also the single from her 7th album. ...More respect.
Only One is actually a slow song, so it is impressive that the choreography is as intense as it is while matching the song. The costumes are average, and succeed at what they are meant for - showing off the dance moves. Since the song is so well interfaced with the dance, it is hard to critic it. It is smooth and obviously romantic.
BoA's dance crew, made up of six guys, is interesting in that it is multiracial. Almost everybody in the world has a crew member that they can "relate to" from a cultural viewpoint. In my video viewing, the dance crews in Kpop are almost always uniracial/Korean, or there is one token white person who does not actually dance, so the way BoA does it so seamlessly is rather impressive. She's all like, "What? This isn't normal for music videos?" Good job BoA.
BoA is also one of the few people I've seen who tell a story with their dance duets. Other pop singers duets are more like "I'm sexy.", "I want you." with their dance duets. BoA's tell a semi-complex storyline. It impresses me every time I see it. Once again, good job BoA.
BoA's Only One gets top marks for being a good quality music video.  

MVOTD: MYNAME/BSB (Day 210)

As it turns out, every so often Kpop groups do covers of classic 90's pop. MYNAME, that debut group who sang the wonderful Message did a cover of Backstreet Boys' As Long As You Love Me on Wave K (a tv show?).  
As a Kpop/pop fan, this kind of thing is very exciting. It combines the nolstalgic past with the trendy dancing present. It's even more exciting when the singers can pronounce English well. However, since MYNAME does the chair dance in one camera shot so that all BSB fans can learn it all is forgiven. Good performance I say.

MVOTD: MBLAQ (Day 209)

MBLAQ. Y. Reminds me of netspeak. MBLAQ's Y is a catchy tune that they released in two different albums. The music video goes a little something like this:
Awkward shower scene. Dancing. Cars. Dancing. Writing a note. Doing the robot. "Check out my clavicle." Cuddling. Crying. Sexy chin wipe. Dancing. Cuddling. Crying. Dancing. Cars! Dancing. Dancing. Dancing. Phantom girlfriend. Cuteness. Smooching. Sexy lip wipe. Dancing. Going to a party. Dancing. Fighting at the party. More dancing. Gun. ...Gun! Implied murder. Crying. The end.
So...I guess my question is, "why?". Almost everything made sense (in Kpop land), but why kill her? Edwards Cullens much?
As a music video Y gets an 'A' for costumes. While the costumes are weird, they're obviously futuristic and matching in theme/ they have two sets of the same outfit but in different colours. The one suit in the music video is nice and everything else is okay. Lots of the dancing is good, but come moves are...uninspiring, so I will give it a high mediocre grade for dance. All together, the first three minutes are good quality music video. It's the last bit that would lower the grade.

MVOTD: David Bustamante (Day 208)

David Bustamante. The man never fails to impress. Or unimpress. Whichever it is. In his 2008 music video El Aire Que Me Das he proves two things; that he is not a good dancer, and that he is a creeper. in El Aire Que Me Das David Bustamante begins in the bushland of Spain, doing...who knows what. It doesn't matter though, because his friends come pick him up in a convertable and drive him to a house party. There, he eyes up all the ladies until one smiles at him. Then they sit close to yet far away from each other while Bustamante creepy stares. There's dancing. Bustamante gets thrown into the pool, but he has nothing to worry about. The woman he has been creeping on follows him in and they smooch for awhile. The end.
One of the things I continue to fail to understand is why the women instantly fall for David Bustamante in his music videos. Maybe it is because I only see him as a Spanish pop star in rivalry with David Bisbal, or maybe it is because in most music videos the couple starts as a couple, but I think it's weird every time I see it. Who knows, maybe he has special pheremones. 
As a song, El Aire Que Me Das is catchy and fun. It's dance is less so, as it is mediocre and demonstrates about all the dance moves David Bustamante can do (unless he has learnt some new ones since then). As a music video in general, it is great (if you like campy cheesy stuff that is kind of bad), plus the song is definitely worth a listen. Good job to David Bustamante on that.   
  

