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“The Lizzie Bennet Diaries”: The Best Show You Didn’t Know You Needed

Okay so my blogging isn’t perfect yet. I read “The Extraordinary Sisters of April, May, & June” as well as “Saving June” this week, so you could say warmer weather is definitely on my mind. No review of those two this week but I’d recommend both.
Anyway, the purpose of today’s first entry (yep, gonna do a foodie post later) is to get any of you who haven’t watched “The Lizzie Bennett Diaries” yet, totally hooked. The web series is a modern adaptation of “Pride & Prejudice” created & produced by Hank Green (brother to author John Green) and Bernie Su. The show is absolutely phenomenal. For all that P&P gets remade and adapted, the truly good versions of the story are few and far between. The LBD is one of the very good ones.
It begins with Elizabeth “Lizzie” Bennet creating a video web diary for a grad school project and jumps right into the P&P storyline. So far the adjustments to the story that bring it into the 21st century are very well done. Along with “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries” are several videos from Lydia Bennet, and a few from Charlotte’s sister Maria that help bridge a gap in the story.
While I’ve loved all the videos, I’m most impressed by the Lydia Bennet Diaries so far. The series turned the younger Bennet sister Mary into a cousin (which fits the story and the present day much better) and Kitty into an actual cat (also fitting the story). The first half of the Lydia videos seem frivolous but if you’re paying attention, you can see how much Lydia craves the approval of her sisters and how willing she is to find it elsewhere if necessary.
The move into the Lydia and George Wickham part of the story is phenomenally done and completely heartbreaking. I so wish there was more recognition for web series because the latest Lydia videos are some of the best TV I’ve seen in any format.
Several characters are also on twitter if you want to fully immerse yourself in the LBD world. So go watch and then come talk to me about how much you love it. Also about how Fitz needs to show up more because hello, he is awesome.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Aside

Turns out it was kind of smarter than a lot of us were giving the writers credit for. It just took me a while to figure out why. Y’all can thank Teen Wolf/The Avengers for it actually. Or don’t thank them. Just ignore this and go worship at the altar that is made up of Tyler Hoechlin’s abs, Chris Evans’ ass, and Jeremy Renner’s arms. It’s a beautiful place. But if you are still with me, here’s the thing.

Back when Ordinary People aired and subsequent episodes, I and most other recappers had a lot of criticisms of the Viking thing. And its still sort of been a bit of a joke I think. Like oh sure werewolf Vikings showed up down in Virginia  like a thousand years ago instead of the werewolves being natives and naturally Alaric has a degree in runes. I’m still doubting the Alaric part but I’ll refrain from speaking ill of the dead. #RIP

But um, werewolf vikings? Actually spot fucking on. Like to the point that I sort of want to send baskets of mini-muffins to the TVD writers room. So werewolf legend typically originates in two places; Greek Mythology (the legend of Lycaon) and Norse Mythology (Fenrir, son of Loki–that would be the Avengers reference–and of Asgard). Yes, my nerd is showing, shush. The Originals being from Eastern Europe ties them into both Greek or Norse legends because the Vikings did quite a bit of settling in that area, just like the Greeks way back when. But since we’ve got runes in a cave in Virginia, I’d say the writers went with a Norse influence.

I mean you’ve got Vikings who are all wrapped up in their Norse mythology so if you’re going to have werewolves in what will be America, of course they’re going to be Vikings. And they’re going to use runes to write in because that’s their form of writing at the time. I’m just kind of flailing right now because it all actually does click together. You’ve got werewolves searching for a new home, a place where they would be safe and free, not only because Europe is slowly being settled (not fast, hello this is like 980 AD) but also because people back then would still believe in werewolves, so there were probably a lot more hunters. But getting a witch to tell you about another world where you could be free? Yeah if I’m a werewolf pack, I’m so jumping on that. 

And with the whole Viking heritage in their Norse bones, they’ve got a better chance of making it across the Atlantic. Naturally they still want to keep a record of their history, hence the runes. This might be only making sense to me (which happens an awful lot) but my brain is basically realizing that it actually all weaves together a hell of a lot better than any other theory I had before. Like it fits. I love when mythology fits together.

So on that note, sorry I spent so long doubting you Vampire Diaries writers on this point. But seriously, where did Alaric learn to translate runes? Because I still can’t find that correspondence course from the University of Phoenix.

