Wednesday, 28 October 2009

By request...

I tweeted about this risotto as I was eating it the other night, because it was the most surprisingly yummy thing EVER. Delicious, I tell you.

A couple of people asked for the recipe, so here it is. It's from the Australian Women's Weekly (in the 1000 Best-Ever Recipes book)

Beetroot Risotto with rocket

2 medium beetroot (350g) peeled, grated coarsely
3 cups (750ml) vegetable stock
3 cups (750ml) water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large brown onion (200g), chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cups (300g) arborio rice
1/4 cup (20g) coarsely grated parmesan cheese
50g baby rocket leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Bring beetroot, stock and the water in large saucepan to the boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large saucepan; cook onion and garlic, stirring, until onion softens. Add rice; stir rice to coat in onion mixture. Stir in 1 cup simmering beetroot mixture; cook, stirring, over low heat until liquid is absorbed. Continue adding beetroot mixture, in 1-cup batches, stirring, until liquid is absorbed after each addition. Total cooking time should be about 35 minutes or until rice is just tender; gently stir in cheese.
3. Serve risotto topped with combined rocket and parsley.

YUMMY. That is all. :)

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

I rented this strange film on the weekend, having wanted to see it for a while now. I say strange because, well, it doesn't seem like a story that should work as a film. It's not much of a story at all actually, just "a single premise" as a friend of mine described it.

It does work, though, I think. The characters, led by 8-year-olds Bruno and Shmuel are compelling enough that one really wants to find out more.

We see the events from Bruno's point of view, and so only get small glimpses of what is actually going on, which is that the family moves to the country for his father's new role as Commandant of a camp in World War II. Bruno goes exploring, finds the camp fence and makes friends with Shmuel. They become friends, make plans... and I won't tell you the ending.

I thought all of the acting was wonderful. I can't think of a single performance that wasn't up to scratch. But Asa Butterfiled and Jack Scanlon, as the two boys, were outstanding. They're so young, and it's such a difficult concept. It would have been easy to expect such young boys to play it melodramatically, but they were both natural, compelling actors. I also loved David Hayman as Pavel, the Jewish kitchen-hand/servant.

Definitely one worth watching. Just be prepared for quite an emotional ride.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

I feel quite shaken

... by this whole Roman Polanski episode.

I didn't even know about his rape conviction until the recent arrest. I'm sure many people didn't. In case you still don't - the film director Roman Polanski was charged in 1977 with statutory rape, after drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl. A deal was struck and he pleaded guilty to a different charge - something like "unlawful sexual conduct"... but in between then and the sentencing he fled the US and set up camp in France. Since then he has made lots of films, married, had children, won an Oscar and carefully not entered the US or the UK.

He was recently arrested when entering Switzerland for a film festival being held in his honour. Switzerland has an extradition treaty with the US so the idea is that he will be sent back to the US to be sentenced and serve his time. He did, after all, admit to raping a child and then fled the country.

Now comes the shocking part. Hundreds of film industry names (these names) have been signing a petition to free Polanski (to allow him to remain freely in Europe), which states that the arrest takes away the freedom of an artist of international renown.

Maybe I shouldn't be shocked at this. Maybe I should have realised that rich and famous people usually think they're better than everyone else. That very talented people sometimes start to think that their own talent is more important than truth, or justice, or integrity.

But I am shocked. I honestly believed that most of the people in the film industry, even the great big famous ones, still knew that they are people just like everyone else. I thought that the self-centred, up-on-a-pedestal ones were really very rare. According to that list of names, I was pretty wrong. People I admire are on that list - Harrison Ford, Tilda Swinton, Terry Gilliam, Guillermo del Toro....

I have to admit I searched frantically through the names and was very relieved not to see Johnny Depp, or Geoffery Rush, or Kate Winslet (though, disappointingly, her husband, Sam Mendes, is there). I love my favourite actors for their own character as much as for their abilities so at least I still have that measure of sanity to cling to.

Disappointing, "Hollywood", so disappointing.

I'm going to bed, hoping that someone with as much integrity as money & fame stands up and speaks the truth - simply that a convicted criminal should face his past and serve his time.

Friday, 25 September 2009

United States of Tara

So, if you haven't watched the United States of Tara yet, go watch it! Here, it's on the ABC at 9.30 Wednesday nights. No, Thursday. Oh bugger, one of the two. Look it up! Go watch it.

Toni Collette plays Tara, wonderfully (of course, she won an Emmy for it!). She's a wife and mother of two, with multiple personality disorder. Her "alters" take over sometimes, and the alters have their own names, habits, whole personalities. It would be such a fabulous role to play - because it's four roles in one!

The story and situations are built really well - the two children (teenagers) are very real, interesting people. Going through all the usual teenage stuff as well as dealing with their mom being not at all a normal mom. I particularly love the son. He's gay, and has a head-over-heels crush on his new friend, a good Christian church boy. They kissed the other night (woo!) and it was such a typically weird, awkward, very memorable teenage moment. The daughter goes through weird relationship stuff, too, and seems to be the one who can't quite cope with Tara's issues all that well.