MVOTD: I Wanna Love You Tender (Day 207)


By Sav. Ja  Sov. Veilcko Samuli and Engl. San. P. Responan....or Ohjaaja and Mervi Vesala... or Armi Aavikko and Ilkka "Danny" Lipsanen. I think it's Armni and Ilkka. Either way, I Wanna Love You Tender is a Swedish or Finnish music video from I don't know when, and it is amazing. It takes place in space, and there are lots of sweater wearing dancers there.The sweater dancers are amazing, wielding both cheesy and classy moves like it is nothing, but it turns out that they are not the main attraction. The singers, a futuristic poofy haired male and a skinny 50's woman, are very ...unemotional. It's just, amazing. Please enjoy.
Apparently space is where preppy people hang out. :D

Monday Review: Papa

Alright. It's not Monday. I admit it. I just had to review this movie.
Picture credit to http://www.hancinema.net/
Papa, yes those smiley faces are 'p' sounds, is a wonderfully international Korean movie.

Plot: A man in debt to the mob accidentally gains himself a family while trying to find a popstar for the mob. The family is about as multiracial as you find in a movie, and includes an adorable East Indian girl, two caucasian twins who look strangely familiar, someone vaguely hispanic, a young man of African-American decent, and a young Korean woman. Fortunately for the indebted man, two members of his new family speak Korean so he communicate...and he finds out that his Korean daughter is a great singer. Cue him trying to convince her to become a singer and her being all, "No way", in his face. Comedy and heartwarming events ensue.

Setting: Atlanta, USA. Surprising, yes? Unlike a lot of dramas, where they include the USA by mentioning it and then having someone come home on a plane, this movie actually took place in the States. The vehicles were American. The extras were American. The accents (mostly) were American. It was just so well done/American. I can hardly express how much the Americaness impressed me. Really. Since it was so American, the jokes about misunderstanding each others cultural norms were truly funny, and the task of overcoming those misunderstandings was that much more heartwarming.

In addition to Papa being very American, it was also very Korean. No one hugged the Korean daughter as she cried. Papa was very Korean and tried to make others act Korean. People acted out Korean norms/Korean drama norms. Ahh, it was so good.

Therefore, just go watch the movie.

MVOTD: DC Talk (Day 207)

Alright. Since I've been negligent this week, here's DC Talk to get the MVOTD ball rolling again with their lovely song Luv is a Verb. DC Talk worked with Emi Music. For whatever reason, I can't remember a sing DC Talk music video that had a coherent theme or storyline. Luv is a Verb follows that pattern, being filled with shots of DC Talk concerts, town tours, and photoshoots, but no coherent overarching theme.
Even though the music video is weak in theme/cohesiveness, Luv is a Verb is a fun an funky song and DC Talk is demonstrated to have good concerts. I especially like the song. It's too much fun.

Breakfast #60: Baked Egg in Avocado

title
Hi All!  How has your week been?  Good I hope.  And, if it’s not going exactly as you wished, less than stellar so to speak, well come sit by me and let me practice my amateur gin tonic mixing on you.  I’m getting pretty good, if I do say so myself, but I need guinea pigs. 

Things are going as usual over in my corner of this dusty, but loveable, city.  Work, work, and more work.  If there really is no rest for the wicked then I must be a whole troop of witches’ worth of it!  Fortunately, I have a husband who knows the value of a homemade decaf latte to someone working the night shift, who makes a mean sinigang (that type that actually makes you wish for ominous weather), and, most importantly, who knows what it means to be a team player.  Go team!

But, anyway.  Enough of work.  The weekend is upon us and it's time to boogie!  If you had an absolute brilliant week, then I salute you.  If not, then here are some things that made me smile…perhaps they’ll work for you as well.  If not, there’s an empty space on my sofa for a potential gin tonic tester ;)

**  This is calling my name.  I can feel the sea breeze already.

**  Another blogger based out of the Philippines (for the moment).  I love reading Lindsay’s perspective of life on the islands…as well the delicious dishes she posts. 