So About Those Viking Runes on The Vampire Diaries…

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

When You Go to a Restaurant

This post, while in my opinion full of important knowledge about proper etiquette, is inspired by utter ridiculousness. I just read three different things where treating restaurant staff badly or not tipping that great was just mentioned offhand and that makes me rant. So this is me both ranting and possibly cluing some of you in to how the food service industry works.

1) Minimum wage for servers in most states is $2.13 an hour. This loosely translates to “we are going to pay you just enough to cover your taxes so please don’t ever expect a pay check.” Some states pay up to $4.00 an hour but this is often in cases where servers don’t make as much. There are a few states who pay servers decently. California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, & Hawaii pay between $7-9. So when servers say they work for tips…THEY MEAN IT.

2) Having a bad day as a server (or any tipped employee) is very different from having a bad day at an hourly paid job. See let’s say your cat died yesterday. You’re upset about this, understandably, but unfortunately you only get so many sick days and this isn’t the kind of situation that work will be okay with you using as an excuse. So you go to work and you’re kind of grumpy and maybe not that helpful or cheerful with customers. But the thing is, even if you piss off every customer that day, you’re still getting paid the same amount per hour.

Now let’s contrast that with the server who’s cat died. She goes to work and is equally sad but rather than breaking down in tears, just chooses to not really talk much and isn’t very interested in smiling. You know what 95% of her tables will assume? That she’s a bitch. Rude, mean, etc. She’ll probably get a lot of comments along the lines of “geez, crack a smile” or “who died” and as much as she’d love to get pissy, she can’t. And then she’ll get crap tips and have to deal with putting off paying that overdue bill a couple more days. All because her income relies on making other people happy, and other people don’t like to give a server a chance to have a bad day.

3) On the other side of #2, don’t feel like you always have to give that server the benefit of the doubt. Some servers are shitty. You can always keep an eye out, do they stand around talking? Ignore your needs? Or are they just busy? I give servers a lot of leeway. But I once had one who after an hour of us waiting (and already getting our salads & soups wrong), came by the table & listened to us ask about our food and then said “Oh yeah. Totally forgot to send that to the kitchen. What’d you want again? I wasn’t really listening.” I SHIT YOU NOT. Believe me, I made loud complaints.

4) How to complain about your food is not that difficult. The type of customers who get their food spit on are not people who merely request for a fix. I could tell you horror stories about the things I’ve seen. But the people who get treated like that are the ones who cuss at servers and grope their waitresses and are total assholes. They aren’t the people who didn’t want mushrooms in their spaghetti.

If there is something wrong with your food, I suggest two ways to complain. If it is in fact the dish you wanted but something was left on that you didn’t want and you can’t pick it off, blame allergies. Just tell the server that you have an allergy to it and unfortunately will need a new dish. All the server has to do is walk back & tell the kitchen. (Do remember that it takes longer to fix a steak than it does pasta). If you were supposed to get something, say avocado on a sandwich, just ask for it to be brought out on the side unless it absolutely screws up the taste to add it yourself. I say on the side because if you take even a bite of your food and then send it back, most restaurants will (and all should) make you a brand new dish. This is due to health code but you’ll be waiting longer for your food. And if it’s the wrong dish completely? Take the blame and ask it to be fixed. Look, I’ve served for years. 9 times out of 10, the customer orders one dish and means another. So just tell the server that you clearly weren’t paying enough attention and meant to order a different dish and could they switch it. You can always blame allergies again.

The thing is, most of us servers are more than happy to fix your meal. We want a good tip and that means you shouldn’t have to feel bad about saying you don’t like what you’re eating or the order was wrong. Just don’t do it in a way that berates the server. Asking nicely really does go a long way. And again, if the food is wrong, don’t negate the tip. A lot of people are involved in the process & it is not necessarily the server’s fault.

5) Bad service is slightly different. If the server is flat out being an ass, inappropriate, or says they purposely ignored you (and yes, there are servers who do that), by all means complain and stiff their sorry ass. They have no business being that level of rude. But if it’s the kind of service where there were a few mistakes or your drinks sat empty a little longer than you’d like, that kind of thing…just tell the manager that you weren’t satisfied. Explain that you understand people have bad days or get distracted but you had expectations from your meal and they weren’t met. Most managers will comp your meal or comp a significant portion of it. In this case, you should still tip. Stick to the standard (18%) but tip on the original price of the meal.

