Cooking and Composition

adventures in discourse and dinner

CnC Watches: Gone Girl — November 7, 2014

CnC Watches: Gone Girl

Last night, Travis and I saw Gone Girl with a couple of friends. Our immediate reactions were not positive, and twelve hours later I’m still attempting to synthesize how I really feel about what Gone Girl attempts to do and what it really does.

Image from Buzzfeed.

If you aren’t familiar, Gone Girl stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike and is based on the acclaimed novel by Gillian Flynn, published in 2012. I have not read the novel, so I can really only speak to the movie itself–although friends who have both read the novel and see the movie say the movie sticks to the book relatively well.

The movie has a 79 on Metacritic, based on 39 positive reviews and 10 mixed reviews from “a large [curated] group of the world’s most respected critics.”

Because it got no negative reviews from “the world’s most respected critics.” Continue reading

#McConnelling — March 15, 2014


On Thursday, Jon Stewart encouraged viewers to remix Mitch McConnell’s new campaign ad. If you haven’t seen the segment, you should really check it out (especially if #McConnelling is appearing anywhere online that you happen to looking).

I immediately began to connect this with Jim Rodolfo and Danielle Nicole DeVoss’s concept of rhetorical velocity, a concept I am still working toward understanding in full (I’ve heard it talked about a lot, but typically only in passing). Like Stewart comments, it seems like this video may have been made with repurposing in mind (a key aspect of rhetorical velocity as a strategy for initial composing), and I doubt that much could have increased the speed of that happening the way that Stewart’s #McConnelling campaign has.

I could think of a lot of songs that would fit this video well, but I haven’t had the energy or the spirit to compose a #McConnelling video. Instead, I’ll just enjoy the works that other people have created. And here are some of my favorites from YouTube: Continue reading

Friday Favorites: Women of TV — January 3, 2014

Friday Favorites: Women of TV

Okay, I’ve been slacking a little big on this Friday Favorites feature I claimed I was going to do. But it’s back! And maybe I’ll be better about it in 2014.

Friday Favorites

I’m feeling a little nostalgic. The weather is snowy and bad, I’ve been binge-watching Battlestar Galactica for two days (and would have done that today if my mom hadn’t lured me out of the house with promises of lunch and coffee), and I can’t believe I didn’t get Karen Walker on the “Which Character from Will & Grace Are You?” Quiz.

Karen is one of my favorite TV characters of all time. At first, I wanted to do a post on some of my favorite Karen Walker quotes, but, let’s be honest: that’d be really challenging to do. Especially because there are so many wonderful Karen quotes to choose from.

Instead, I started thinking about some of my favorite TV show characters. These aren’t necessarily all great characters. Just the ones that I really love, that make it worth watching a television show. Some of these are old, some of these are new. But there are my favorite women characters of TV.

Warning: Some mild language below the jump!

Continue reading

Binge-Watching TV, the Best Part of Time Off Work — January 2, 2014

Binge-Watching TV, the Best Part of Time Off Work

Well, I think I’ve started 2014 off well enough. For the past two days, I’ve been binge-watching Battlestar Galactica.

This is really no easy task. I had seen the first two episodes a couple of times (the ones that ran as a miniseries back in 2003), but I never went beyond them because I always lamented what a time commitment it was (is). But apparently all bets are off for 2014 because I have finished the entire first season (15 episodes!) in two days.

I already have a lot of thoughts/feelings about the show, which you might have noticed if you also follow me on twitter. (So, sorry twitter followers that aren’t interested in BG). Here are some of the highlights (I suppose) of my last two days of binge-tv-watching.

As you can see, I’m very invested in my television show viewing. When I finished the season one finale, I was all kinds of floored. But also very glad that I can watch the next episode as soon as I want and I don’t have to wait for it.

But I am already thinking about all of the themes present in BG that would be worth discussing on an intellectual level. One of the biggest ones I’ve noticed is religion, specifically considering the differences in the polytheistic and monotheistic cultures of the humans and the cylons, respectively. Of course, there’s also the ideas of terrorism, genocide, and probably some population anxiety contributing to many of the plot points. There’s also the question of essentialism, and whether you can be something simply by trying to be it (which I would like to relate, at some point in the future, to the idea of mushfake and discourse communities).

Are there any other Battlestar Galactica fans? What are your thoughts on the things that kept (or keep) you interested?

Friday Favorites: Dancing with the Stars — December 6, 2013

Friday Favorites: Dancing with the Stars

I meant to post this last week when it was slightly more timely, but blogging sort of got away from me over the holiday weekend. So you’re getting it this week. 🙂

I have adored Derek Hough since I first saw him come in to help Julianne with the fantastic Apolo Ono. So everyone should be pretty impressed that this list isn’t exclusively comprised of his routines. I’m personally very proud of myself and my ability to present my five favorite routines of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars Season 17.

Friday Favorites

5. Bill & Emma’s Argentine Tango to Sexy And I Know It

I love that Emma always tried to work with Bill’s comedic nature, but this more serious routine was definitely his best of the season.