**  I am SO making some version of this soon soon soon.  

**  This hit home.  Enjoy life’s strawberries! 

**  A surprise giftof luscious possibilities...

**  My little one will be moving out of her crib soon and this is where she will soon be resting her “big girl” bottom :) 

**  It’s high time I make my own ketchup.

**  Do I need another pot?  If it looks like this I do.  

**  Pure genius

**  Did I ever mention that gold is one of my favorite colors?  This is going into my dream home office.  

I won’t leave you without a little recipe though.  I say “little” because this is not much of a recipe.  It does, however, make for a fortifying, and reaching towards virtuous, breakfast.  First, I saw this on theKitchen, and then my organic veggie farmer had avocados in my basket.  I decided not to stand in the way of fate.
This is all you need to do:
- Cut an avocado in half.  Discard the seed and keep the other half (I mash the extra half with milk and sugar and later have it for dessert).
- Crack a medium egg in a bowl and compare the egg volume to the hole in the avocado that the seed has left.  You may need to hollow it out some more.  Or you could use less of the egg whites, which is what I did.
- Put whatever you want on top of the egg.  I sprinkled salt over the yolk, topped the whole thing with grated cheddar, dusted the cheese with cumin, and cracked black pepper over the lot.
- Place the avocado on a parchment lined pan (I wasn’t picky…I used an old cake tin) and into a pre-heated 200C oven.  Bake until the eggs are done to your liking.

I hope you enjoy these links as much as my first batch.  These will definitely make a regular appearance here.  So shake those work-week doldrums off and have a wonderful weekend!

What Sci-fi Kpop Fans Do In Their Spare Time

For awhile, a picture has been floating around Facebook. It is of the Bill Nye and Doctor Who television shows/characters and compares their knowledge, longevity of life, and other important things. I realized that just as Bill Nye is similar to Doctor Who, so is Leeteuk of Super Junior. Therefore I made this picture to explain. Maybe it would look better without the creepy face at the bottom though. Hmmm......
Pictures from Youtube.com, fanpop.com, twicsy.com, primetime.unrealitytv.co.uk, and blogs.coventrytelegraph.net


MVOTD: Play (Day 206)

Since I will be on the road for Day 206, here is an amazing music video brought to us by the American girl group Play. Their song Us Against the World inspired their director in all sorts of unexpected ways. Let's see the check list.

Walking into lockers. Check.
Transforming outfits in cryogenic stasis. Check.
Ninja Crisis. Check.
Robot dogs. Check.
Flying. Check.
Girls kicking construction ninja butt. Check.
Cheesy dancing on a random stage. Check.

So...the music video is pretty complete. The song is pretty annoying and therefore it is hard to get through the whole music video but they definitely tried their hardest to make it interesting. I say, good job. Here's the music video.

MVOTD: TVXQ (Day 205)

Today in Music Video of the Day, we, I mean you, get to experience a visual costume masterpiece. That's right, today's music video is Android by TVXQ in association with AVEX Network. 

First up is Max.
Check out the sweet swag he gets to wear on his solo shots. I really like the one that looks like wigs attached to his shoulders. It is so glam. On the other hand, the leather fishscale shirt looks best if you can forget that it's scaly.

Now Yunho.
Personally, I think the pink jacket is amazing, if only because it is so bad. Who thought that a plastic pink blazer with spikes and metallic stuff would look good? Who knows, but they were right. The triangle shirt while also bad, is not so bad it's good. It is best when you forget that it is made out of metal triangles. 

Max and Yunho also had some pretty rad outfits together. Check it out.
That's right. Silver bum patches, unshapely construction suits with bad shoulders and good tails, funny dub-stepping effects, and a wonderful set of suits complete the Android costume closet. Honestly, my mouth was open in amazement and wonder the first time I watched the Android music video. Such amazing outfits. My favourite of all was the matching spiked "plaid" suits. They're nerdy and punk and amazing all at the same time. I really like them, especially with the sneakers, and would so wear one if it came in woman size.
As a music video, I'm not even sure how Android rates because I was so overwhelmed and distracted by the costumes. I know that the song was pretty catchy, especially for clubs (because it is club music) and the dancing was mediocre, but how well did it mix? Once again, who knows. What I know is that this music video has a special place in my heart. It's fantastic.
Picture Credit Goes to the AVEX music video on Youtube.com

Brown Sugar Cookies

title
Friday is snack sharing day at little C’s school.  Of course this has put me in an absolute state thinking of what to make.  I don’t know anything about pre-school and its customs.  What is de rigueur?  What is taboo?  My only other experience with pre-school was when I actually went myself, and try as I might, I can’t recall too much detail.  I am quite familiar however, with snacking, my most recent experience having been just this afternoon.