6) If you use coupons or gift certificates, please tip on the original amount. The server did the work for it. Standard tip percentage for waitstaff is 18%. More is always nice if you have good service. A couple other things to consider are refills and how long you were there. Like say you go to a soup/salad place and are brought 4 refills. Your bill might only be $8 but you had $32 worth of soup & salad at any non-unlimited establishment. I’m not saying you have to tip on a full $32 but at least consider doing more than throwing down a dollar.

Also, servers have specific sections in a restaurant, usually with 3-5 tables. An average table turns (ie a group sits and eats and finishes their meal) in 60-90 minutes. So if you come in with friends and stay for 3 hours, eating and drinking, that’s your prerogative. But remember that you are depriving that server of additional income. So toss in a couple extra dollars.

6) If you are the type of person who likes to make lewd comments at your waitress, stay at home. If you have friends like this, don’t try and laugh it off as though he doesn’t mean anything by it or pretend to ignore it out of embarrassment. Your server has done nothing to deserve being objectified or groped and you should be calling out that person. If you don’t, well there are three types of servers out there. The ones who smile and put up with it and behind every smile is a shudder and a go fuck yourself. The ones who get upset and get another server to take care of the table. And the ones like me. As in you wouldn’t be the first guy to have his shoulder dislocated while his face gets shoved in his spaghetti.

7) Dine and ditch isn’t funny. Period. You think oh oops neither person remembered to pay or you might have skipped out because obviously the restaurant can afford to cover the cost of one meal. A mom & pop place can’t. A corporate chain? Yeah, they can handle the cost. But the thing is most of those individually owned restaurants will cover the cost of the meal and not expect the server to. The chains put the blame on the server. Every chain I’ve worked in has a three strike at most policy on people skipping out. After three dine & ditches, you get fired. Even though it’s almost never the server’s fault. Short of handing you your bill and standing there until you hand me payment, I can’t guarantee that while I’m in the back getting another table’s food together, you won’t skip out.

So what happens is most servers do what is called eating the bill. As in we pay for it out of our tips. It’s better than risking getting fired. But that means your $40 meal just meant I can’t put gas in my car. Or buy groceries. Or pay for a babysitter the next night for my kid to try and make up that lost money. Skipping out on a meal doesn’t hurt the restaurant. It hurts the server. DON’T DO IT.

Finally, please remember two things. If you can’t afford to tip, you can’t afford to go out to eat. Second, servers are people too. A little respect and common courtesy goes a long way.

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Crescent Rollups

Meant to write this a few weeks ago when my twitter timeline lit up with a discussion of all the things one can do with crescent rolls. Still, better late than never. These are all the crescent roll recipes I’ve actually tried, but I’d love to hear your ideas.

So the basic concept of crescent roll ups are to put your filling in the crescent roll, roll it up and bake according to the crescent roll package instructions.

Pizza rollups: pizza sauce, pepperoni and mozzarella cheese. Of course, just like with pizza, you can change things up. I usually add sausage & black olives to mine.

Southwestern: Black beans, sharp cheddar cheese, white onion, and cilantro. I like to dip this one in salsa when I’m eating them.

Chicken Alfredo: Alfredo sauce, shredded chicken, green onions, and green peppers with a little asiago cheese. This one doesn’t need a ton of sauce. I go with a spoonful on the crescent, then the filling, then one more spoon on top.

Veggie: Broccoli and cheese. For this one I recommend a blended cheese, like a 4-blend Mexican cheese or 3-blend Colby Jack. Load up on both the cheese and the broccoli for the best taste.

Wonton Style: Crab meat, green onions, and cream cheese. You can spice this one up with garlic or cayenne but it’s great on it’s own.

Chicken Parm: Chicken fingers, mozzarella, and spaghetti sauce. I haven’t actually had the chance to try this one yet but I can’t wait to test it out. I will probably add a little garlic for personal preferences.

Enchilada: Enchilada sauce, shredded meat (beef, chicken, or pork), finely chopped white onions, and cheddar cheese. This one is a big favorite of mine. I usually don’t roll this one though, instead I roll the crescent into squares and make like ravioli pockets out of them, that way I can get more sauce inside. Then I mix sour cream with a spicy salsa and heat it up on the stove for a dipping sauce.