Anyway. It's the first TV show I've been really into for a long time. Excellent characters. Fabulous acting. Believable stories, which is sadly so rare these days! (yes, I'm a moany old woman, shut up)

I'm off to eat chocolate and fold my laundry in front of whatever crap's on the TV tonight. I'm a Friday Night Loser alright!

Monday, 21 September 2009

Wow, look at that...

It's been so long since I've posted in here that the 2nd-last post is a Panic at the Disco picture post! This is hilarious because that band split into two almost 3 months ago. So, for what it's worth, Brendon and Spencer are now Panic! at the Disco, and Jon and Ryan have run along to do their own thing and called themselves The Young Veins.

This was all very traumatic at the time, and is still actually quite sad - all of their close friendship and interconnectedness was a big reason for my loving them! Plus, Ryan-Spencer-best-friends-from-childhood! Oh shoosh you don't understand! But hey, it's all good. They seem to all be still friends and both bands are doing what they love, what more could you ask for, huh?

Don't answer that question.


So did I even post in here about Public Enemies? Woah. I was so ridiculously excited about that film and then didn't even come here and rant about it! But you may have seen my faily mini-reviews on Twitter.

In summary: Johnny Depp is awesome and completely owns my acting heart. But you already knew that. The film was... meh. Nice enough but could've been better.


What other films have I seen? Hmmm. Oh yeah, NONE. lol. I've watched a few on DVD I suppose. The Boat That Rocked. Which rocked. Loved it. Ummm...

Oh I dunno.


Work-wise, I'm going to be stage managing a concert in December. That will at least be some very handy Christmas money. Ha, my working life is so packed that my only busy moment is 3 months away! Woo. Of course I don't actually mind that. It's not like I'm sitting around here twiddling my thumbs. I'm busy eating ice cream and surfing the net, of course.

Why would anyone twiddle their thumbs anyway? That is one of MANY sayings I just don't get.


I just realised I missed the deadline for next year's Showcast directory. I hadn't decided what to do, it's $130 and I probably needed a new photo, so.... well, that's that. I think I can join up on the website anytime if I decide I want to. Which I don't think I do. Maybe. *shrug*


How about a new regular segment (yes, let's pretend I'm a TV show!) - lyrics at the end of a post. Quick, someone think up a catchy name for it!

from Northern Downpour by Panic! at the Disco:

If all the world is but a dream...
fantastic posing greed,
then we should feed our jewelery to the sea.
For diamonds do appear to be
just like broken glass to me.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

You know what's ridiculous?

What's ridiculous is that I haven't seen the following films. Adding them to my to-watch list...

~ Casablanca
~ Gone With the Wind
~ When Harry Met Sally
~ The Ninth Gate
~ Before Night Falls
~ Cry-Baby

Monday, 27 April 2009

Promised Pics of Panic......

... At The Disco. Not panic in general. No pics of fleeing villagers or burning buildings, I promise.

Here are Spencer Smith and Ryan Ross. They were best friends since forever (aged 4 or 5).

spence and ryan lollipop

They started the band when they were around, I dunno, 15? Spence is the drummer:

spencer white shirt

Ryan the guitarist and lyricist (and orginally lead singer):

Ryan guitar. belt.

and their friend Brent was the bass player. Then Brent brought his friend Brendon Urie....

Brendon rock star

to play guitar as well. They discovered that Brendon has an awesome voice, so he became lead singer.


They were signed by Pete Wentz (of Fall Out Boy) to his record label. After they recorded their first album, A Fever You Can't Sweat Out (this was in 2005/06 I think) Brent lost interest in the band and was replaced with Jon Walker on bass...

Jon noodling no shoes

... who toured with them and even allowed himself to be dressed up in the crazy garb in which they liked to perform and be photgraphed:

Panic young dressed up

For their first few tours they did fabulous things like take a circus dance troupe with them.

Brendon NRWC dancing

Ryan, especially, who is half playful child and half eccentric old man, wore amazing make up and vintage clothes. He and Brendon seem to love all things theatrical (one of the big reasons I love them).


In 2008 the 2nd album, Pretty. Odd., was released. It was less punky and outrageous, more lyrical and hippy-esque. Still the same thoughtful-but-self-indulgent lyrics, original beats and eclectic tunes, but more, well......


Let's just say you can really see their love for the Beatles.

I'm kinda kicking myself that I only discovered them recently, too late for their latest tour to Australia (despite the best intentions of a darling friend of mine who, obviously, did get through to me eventually). However I will definitely be snaffling up some tickets next time they're here. And I will have to keep it a big secret from my 4-yr-old Beryl, who is completely and utterly in love with these guys.

Can't blame her, really.

Word on the grapevine (uh... the twitter-vine?) is that new songs are on their way, so hopefully that means a new album sometime soon...

Okay, enough fangirling from me. I was going to try to link to some more Panic music, but really this was just a good excuse to post pictures of pretty boys, so.... go search YouTube, if you like.