But what snack to bring to pre-school?  I figure something neat and portable and not prone to spoilage.  Something not too junky, but yummy nonetheless and appealing to the little ones.  Not one to be shy about asking for help, I sought guidance from little C’s teacher.  Could I bring some chocolate chip cookies?  I was thinking of these ones.  They discourage chocolate though, so that was out.  Although, hmmm, I do seem to remember one of little C’s classmates chomping on some Hello Panda.  And then there was that one day that I found fruit loops in her bag – not chocolate to be sure, but a wee bit lower on the food chain than homemade chocolate chip cookies don’t you think?

Anyway.  I am not going to complain because I love little C’s teachers.  They are the sweetest things, as I imagine all pre-school teachers must be.  And I am, in truth, grateful that the school espouses healthful eating, while, at the same time, is not too boot-campish about it.

So…what to make?  This.

Brown Sugar Cookies
(adapted from Joy the Baker)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg

- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a bowl.  Set aside.
- Place the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer.  Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add the egg and vanilla extract, and beat on medium speed for one minute more.
- Add the dry ingredients, all at once, to the butter and sugar mixture.  Beat on low speed until the dough begins to come together and the flour disappears.  Stop the mixer and finish incorporating the ingredients with a spatula or wooden spoon.  Once all the flour is thoroughly mixed in, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or transfer to a sealed container if your mixer bowl, like mine, does not fit into the fridge).
- After chilling, scoop dough into tablespoon-sized balls.  Place on a parchment-line cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  Bake in a pre-heated 350F oven for about 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges.  Remove from the oven and cool on the pan for 5 minutes, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.  The cookies will last, in an airtight container at room temperature, for up to 5 days.

The recipe calls for 30 minutes of chilling but I have actually both chilled these overnight, and not at all, and both batches came out well.  I adjusted the original recipe somewhat – I lessened the ginger only because I was nervous about ginger and pre-schoolers.  I also decreased the baking soda because the first batch I made, with the full 2 teaspoons, had a slight soapy aftertaste (and the lessening did not seem to have any ill effects on the cookies). 

If you’d like to make this for your child to take to school, but are busy with work, just prepare the dough the night before (it comes together in a snap I promise you) and bake it the next morning before leaving.

These make for a perfect snack -- school or otherwise.  They are much like chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate, which some may find a bit tragic, but the cinnamon and ginger make this a cookie in its own right.  Plus, I love brown sugar.  Use the darkest you can find!  The cookies are fantastic with coffee or tea and, I am certain, although I have yet to try it, they would be excellent with some good vanilla ice cream.

I couldn’t conduct a post-cookie survey with the pre-schoolers so I will just take the sparse remains left in little C’s snack container to be a positive review!

The Mixing Bowl: Peach & Basil Shave Ice in Frozen Peach Bowls by Lisa Mishima

I am so, so, so excited to present this week’s Mixing Bowl recipe by graphic designer Lisa Mishima. Lisa recently sent me a link to her food and design website, Look. Listen. Smell. Eat., and I went completely bonkers over it. It combines everything I love about food and art. It’s creative, fun, and awe inspiring, but at the same time, filled with so many “doable” recipes that it doesn’t come across as the least bit intimidating. For example, check out these two recipes from Lisa’s site. The first is a S’mores fondue, featuring edible graham cracker forks! The second is part of a series of Pie a la Mode ice cream cones that sound and look amazing! In addition to the site, Lisa also runs a collective named Thought For Food, which makes edible art installations and conducts interactive dinner parties, all of which look like a heck of a lot of fun.



Business Card

Spun Honey art installation



Given Lisa’s already well-established food and art aesthetic, it was not surprising that her Mixing Bowl recipe would be a creative one. I was so thrilled when she sent over this recipe for Peach and Basil Shave Ice in Frozen Peach Bowls. It’s such a lovely and interesting twist on a peach dessert, and with peach season in full swing, it couldn’t be more perfectly timed. If you’d like to impress your friends and family with a different sort of peach recipe this weekend, I’d definitely give this one a try!