*And when I said ravioli just now I got an idea to try doing a few others in a more ravioli style and frying the dough. I will keep y’all updated on how that turns out.*

Chocolate & Peanut Butter: Nutella, peanut butter, and a piece of a chocolate bar. Make sure to spread the first two ingredients out or you get a convoluted mess (yes, I made this mistake).

Apple Pie: Apple pie filling. Top with whip cream & caramel sauce out of the oven. You can do this one totally homemade but it’s so much easier to buy filling.

Berry: Mix equal amounts of cream cheese with powdered sugar then smear a generous portion on a roll and then dump on the berries of your choice.

Pumpkin: Pumpkin pie filling, cream cheese, and cinnamon. Another one that’s great with whip cream on top.

So what are your favorite crescent rollup ideas?

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

The Tuatha Series: Beginnings Part 3

(So I should clarify really quickly that in my story, everyone is currently a junior and it’s the summer before senior year. I didn’t skip ahead in the show’s timeline, just pretended this hasn’t been sophomore year.)

A week after Stiles and Derek had their impromptu make-out session, the pack was gathered again for a meeting. They’d actually had the pack meeting two nights ago, tonight was supposed to be training but Lydia and Allison said it was important that the pack discuss two important issues tonight.

Derek was trying to be more supportive of his pack as a whole and let them lead discussions. On the one hand, this made sense to him. His parents had led their family’s pack in much the same way, allowing everyone an equal say. It was always clear however that his mother, as the Alpha, had the final say.

He knew this particular pack of his was different too. It took Stiles pointing it out to him one night (before they’d moved their relationship ahead) that he was drawn to people who were broken. That too made it easier to understand why Allison and Lydia both fit within his pack even better than Scott. The boy wasn’t free from suffering but he hadn’t suffered in the way the others had. And of course Derek had never even considered biting Scott when he first returned to Beacon Hills.

He had felt an odd pull towards Stiles from day one though.

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Posted by on August 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

The Tuatha Series

Told y’all I was overly invested in Teen Wolf. What started as a drabble has become at least 15,000 words long, though I’m only posted the beginning. Obviously I own nothing of Teen Wolf. Unless someone wants to offer me a 50 Shades kind of deal and then fuck it, I own everything about it.

It seems that fandom has made Sheriff Stilinski’s name John and that Isaac is sort of awesome around Stiles and so I went with that. Anyway, here it is.

Stiles flung his lacrosse equipment into the back of his jeep with a little more force than necessary. The time spent on the lacrosse field had worked as a distraction but it really didn’t do any more than that. All of the things Stiles had told the guidance counselor still mattered.

“When you’re drowning, you don’t actually inhale until you black out.” He knew how he’d continued. He talked about how you can’t let anything in and made it seem like he was focused on Matt and yet that really wasn’t the point.

She got that. She’d pulled a little more out of him, until he realized he was about to share the kind of secrets he rarely even let himself think about, let alone talk through with a high school counselor.

But the truth? The truth was glaring at him now that Scott had left. Because it kind of came right back to that. Even though they’d spent time practicing, Scott still cut their time short when Allison called. And even with Peter still out there (and an enigma) at that, Scott just took off without even helping Stiles pack up their shit.

It sounded stupid. But it just added to Stiles’ burdens. He didn’t want someone to remember him when his life was in danger. He wanted people to pay attention to him in the little moments. Anyone who could see, just for a few seconds, the way Stiles was breaking apart on the inside.

Who was he kidding? After being kidnapped by Gerard, no one had come for him. Hell no one even checked on him. The human didn’t matter. Not unless they needed him.

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Posted by on August 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Watch These Movies or We Can’t Be Friends

This is not a list of movies you should watch at some point in your life. This is a list of 80s (and a few early 90s) movies that if you have not seen you should call in sick to work for a few days, plant your ass on the couch and start marathoning immediately. Seriously. Go.

John Hughes: His movies should be top priority. I guarantee there are at least 10 shows or movies you’ve seen that have referenced, ripped off, or paid homage to a scene from a John Hughes movie. Detention? How to skip school? Everyone forgetting your birthday? Perfect boys? Perfect girls? Tabletop kisses? THESE ARE JOHN HUGHES THINGS FIRST.

Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, Home Alone, Weird Science…you know what just imdb him and watch all of his works. Just put Breakfast Club and Some Kind of Wonderful at the top.

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Posted by on August 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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