4. Amber & Derek’s Rumba to Turn Back Time

The routine itself starts around 1:25. It’s worth the wait (or skipping ahead). Very worth it. 😉


3. Leah, Tony, and Henry’s Jive to We’re Not Gonna Take It

Loved the concept and the delivery! This week made Leah a real contender for me.


2. Corbin & Karina’s Viennese Waltz to the theme from HBO’s Game of Thrones

It was this routine (surprisingly!) that got me back into watching DWTS after a multi-season hiatus (boycott?) after Bristol Palin was on in 2010.


1. Team Foxing Awesome’s routine to What Does the Fox Say?

Again, the dancing starts around 2:40.  This is seriously one of my favorite routines I’ve ever watched.

DWTS fans, what did I miss? What was your favorite routine of Season 17?

Happy Birthday, Doctor Who! — November 23, 2013

Happy Birthday, Doctor Who!

If you’ve been checking my blog lately, you’ve seen that I haven’t posted much lately. . .or been working on my novel much, either. The truth is it has been a bad few days for writing.

Today has only been marginally better. I’ve written 981 words today, with the hopes of doing some more. I only need to write like 800 something words a day, so I am still on track to finish in plenty of time.

I’m honestly surprised I got much work done today at all, considering all my excitement about the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who.

I might have DVR-ed it even though I was watching it. And I might have cried a lot.

I also wore this super cool t-shirt I bought just for the occasion.

Save the Day!It says “Hello Sweetie” and it’s pretty awesome.

I also painted my nails this pretty pink color and used a matte topcoat to make it look really pretty.


This is OPI’s Mimosas for Mr. & Mrs. with a matte top coat on it. I actually really like the matte look, and it feels pretty cool when I touch my nails. I’m not sure how much I like the color. It looks really pretty in the bottle, but I think I need to practice a bit more at getting even coats. I’ve always been really, really horrible at painting my nails. So I’m pleased with how it turned out overall.

I don’t want to ruin anything about the 50th special in case anyone hasn’t seen it yet, but let me just say: Awesome.

Now, I guess I better get writing.

More Casting Announcements for Fox’s remake of Broadchurch — November 18, 2013

More Casting Announcements for Fox’s remake of Broadchurch

Most people that know me will not be surprised in the slightest that I am a huge fan of Broadchurch, which aired early this fall on BBCAmerica. I love a good mystery, and especially one that can keep me on my toes! While there were some things I “saw coming” in the show, in general, I enjoyed being along for the twists and turns and debating with The Boyfriend which characters were good and which weren’t.

David Tennant in Broadchurch (Photo credit: jwatari, via Flickr)

I am not excited that Fox will remake Broadchurch in the US, starring David Tennant in the same role, that of disgraced and strung out DI Alec Hardy. He was phenomenal in the original, and his presence alone might make me tune into Gracepoint (the new title of the US remake) even though I don’t think we need an American version of an already wonderful, popular show. I’m not even sure that I’m excited that there will be a second series to the original. I honestly wonder what more there is to be said about the small, seaside resort town left grieving and confused after Danny Latimer’s death.

Today, TV Guide announced two more casting choices for Gracepoint: Anna Gunn as Detective Ellie Miller and Jacki Weaver as Susan Wright.

I have a few thoughts on these announcements. First, I wonder why the producers/writers aren’t changing character names. If it’s truly an “adaptation” and not a straight-up remake (which the change in location name and title seem to suggest), there’s no sense in keeping the original character names. If anything, it’s going to make viewing the new version a lot less interesting for people who have already seen Broadchurch.

Which brings me to my second point. . .there will be literally no mystery for the many people who tuned into the original when it aired on BBCAmerican unless they make some changes to the plot, which I really don’t want them to do. One thing that I loved about watching Broadchurch was that I constantly had to challenge my assumptions and beliefs about who could commit such a murder, why, and how. There were many stereotypes that the series resisted buying into and engaging. It will be hard to keep fans of the series involved in Gracepoint if they are simply porting over all of the characters and plot and changing only the location. However, I think there is a serious risk to enact or engage the stereotypes and assumptions that Broadchurch seemed to challenge if the producers and writers do attempt to make the plot more original.

Finally, it’s hard to get hyped up about a remake of something I love when I feel completely neutral about the recently-announced casting choices of two characters who have such strong and important roles. I’ve seen both Gunn and Weaver, and while I don’t dislike either of them, I can’t say that I feel very strongly about them either way. Perhaps this will be the show in which they impress me, but it will be hard to not compare them to Olivia Coleman, whom I have adored since I saw her in Peep Show and who handled some very challenging moments incredibly well in Broadchurch, and Pauline Quirke, whose positively charming IMDB photo makes her seem nothing like her Broadchurch character, who I both despised and loved at various points in the series.

On my drive home today, I also realized I’m just not satisfied with the new name they have selected (Gracepoint). Wouldn’t it make much more sense if we just called it New Broadchurch?

Any other fans out there? What are your thoughts on the upcoming “adaptation” set in the US?

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