Click here to check out Lisa's food and art website, Look. Listen. Smell. Eat. You can also check out more of her design work, right here. Thank you, Lisa, for the lovely recipe! ~Erin

Life is Funny (Day 203)

I was going on the internet with my cousins when I found this advertisement. I must say, it is one of the most amazing personal advertisements I've seen. The alliteration, the description, the wonderful picture. This ad is just too good.

   
There is nothing else to say, other than this quote from today.
"Those that stab the milk must wait to eat."
Have a good day.

MVOTD: GP Basic (Day 204)

GP Basic. From their sound they're hard to distinguish from young adult groups. In fact, their sound is pretty fun. 
GP Basic is, I would say, what Aaron Carter was to the 90's pop movement. Namely, young teens getting in on the action of their older pop peers.
Their music video Game is catchy and has all the important parts of a music video (fashion and dance) but everything is more cute than its adult equal. In fact, the youngest member even yells at you from a giant French grocery bag. 

My favourite part is where they ride through a grocery bag handle. :D

MVOTD: 9Muses (Day 203)

Hello everybody. Today I post from Alberta. That means that I don't have my computer on me and therefore don't have my song suggestion list. I suppose that changes nothing for you, but it makes figuring out what music video to post much harder for me. Today I rely on an unposted music video, 9Muses' Figaro. 
 
For Figaro 9Muses went with a disco theme. They didn't really do any sexy dancing, which is good because mixing cuteness and sexiness is about the wrongest thing you can do in music videos. They did have mediocre dancing though, with the 70's drop to the floor as their coolest move. The costumes were also mediocre with the sailor pants being the best and the other stuff not being heinous. As a song Figaro is low energy but still okay to dance to. I would say the strongest point to Figaro is that it makes 9Muses look like classy ladies, and being classy is a strong point indeed. 

MVOTD: Reruns Plus (Day 202)

Announcement. I have decided that if a music video warrents it, I will post a fashion assessment/highlights post in addition to the music video. With this decision, I remembered 2NE1's epic fashion music video Can't Nobody. Since I really had wanted to do a fashion spread for Can't Nobody, it is time to go back to it now. Here's the music video.
Can't Nobody had some really great costumes and some not so great costumes. My ultimate highlight for the music video was CL's red bolero, because it was epic and inspired me to begin sewing a bustle dress. Here are the fashion highlights from Can't Nobody.
Pictures from Can't Nobody on Youtube.com

One-Banana Banana Bread

title
I know, I know. Not another banana bread recipe.  I can’t help myself…I love a good banana bread!  And although I do have my favorite “best” recipe (which I haven’t shared yet…so I have to warn you that there will be at least one more banana bread post hereabouts), I can’t help trying out new ones.  Especially now that little C is off to school and banana bread makes such an excellent (and not too junky) snack.

Before we move on to this particular recipe, if you, like me, are also a big fan of this ubiquitous but soul-satisfying quick bread, I’ve made a quick round up of all the banana bread recipes I have posted here.  In case you wanted to go exploring down that path…

A liberatingly easy, one-bowl, no mixer recipe that is perfect when you are short on time.  

The same recipe as above but with the addition of awonderful streusel topping I came by from a dear friend.  

A recipe from one of my favorite cookbook authors, Tessa Kiros, found in her enchanting book Apples for Jam…to which I added a chocolate chip crumb topping because, really, why not

A chocolate banana bread because everything in my life must have a chocolate version.  

And in that same line, everything in my life must also have a Nutella version.

To make banana bread even more kid and picnic friendly than it already is, just bake your favorite recipe as cupcakes…then add some Nutella self-frosting action.  I cannot recommend this enough.  

So, what is so special about this recipe?  It uses only one banana.  And if you have ever experienced the sad tragedy of a lone banana rapidly over-ripening on your counter, you will appreciate having this in your arsenal.

One-Banana Banana Bread
(adapted from The Faux Martha)
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (or a combination of plain yogurt and milk, which is what I used)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
- If you don’t have buttermilk, put a heaping-tablespoon-sized splodge of yogurt in a liquid measuring jug.  Top this up with milk until it reaches 1/3 cup, stirring well.  Let this stand for about 5-10 minutes.
- Stir in the melted butter and the buttermilk (or milk/yogurt mixture) into the dry ingredients. Add the egg and stir until well combined.  Add the banana and vanilla. Stir until just combined. Spread the batter into a buttered loaf pan.
- Bake in a pre-heated 350F oven for 40-45 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then finish cooling on a rack.

The original recipe includes a crumb topping…which I was too busy (lazy) to make.  That’s not to say that I do not resolutely believe that banana bread should have a crumb topping…because I do, quite firmly in fact (see above).  Crumb topping is one of the best things that could happen to banana bread.  Nutella is another (again, see above).  That being said, this is absolutely fine on its own.  And the feeling you get from making short and efficient work of that last banana, that would have otherwise been chucked, is priceless.  This will work with one whole cup all purpose flour or, as I did here, half all purpose and half whole wheat pastry flour.  A slice of this is lovely with a hot cup of coffee or tea, and is perfect to tuck into someone’s lunchbox. 

I hope you are all having a restful weekend, filled with all sorts of good things, banana bread optional, to fuel you through to the next week!

MVOTD: Demon Hunter (Day 201)

And so another day has dawned where I asked my brother for a music video suggestion. This time around, the answer was very definite. Demon Hunter's Lifewar.
Lifewar is a short song about the singer's(?) life, with the theme of Jesus Christ being there with him/us in life's battles. As a music video, Lifewar is simple but complex. The singer stands statically, applying symbolic mud(life issues) to his head and singing epically. Then the "river" that is God's power/forgiveness washes over him and cleans the mud away. He gets strangled by the American flag, which, according to my brother is symbolic of the singer being Christian over being American and getting chocked up with patriotism. More epic singing, something funny, and then the end. All together a powerful symbolic music video of the epic variety. 

Observations of the Super Junior Variety

 I have, for a long time, wished that I could get pictures directly from music videos so that I could show which costume I was talking about. Now, with the advent of me learning the print screen shot trick, comes some of that.
In my recent viewing of Super Junior's new music video, Sexy, Free & Single, I realized that Sungmin looked really great. He rocked almost all the looks he was given, and looked really masculine during the whole music video. It reminded me of other times he was given really good outfits in music videos. Therefore, in honour of him looking good, here is a compilation picture of looks that Sungmin has rocked.
And yes I know that one look is repeated. It's just that the whole look was good, so it had to be shown from all angles.
The other very noticeable thing in Sexy, Free & Single was Yesung. I went from knowing his face very well to having to deduce who he was. Sometimes a change in hairstyle or make-up can do this. This is not the case for Yesung though, so I composed a comparison picture.
I don't know if his face has changed or it's just the new haircut, but I do know that his eyes have changed. They don't point down in that adorable way anymore. Now they're all sexyified. Maybe I'll get used to it later, but right now I'm disappointed. I liked Yesung being adorable.

Picture credits go to SM Enterainment on Youtube.com

MVOTD: Jo Kwon (Day 199)

Jo Kwon is the most flamboyant kpop singer I know of. Really. In conjunction with Big Hit Entertainment he recently came out with a solo music video, I'm Da One...and it is amazing. All the cheesy campiness that is Jo Kwon shines bright. The smiles, the silly storyline, the teenage style blazers. He's so shiny and smiley. Oh! He will blow your mind. He makes champagne explode on its own.
For added mind blowing, there is some text to the storyline. It goes like this.
"Once upon a time, there was a king of a kingdom.
He was loved by his people, and all of his people also loved him.

But the King did not know of how hungry the people lived outside his palace.
He only had time to sing and dance with subordinates and people who lived within the palace.
And then one day...

The tale of JoKwon."
Epic. Yeah.

No Laggard in Love: Chapter 17 Review and the End

Last time in No Laggard in Love, Louise's dad shot Alistair the murderer in the foot. You know, 'cuz he was dangerous and stuff.
Chapter 17
Back at Kristy’s, the whole (good guy) cast of No Laggard in Love is assembled. Even Lynnette is there, nonchalant about sending a relative to a murderer in her stead. Kirsty insults Lynnette. Louise’s dad and Margery insult Lynnette. Hamish shows up and is very happy that Louise is healthy. Then, the gang pack up to go visit Aunt Catrin for a celebration supper. Hamish escorts Louise into his car. Then he escorts Wow-Wow into his car. That he follows up on by insulting Lynnette and leaving her to fend for herself. At Aunt Catrin’s everyone is very happy. They go off to drink champagne, and, wait a minute. Louise has a question. Why champagne? Because everyone wants to toast to her marriage to Hamish of course. “What?” She asks. He hadn’t proposed yet, which was true. Hamish just declared that they were going to get married and gave her 24 hours to deny it. Louise is very happy, as is Hamish, and they all live happily ever after.     
The End

MVOTD: Sexy, Free & Single (Day 199)

Super Junior's latest album, their sixth, Sexy, Free & Single, came out on July 1, Canada Day and Leetuek's birthday. Their music video for Sexy, Free & Single came out on June 2nd. Since Super Junior's writer left SM Entertainment their sixth album had to be written by other people and thus obviously has a different style. When I went to listen to it what I wasn't expecting was a sound similar to EXO, SM Entertainment's latest debut. But that's fine, because EXO's sound rocks. 
What can be said about this music video? Crazy fashion attack Batman! Not only is it a new sound, but there are other new things as well: the bad boy look which hasn't been used by Super Junior since Don't Don, the use of couture fashion (So TVXQ!), Kangin being back after missing two albums, lots of them being blonde, Ryeowook getting a new dance move, and Yesung's face being changed. Which brings to mind, YESUNG'S FACE! WHY? It was nice enough as it was. Don't ruin my boys.
The fashion and the choreography for Sexy, Free & Single was frenetic and good. Almost every look was flattering and almost all the dancing was impressive. SM really tried with this music video, and in general did a good job. It's disappointing that Yesung's adorable face has been permanently altered, and it is also disappointing that weird effects were added near the end of the music video, but Sexy, Free & Single succeeds at being an epic Super Junior music video.

MVOTD: db Explosion (Day 198)

In honour of a certain redhead's birthday, today is a trifecta of db. That is, David Bisbal and David Bustamante.
First up is David Bustamante's A Contracorriente. In it, he hits on a movie star...in his book store...and other places. He cleans up his dirty kitchen (recurring theme?), but not his trashy posters. She falls for him and they try to make-out but his weird roommate shows up. Cue another recurring theme, Bustamante in his underpants...laughing at his roomate dressed up as a penguin. Then cue more romantical scenes. But wait! It turns out that she was using him to cheat on her beau, but she's really sad about it so...he forgives her. What? That makes me want to hurl a little. Their relationship didn't make sense in the first place, and him being all, "Whatever. Who cares if you lied to me and cheated on me." is icky. It's kind of disappointing for Bustamante to do that.
Next up is David Bisbal's Corazon Latino, which is about going to the beach. He originally sang it on Operacion Triunfo, the show that landed him his first record deal. The song was redone for his first album, Corazon Latino. In this, the original performance, what can be said? The back-up dancers' costumes were pretty terrible, and David Bisbal sang pretty well.
To finish up the db trifecta, we have David Bisbal and David Bustamante singing my favourite David Bisbal song, Dimelo. Whenever this song comes on the radio in English I crank up the volume and sing it in Spanish. There is something about this song. The beat or the vocal duet or something that makes it so great. Maybe it is David Bisbal being so much more epic than David Bustamante. Maybe it isn't. Whatever it is, this song rocks, and the performance of it is pretty great too.


No Laggard in Love: Chapter 16 Review

Louise and Hamish have just narrowly escaped a high speed car chase through the windy roads of backwoods Scotland. They have yet to tell the authorities that Alistair is a murderer.
Chapter 16
Louise and Hamish are at Kirsty’s, the maid's, house. They take care Louise and Wow-Wow’s injuries and then hustle Louise off to bed. When she awakes, Hamish is off to Perth, Fergus is in jail, and Alistair and his secret wife Mona have escaped. Figuring that Hamish was taking care of it and the whole fiasco was over, Louise takes a walk in the woods with Wow-Wow. There, a land rover pulls up, Mona gets out, and Alistair trains his gun on Louise. They threaten to shoot Wow-Wow if Louise doesn’t tell them where the secret smuggled package is. It turns out, the package was passports and Alistair needs his to get out of the country. Louise tells them where to find the passports but refuses to get in the car when Alistair demands it. Then, a big Homber drives up, stops dramatically and a very British man gets out…to shoot Alistair in the ankle. It’s Louise’s dad and Margery, there to save the day. Alistair drops the gun and Louise retrieves it magically. Margery captures Mona. The bad guys are captured! What will happen next?

A Good Reason Not To Fish in Your Front Yard

Or rather, one reason not to fish around trees.

The other week we had a young man in the front yard. Weird right? He was swinging his fishing pole around, trying to practise casting. I thought, "That's a bad idea. What if he hits the parked cars with the fish hook and they get scratched?", but I didn't say anything. So he kept on swinging the fishing pole around, letting the fish hook twirl in the air. He got it stuck on the pine tree. He went to get it unstuck. His dad suggested that he stop casting around trees.
Therefore...he cast it again, higher. So high in fact, that he cast it 20 feet up into the upper branches of our maple tree. Good job there. Good job.
The hook was stuck. No matter how he tugged at it, his fish hook was stuck in the tree. His dad was about to cut the fishing line holding the hook to the pole when this young fellow whips out a ladder and climbs house height into the tree. Going onto smaller and smaller branches with outstretched arms didn't succeed so...he got a hockey stick. Holding onto the tree with one hand, 15 feet in the air, and waving the hockey stick around with the other hand, this guy waddled out onto a teeny tiny branch...and succeeded at getting the fish hook down. Imagine a figure skater standing on tippy toe trying to prod a spider web with a giant stick, and you will get about what it looked like.
It was all very entertaining. What lesson can we learn from this situation? I think it is this. If you don't want people gawking at you whilst you perilously climb a tree and look ridiculous, don't cast your fish hook in the front yard.

Good day.

MVOTD: "Rebecca Black" Parody (Day 197)

Star Wars. Rebecca Black. Friday. Mix it together and what do you get? Fun fun fun. That's what.
Thanks to Teddiefilms of the Youtubes, we now have what is best known as Primeday. Primeday mixes that incredibly catchy tune Friday with Star Wars, creating a hybrid of both that is actually playable. Here. Watch.
So...pretty good. Not only does the theme change make it easier to listen to, but it also adds some verve. The characters are recognizable but funny. The costumes are...better than the average person's. The song. Meh. Really, the only irritating thing about the music video is that Princess "Leah's" face doesn't change expression. It's just a pleasant smile, but I think that's on purpose. In general, they do a good job. Good job Teddiefilms.

MVOTD: Month End Review (Day 196)

Now that it is the end of the month, and all music videos have been included, it is time to list the competition for best music video of the month. Due to my being on the wrong computer, and lazy, this list is from memory.

Beast/B2ST                 Mystery
BTOB                           Insane
BYU Vocal Point        Jump Jive
David Bisbal               Aqui y Ahora
Felicia Day                  I'm the Cool One Now
FLO
FT Island
F(x)                               Electric Shock
G.NA
Hangeng                     Kuang Cau
Kim Hyung Jun          oH!aH!
Kim Kyu Jong           
Super Junior               Mr. Simple (Japanese)
Super Junior               Opera (Japanese)
Vihart                           A Song About the Circle Constant

I'll be honest. Hangeng's Kuang Cau won best music video for June as soon as it was posted. If the ferociously confused dog, the dub-stepping, the cheesy epicness, the crazed viking/mongol, or the good costuming wasn't enough to made the music video win, what I discovered later that evening sealed the deal. To see what I found out, follow these instructions.
Here's Hangeng's Kuang Cau (the lower one). Mute it. At about 16-19 seconds (Hand with sand or turantula), start Woodkid's Iron (the upper video). Watch. Note how well Iron suits Hangeng's music video. Note how the lyrics almost match what is happening. Amazing. Just amazing. Super amazing. It works the other way too, but not as well.
That, my friends, is why Hangeng wins. Because he is epic.